Aristotle revision questions for VCE Philosophy

As the end of year VCE exams draw ever closer, completing practice revision questions is more important than ever. Like practice exams, practice questions are a great way to study because they help you both become familiar with the format exam questions take and provide an easy way for you to identify your strengths and weaknesses.

This week I have a series of Aristotle practice questions to help VCE Philosophy students revise effectively for the VCE exams. You can use these questions to practice your philosophical expression, familiarise yourself with how much you can write under time constraints, and test your current knowledge.

Good luck!

Aristotle practice questions for VCE Philosophy

For a printable PDF of this study resource, please click here:Aristotle revision questions PDF

1. What does Aristotle mean by “…the ends of the master arts are to be preferred to those of the subordinate skills, for it is the former that provides the motive for pursuing the latter”? Do you agree? 
Can you think of any counter-examples? 
Does an objection to this necessarily negate Aristotle’s definition of ‘good’?

2. Why should we find out what is ‘the good’, according to Aristotle?

3. Why does Aristotle believe that the study of ‘the good life’ is a study of politics?

4. How does Aristotle argue against the idea that ‘the good life’ is one that consists of having a good time? 
Do you agree?

5. Explain Aristotle’s definition of ‘the good’ using your own words.

6. Why does Aristotle believe that the good of a nation is more important than the good of an individual? 
Does he justify these claims?

7. According to Aristotle, when should one study politics and why?

8. How does Aristotle reject the idea that the good life is a life of honour?

9. Aristotle says that in investigations about the good life, we must be satisfied with a “rough estimation of the truth”. 
Why does he think this?

10. Is it possible to possess virtue in your sleep? Reference Aristotle’s views in your answer.

11. Why, according to Aristotle, is wealth not the ultimate good?

12. Aristotle asserts that a virtuous life is not necessarily ‘the good life’ because a virtuous person may meet with ‘atrocious luck’. 
Explain his reasoning.

13. Explain what Aristotle means by “…there is some one thing which alone is an end beyond which there are no further ends, we may call that the good of which we are in search” and “We may conclude then that something which is always chosen for its own sake and never for the sake of something else is without qualification the final end.”

14. How does Aristotle show that this ‘final end’ is happiness? Make reference to the examples he uses.

15. Do you agree with Aristotle’s claim that happiness is the final good because it is self-sufficient? In your answer, explain what Aristotle means by ‘self-sufficient’.

16. Do you agree with Aristotle’s claim that “happiness is more than momentary bliss”?

17. Do you agree with Aristotle’s assertion that “…every consciously directed activity has an end for the sake of which everything that it does is done. This end may be described as its good.”? Explain your answer. (Hint: Ask yourself: Is every activity a means to an end? Is the end of the activity necessarily the ‘good’ of the activity?)

18. According to Aristotle, what functions separate humans from plants and animals?

19. What role does time play in achieving happiness?

20. How does Aristotle explain the pleasure we experience from external factors/material possessions?

21. What are the best forms of ‘good’, according to Aristotle?

22. What does Aristotle means when he says that “men of more elevated tastes find more pleasure in virtue”? 
Do you agree?

23. How does Aristotle prove that “virtuous actions are a source of pleasure in themselves”?

25. Do you agree that children and animals cannot be happy because they do not exercise morals?

26. According to Aristotle, when will we achieve happiness? Do you agree?