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Quiz about The Bonfire of the Humanities
Quiz about The Bonfire of the Humanities

The Bonfire of the Humanities Trivia Quiz


Academics have described a current style of teaching classical Greek philosophy in universities as throwing it onto the bonfire (or bin fire) of the humanities. This quiz will rescue a particular group of philosophers from the unlit bonfire.

A multiple-choice quiz by misstified. Estimated time: 4 mins.
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Author
misstified
Time
4 mins
Type
Multiple Choice
Quiz #
406,546
Updated
Dec 03 21
# Qns
10
Difficulty
Average
Avg Score
6 / 10
Plays
225
Last 3 plays: PurpleComet (7/10), HumblePie7 (2/10), Guest 82 (0/10).
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Question 1 of 10
1. Collected together at one side of the bonfire of the humanities was the earliest group of Greek philosophers. What collective term was later used to describe this group? Hint


Question 2 of 10
2. This quiz made an opening in the bonfire of the humanities and philosophers started to get out. First out was Thales, but what did he propose a theory about? Hint


Question 3 of 10
3. The bonfire of the humanities next yielded up two of the group's early philosophers who came out together still arguing about the First Cause. Which one believed it was an eternal force? Hint


Question 4 of 10
4. Ignoring their objections, the next philosopher out of the bonfire of the humanities, Pythagoras, pushed past others to emerge. About what did he advance a theory? Hint


Question 5 of 10
5. Another philosopher politely thanked this quiz for helping to save him from the bonfire of the humanities. Known for his monotheistic belief, who was this philosopher? Hint


Question 6 of 10
6. Although he had settled down fairly comfortably there, the philosopher Parmenides did leave the bonfire of the humanities and started talking about his theory. What idea did it propose? Hint


Question 7 of 10
7. Still debating over his theory involving mind with other philosophers in the bonfire of the humanities, this man was next to be helped out by this quiz. What was his name? Hint


Question 8 of 10
8. Leucippus was gasping for air as this philosopher too was pulled from the bonfire of the humanities. What did part of his theory concern? Hint


Question 9 of 10
9. The next man to crawl out of the bonfire of the humanities was one of the later philosophers of the group. He was known for his belief in a form of subjectivism but who was he? Hint


Question 10 of 10
10. The bonfire of the humanities was listing a little but several more philosophers were able to get out by making a collective push. Among them was Critias, who posited a theory about what? Hint



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Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. Collected together at one side of the bonfire of the humanities was the earliest group of Greek philosophers. What collective term was later used to describe this group?

Answer: Pre-Socratic

Greek philosophy started developing as a distinct discipline during the sixth century BCE. The first group of philosophers had their own individual ideas, but often built on the work of each other and have come to be collectively classed as Pre-Socratic philosophers. The term 'Pre-Socratic' was first used in the eighteenth century by Johann Augustus Eberhard.

Records from the time are not very complete, so exact dates are hard to determine, but it was not until over a hundred years later that this movement was superseded by others due to the influence of the philosopher Socrates.
2. This quiz made an opening in the bonfire of the humanities and philosophers started to get out. First out was Thales, but what did he propose a theory about?

Answer: The creation of the world and its contents

Greek society had been dominated by the belief, or at least acceptance, that the observable world and everything in it, including people, animals and plants, were created by multiple immortal gods. However, Pre-Socratic philosopher Thales of Miletus proposed a new theory.

Thales reasoned from what was observable in the natural world back to what caused all matter to come into existence - the originating principle or First Cause. His conclusion was that water was the First Cause because it could assume the different forms of ice, water and steam. Thales did not openly deny the existence of the gods and his ideas were not rejected, possibly because they could be interpreted as accepting that water was the medium used by the gods.
3. The bonfire of the humanities next yielded up two of the group's early philosophers who came out together still arguing about the First Cause. Which one believed it was an eternal force?

Answer: Anaximander

Thales of Miletus, known as the first Greek philosopher, believed the First Cause - the originating principle - to be water. Both Anaximenes and Anaximander were from the same area as Thales, and the three formed the first school of Pre-Socratic thought, which was named the Milesian school.

Anaximenes built on Thales' work to propose that the First Cause of creation was air, as this was the most basic component of things. It could change its form and was somehow compacted into solid matter to create the world and all life on it.

Somewhat differently, Anaximander proposed that an eternal creative force or energy, the apeiron, was the First Cause, as this was what brought different types of matter together to create different forms, and also changed and destroyed the forms.
4. Ignoring their objections, the next philosopher out of the bonfire of the humanities, Pythagoras, pushed past others to emerge. About what did he advance a theory?

Answer: Reincarnation

Pythagoras is now best known as a mathematician, but he was a Pre-Socratic philosopher as well. He founded a school and authorities agree that it is not always possible to tell whether he or his followers proposed some theories, such as a theory of numerology and the idea that by studying mathematical principles one could learn about the truth, of which they were reflections.

There seems no doubt, though, that Pythagoras did believe in the transmigration of souls and suggested that souls are immortal and progress through physical human and animal incarnations. It is less certain whether he proposed that these reincarnations continue eternally or whether the souls gradually acquire wisdom and eventually join with something higher.
5. Another philosopher politely thanked this quiz for helping to save him from the bonfire of the humanities. Known for his monotheistic belief, who was this philosopher?

Answer: Xenophanes

The Pre-Socratic philosopher Xenophanes did not agree with Pythagoras' beliefs over reincarnation of souls, suggesting that both people and souls had one life only. He also proposed the existence of a single supreme god, who was eternal and essentially unchanging. This god was not only the First Cause or creator of the world and its contents, but also governed it. Xenophanes perceived this god as pure spirit, in contrast with the physical Olympian gods.

The slightly later philosopher Heraclitus believed that not god, but perpetual change, or logos, was the prime creator. Everything was always in motion with changes taking place through the continual interaction of opposite forces or elements. This not only caused life to begin, develop and then pass away, but was responsible for such things as the change between day and night.
6. Although he had settled down fairly comfortably there, the philosopher Parmenides did leave the bonfire of the humanities and started talking about his theory. What idea did it propose?

Answer: Monism

Parmenides of Elea was a Pre-Socratic philosopher who founded the Eleatic school. His Monistic theory posited the existence of just one eternal reality or being. He believed that all observable things only appeared different and that individual things only seemed to change, but these were illusions. In reality all things were just different appearances of a single indestructible entity or reality.

Zeno was a student of Parmenides and a member of the Eleatic school, and the two worked together on the notion of illusory change. Zeno defended his teacher's ideas, devising a number of logical paradoxes which he used to prove that plurality and change were only illusions of the senses. He concluded that these illusions should be disregarded to enable understanding of the true nature of underlying reality.
7. Still debating over his theory involving mind with other philosophers in the bonfire of the humanities, this man was next to be helped out by this quiz. What was his name?

Answer: Anaxagoras

Like others of the Pre-Socratic philosophers, both Anaxagoras and Empedocles built on earlier philosophers' theories. Anaxagoras' own theory concerned opposites, as he conceived the notion of like and unalike 'seeds' or particles of matter. These small particles could be combined in different ways to form different things through an omnipresent and eternal force, which Anaxagoras named mind or intellect, and which manifested itself in motion. Because a combination of unalike particles would never be able to produce or create anything, everything was brought into existence from combinations of like particles.

Somewhat differently, Empedocles proposed that everything was created from the four elements (water, air, earth and fire). Things were brought into existence, developed and later died through the dynamic interaction of the natural forces of love and strife fighting with each other. They flourished when love predominated, but decayed when strife was in the ascendancy.
8. Leucippus was gasping for air as this philosopher too was pulled from the bonfire of the humanities. What did part of his theory concern?

Answer: Fatalism

The Pre-Socratic philosophers Leucippus and his student Democritus were influenced by Anaxagoras' 'seed' theory and developed it further. It seems that Leucippus' contributions may have sometimes been attributed to Democritus but it is agreed that both believed that the universe was made up of atoms existing in a void.

Democritus investigated the basic universal 'seed' idea further and produced a materialistic account of the natural world. In this theory the 'uncuttable' building blocks known as atamos or atoms, which made up the entire universe and all of its contents, were themselves eternal and indestructible. When one transient form they assumed, including a human one, was destroyed they re-formed differently to make another one.

It is agreed though that Leucippus had probably been the first to propose the notion of atomism. In his fatalism theory, Leucippus proposed that a person's fate was determined by how the atoms that comprised him or her combined, separated and re-formed. He further believed that these processes did not happen by chance but were preordained, so that free will was illusory.
9. The next man to crawl out of the bonfire of the humanities was one of the later philosophers of the group. He was known for his belief in a form of subjectivism but who was he?

Answer: Protagoras

Protagoras was one of the later Pre-Socratic philosophers, and was among those who earned money by lecturing and by tutoring young men in philosophy and in other subjects. These teachers became known as Sophists, and Protagoras was at least one of the first of them.

He has been accounted the first Western philosopher to have espoused subjectivism and posited that there was no final objective truth. Instead he believed that man was the 'measure of all things', because how everything appeared was subject to interpretation by the individual. An example given of this individual relativism (possibly by later philosophers) was of people experiencing a place as cold or hot according to the temperature to which they were accustomed.
10. The bonfire of the humanities was listing a little but several more philosophers were able to get out by making a collective push. Among them was Critias, who posited a theory about what?

Answer: Religion

Like Protagoras, Critias was among the later Pre-Socratic philosophers known as Sophists who were also paid lecturers and teachers of young men. Another of this group was named Gorgias, who stated that external things and objective knowledge, if they existed, were not fully knowable by humans, and that what was deemed knowledge was only opinion.

The philosopher Socrates was active during the later part of the Pre-Socratic period and Critias is accepted to have been influenced by him, but is still regarded as a Pre-Socratic philosopher. Critias' argument was that there were no gods, but that strong and clever men invented religion and its rituals to help control the lawless and immoral behaviour of others.
Source: Author misstified

This quiz was reviewed by FunTrivia editor looney_tunes before going online.
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