VCE Philosophy: Unit 4 revision questions

Below I have compiled a list of revision questions for Unit 4 of VCE Philosophy. While these VCE Philosophy revision questions follow the same format as those on the exam, they are not drawn from past exams. This means they make an excellent addition to your exam revision because they haven’t been used on past exams.

Why should I incorporate practice questions into my Philosophy exam revision?

Practice revision questions are a great way for all VCE students to revise – no matter the subject they’re studying. Firstly, they’re great way to test your knowledge. They help you identify which areas you know well and which areas you need to improve on. This helps you revise more efficiently. Secondly, practice questions help deepen your understanding of the content by forcing you to think about the topic from different angles. Thirdly, practice questions give you the opportunity to practice writing under time conditions.

When it comes to Philosophy, practice questions are especially important as short and medium questions make up 2/3rds of the exam. As such, being able to write a coherent, insightful answer is crucial to doing well on the VCE Philosophy exam.

How can I use practice questions to revise for the VCE Philosophy exam?

Begin by reading through the questions. Use a tick to mark the questions you know the answer to and a cross to mark the questions you’re not sure about. Then, revisit the texts to find the answers to the questions you placed a cross next to.

Once you’re confident that you can answer all of the revision questions, try to practice writing those answers by hand under timed conditions.

VCE Philosophy Unit 4 Practice Questions

For a downloadable PDF of this resource, please click here: VCE Philosophy Unit 4 Practice Revision Questions PDF

  1. In Gorgias, Socrates uses the example of drinking when thirsty to argue that pleasure and the good are not the same thing. Outline this argument. Is this a good argument? Provide a reason for your opinion (3 marks)
  2. Aristotle claims that a life devoted to politics cannot be a happy life. What two reasons does Aristotle give for this claim? (2 marks)
  3. Consider Aristotle’s Nichomachean Ethics. Could a life devoted to making money be a life a good life? Give reasons for your response (2 marks)
  4. Why is it worse to do wrong than suffer wrong according to Socrates? Is he right? (2 marks)
  5. What is Aristotle’s example of Milo the wrestler intended to demonstrate? How would Callicles respond to this? (2 marks)
  6. Explain the difference between the master (noble) morality and the slave morality according to Nietzsche (2 marks)
  7. What approach to living is required by Socrates for living the good life and how would Aristotle respond to it? (4 marks)
  8. Outline and evaluate one of the arguments that Socrates provides against the belief that pleasure is the same as the good. (4 marks)
  9. Why does Aristotle argue that happiness (eudaimonia) is the goal of a person’s life and not other goods such as wealth and power? Is the correct? (4 marks)
  10. Why does Nietzsche criticize Democracy? Do you think this criticism is justified? (2 marks)
  11. Singer believes that his argument disrupts traditional moral categories. Which categories is he talking about and why are they disrupted by the obligations that Singer is proposing? (2 marks)
  12. What is the relationship between the good life for the individual and broader society? Refer to the philosophies of Socrates and Singer in your response (10 marks)
  13. In what ways does the philosophy of Callicles differ from the Nietzschean perspective on the good life? (4 marks)
  14. According to Callicles, it is only according to dominant social conventions that it is more shameful to do wrong than to suffer wrong. Why does he think this? Do you agree with him? Provide a reason for your opinion (4 marks)
  15. Aristotle argues that moral virtue is a mean between excess and deficiency. However, he states that some mental states and actions don’t have a mean. Give one of Aristotle’s examples of an action or state that does not have a mean. Why does Aristotle believe that this state or action does not have a mean? (2 marks)
  16. What role, if any, does pleasure play in the good life? Refer to the philosophies of Nietzsche and Callicles in your response (6 marks)
  17. In Gorgias, Callicles states that the most powerful members of society are not the strongest but the wisest and the noblest. Socrates gives a counter argument to Callicles that uses cobblers and doctors as examples. Outline Socrates’ counter argument. Is this a good counter argument? Provide a reason for your opinion (4 marks)
  18. Aristotle claims that a virtuous life will also be a pleasurable life? Why does he think this? (2 marks)
  19. In Gorgias, Socrates distinguishes between activities that are mere ‘knacks’ and activities that involve ‘expertise’. According to Socrates, what is the difference between a knack and an area of expertise? Give one of Socrates’ examples of a knack and one of his examples of an area of expertise (3 marks)
  20. How is self-discipline an essential component of the good life for Socrates? Evaluate this idea (3 marks)
  21. What is Aristotle’s function argument? How is the function of a human being an essential part to living the good life for Aristotle? (4 marks)
  22. If being moral conflicts with your self-interest, why should you be moral? Respond to this question using the philosophies of Socrates and Callicles (6 marks)
  23. Briefly outline Aristotle’s Doctrine of the Mean (2 marks)
  24. How would Nietzsche respond to Socrates’s views on the role of reason in the good life? Which of these two philosophers would you agree with? Give reasons for your response (6 marks)