Slightly daunting exam questions

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Chat' started by MrsDoyle, Sep 8, 2009.

  1. MrsDoyle

    MrsDoyle Supporting Member

    Could somebody put this question in layman's terms?

    To what extent can Aquinas's Natural Law's as an absolutist and deontological theory work in today's society?

    That had me baffled on the course syllabus.

    While we're on the subject, any other really baffling exam questions?
  2. Getzonica

    Getzonica Active Member

    For one thing you don't put an 's' after an apostrophe if the noun already ends in an 's'......

    Thinking about it.... Should there be an apostrophe after law? It doesn't seen to make Amy gramatical sence.....
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2009
  3. Getzonica

    Getzonica Active Member

    Just reread my post. It should say that it doesn't make any gramatical sense....

    does that exam question actually make any sense?
  4. KMJ Recordings

    KMJ Recordings Supporting Member

    It does if you're doing a philosophy degree ;)
  5. Getzonica

    Getzonica Active Member

    True.....but does it make gramatical sense? I think there are too many apostrophes......
  6. BigHorn

    BigHorn Active Member

    Seems a pretty straight forward question to me and I don't study philosophy. You just have to know what Thomas Aquinas' Natural law philosophy is and what deontological means.
  7. KMJ Recordings

    KMJ Recordings Supporting Member

    Yep - but I think that's a typo ;)

    The question's about morals, good and evil and stuff like that.

    Apparently :cool:
  8. Getzonica

    Getzonica Active Member

    Yes....I did sort of work out what the question was about but I noticed the typos first
  9. MoominDave

    MoominDave Well-Known Member

    The answer to the important question first: actually, you are allowed to put an s after s' to indicate a plural. It's just not the most common form.

    The sainted Thomas Aquinas... A bit of work with Google turns up trumps...

    What is Aquinas' Natural Law?

    What do the two jargon-words in the question mean?

    The 2nd meaning, I imagine - "holding that values, principles, etc., are absolute and not relative, dependent, or changeable".

    Relating to "ethics, esp. that branch dealing with duty, moral obligation, and right action".

    So you could rephrase it something like:
    Is it possible to use Aquinas' Natural Law in the rigid way that it suggests as a useful moral guide in today's society?

    What is Aquinas' Natural Law? Well, I hadn't heard of it before doing my Googling, but the second link I provided gives a good framework for it, while the first link, rather more wordily, fills in the holes with some specifics.

    As my briefly-acquired understanding has it, then, it seems that what Aquinas meant by "Natural Law" was what we might call "common-sense". This quote from the first link above seems to shed some light:

    There you go - there's plenty of material to suggest interesting questions to waffle over right there. Personally, I think I'd take the line that it's all still very applicable - indeed, most of what he's done is simply to define basic human drives, selfish and co-operative - but, as a non-religious person, note that the last sentence of that quote need not be at all relevant.

    This was fun because I haven't studied this material... But I trust that as you're just starting 6th-form, and are looking at sample exam papers, then I'm not doing your homework for you?
  10. MoominDave

    MoominDave Well-Known Member

    I wonder if the Natural Law Party took inspiration from this?
  11. MrsDoyle

    MrsDoyle Supporting Member

    No... Looking at the syllabuses (syllabi?) and apparently that question in various forms has been on the paper in 2004, 2006 and 2008.

    Blame the Welsh committee in Cardiff for the apostrophes.
  12. MrsDoyle

    MrsDoyle Supporting Member

    I'll email it to you Dave as proof i'm not cheating! ;-)
  13. Getzonica

    Getzonica Active Member

    That's school we're taught not to.
  14. David Mann

    David Mann Member

    Two of my favourites from Oxbridge entrance (possibly apocryphal, I didn't sit them):

    "Is this a question"

    "Discuss the concept of style"
  15. Getzonica

    Getzonica Active Member

    Of all the GCSE exams I've taken so far (some of mine are moduler) the one I dreaded the most was the mulitple choice maths paper....
  16. MoominDave

    MoominDave Well-Known Member

    The Wikipedia article makes some interesting points:
    and incidentally seems to prefer s's over s' in most cases. It seems to me that this article reflects a more US than UK viewpoint though - look at the sources it cites in the text (The Chicago manual of style, etc.).

    Personally, I almost always go for s' rather than s's, but writing either will be understood perfectly well without making you look silly for writing it (so long as you're reasonably consistent...).
  17. Getzonica

    Getzonica Active Member

    well....I guess they do say you learn something new everyday
  18. brasscrest

    brasscrest Active Member

    (This is reflecting US practice, but I think that it is instructive nonetheless. I'm not sure how this squares with the Chicago Manual or any other authority, but it's what I've always used).

    There is a difference between a SINGULAR noun that ends in "s", such as "Aquinas", and a PLURAL noun that ends in "s", when using an apostrophe to form a possessive.

    In this case, I would write s's because there is only one Thomas Aquinas in the sentence. Writing s' implies that Aquinas is plural, which he is not.

    So, for example, if I were writing about my friend Mike Harris, it might look like this:

    Mike Harris's bass was a bit out of tune on that last piece.

    But if I were referring to Mike and his wife together, making "Harris" a plural, it would look like this:

    I have to visit the Harris' house next weekend.

    There is also an increasing tendency, especially in electronic media, to eliminate the possessive apostrophe altogether and simply treat the noun as if it were an adjective:

    I have to visit the Harris house next weekend.
  19. euph__onium

    euph__onium New Member

    "To what extent can Aquinas's Natural Law's as an absolutist and deontological theory work in today's society?"

    I've taught this for a while at A level, and I think it is asking for whether you think the Natural Law theory can work in modern day life, considering that its primary principles are fixed and unchanging-for example the Catholic teaching on contraception, based on Aquinas' Natural Law thinking, that believes preventing conception deliberately is a serious sin, as it is interfering with the primary precept of preserving life. An answer would be based around the usefulness of fixed laws, that preserve human rights and upholds the sanctity of life, compared to the rigidity of fixed laws and the risk of making unfair decisions based on fixed laws that cannot be flexible-for example, and catholic church teaching forbidding offering family planning and contraception to rape victims in Kosovo after the war.

    Hope this helps!
  20. bbg

    bbg Member

    I take it that you're not doing any English exams, Miss G?

    "mulitple"? "moduler"? and even "gramatical"?!!

    Wee tip - use the spell-checking function on your computer from time to time..........