Contemptible European Philosophy — exam questions

[Humor alert: When I last taught Contemporary European Philosophy, I offered this alternative final exam.]

Contemptible European Philosophy

Dr. Shicks
Alternative (Reality) Exam

jean-paul-sartre1. Identify the correct choice. Jean-Paul Sartre was a(n):
a) Existentialist.
b) Essentialist.
c) Excellent way to put yourself to sleep.
d) Guy who knew how to have his way with the ladies.

2. Why does the universe exist?” is logically equivalent to:
a) “Why doesn’t the universe not exist?”
b) Itself.
c) Asking for a one-way ticket to the mental ward.
d) All of the above. foucault-m

3. Michel Foucault wrote a book.
a) True.
b) False.
c) The statement must be deconstructed to reveal its hidden power agenda.

4. Suppose during the exam that you look deeply into the soul of the person next to you and find the meaning of life. This would be:
a) Proof that you have mastered the metaphysics portion of the course.
b) Cheating, and therefore a violation of the college’s Honor Code.

5. The number of angels that can dance on the head of a pin is:
dancing-angelsa) Infinite, since angels are non-physical beings and therefore not bound by physical limitations.
b) Zero, since angels are non-physical and dancing is by definition a physical activity.
c) Zero, since dancing is a lewd activity that morally pure angels would never engage in.
d) A statement that is in principle unverifiable and therefore meaningless.

6. The greatest philosopher of the 20th century was:
a) That beret-wearing guy.
b) Scooby Doo.
c) Oprah Winfrey.
d) Greatness is over-rated.

Bonus Question

7. Show your work.

[Disclaimer for a litigious age: This is not the real exam. This is an exercise in humor. If necessary, please look up “humor” in the dictionary.]

3 thoughts on “Contemptible European Philosophy — exam questions

  • January 26, 2013 at 12:52 pm

    Still mulling the questions but it strikes me that the following might be relevant – from the great philosophic journal ‘Reader’s Digest’:

    “To be is to do.”
    – Friedrich Nietzsche

    “To do is to be.”
    – Jean Paul Sartre

    – Frank Sinatra

  • February 1, 2013 at 4:19 am

    At long last, we see Ed’s philosophic fount!

  • February 3, 2013 at 3:20 pm


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