Western Thought Homework


Homework 59

Please read Part 6 in Nietzsche's Beyond Good and Evil.

 

Please enter questions here before 11:59pm Thursday night.

 

 

-Due Friday, June 5th


Homework 58

Please read Part 5 in Nietzsche's Beyond Good and Evil.

 

Please enter questions here before 11:59pm Monday night.

 

 

-Due Tuesday, June 2nd


Homework 57

Please read Part 4 in Nietzsche's Beyond Good and Evil.

 

Please enter questions here before 11:59pm Thursday night.

 

 

-Due Friday, May 29th


Homework 56

Please read Part 3 in Nietzsche's Beyond Good and Evil.

 

Please enter questions here before 11:59pm Monday night.

 

 

-Due Tuesday, May 26th


Homework 55

Please read Part 2 in Nietzsche's Beyond Good and Evil.

 

Please enter questions here before 11:59pm Thursday night.

 

 

-Due Friday, May 22nd


Homework 54

We are beginning our final book--Nietzsche's Beyond Good and Evil.  Please read Part 1.

 

Please enter questions here before 11:59pm tonight

 

-Due Wednesday, May 20th

 

 

Reflection Essay 8

What is your reaction to John Stuart Mill's On Liberty?  How did it make you feel?  Did it change your mind or challenge any of your previously held notions about the world? Did you agree with Mill's main arguments? Make sure you anchor your statements in the text!

 

Tips

-Please remember to proofread your paper!  Reread it, or have a friend read it.

-Use clear, simple and easy to read sentences.

-Don't be afraid to assert your own opinion.

 

Please write an essay of two to three pages (DOUBLE SPACED).  Please save it as a PDF entitled Your Name, Essay 8 and upload it to your Dropbox account by 11:59pm on the night of Sunday, May 24th.

 

 

-Due Monday, May 25th


Homework 53

Before we get into Nietzsche, it's worth getting a sense of what he was reacting against.  First, Immanuel Kant.  Kant's most important epistemological contribution is his doctrine of "synthetic a priori" statements.  But what does that mean?  Here's a pretty good video (though where this guys uses the word "empirical," most use a posteriori). Here are three other good videos that go into these concepts in more detail.

 

Finally, here's an excerpt from the man himself (thanks Ayham for providing the PDF)

 

-Due Friday, May 15th


Homework 52

We are finishing On Liberty. Please read chapter five, which can be found on pp. 100-124.  Or, if you prefer, listen to Chapter 5 on Librivox.

 

Please enter questions here before 11:59 Thursday night.

 

-Due Friday, May 8th


Homework 51

Please read Chapter Four On Liberty, which can be found on pp. 79-99.  Or, if you prefer, listen to Chapter 4  on Librivox. 

 

ALSO:  The return of Hobbes's leviathan.

 

Please enter questions here before 11:59 Monday night.

 

-Due Tuesday, May 5th


Homework 50

Please read Chapter Three of On Liberty, which can be found on pp. 58-78.  Or, if you prefer, listen to Chapter 3 on Librivox.

 

Please enter questions here before 11:59 Tuesday night. Note that this homework contains an extra field--name one social convention that you'd like to get rid of!

 

-Due Wednesday, April 29th


Homework 49

Please read the second part of Chapter Two of On Liberty, pp. 35-57. Or, if you prefer, listen to it (Chapter 2, Part 2).

 

Please enter questions here before 11:59 Thursday night.

 

 

-Due Friday, April 24th


Homework 48

Please read the first part of Chapter Two of On Liberty, pp. 16-35 (Up to "Let us now pass to the second division..."). Or, if you prefer, listen to it (Chapter 2, Part 1)

 

Please enter questions here before 11:59 Tuesday night.

 

 

-Due Wednesday, April 22nd


Homework 47

We are starting John Stuart Mill's On Liberty. Please read the first section, "Introductory," which can be found on pp. 1-16.  If you prefer, you can listen to it (mp3 courtesy of Librivox.org)--though this is slower than reading, I find.

 

Related to Mill, here's an argument that is IS acceptable to deny a platform to "hate speech." And here's an attack on that argument.

 

 

Please enter questions here before before 11:59 Sunday night.

 

-Due Monday, April 20th

 

ALSO:

 

 

Reflection Essay 7

Having read The Social Contract and The Communist Manifesto, who do you think made the better arguments about human society, political power and government?  How did these arguments make you feel?  Did any of them change your mind or challenge any of your previously held notions about the world?  Please write an essay of two to three pages by Monday, April 20th.  Please save it as a PDF entitled Your Name, Essay 7 and upload it to our shared Dropbox account by 11:59pm, Sunday night.

 

As usual:

 

-Please remember to proofread your paper!  Reread it, or have a friend read it.

-Use clear, simple and easy to read sentences.

-Don't be afraid to assert your own opinion.

-Use direct quotes from the text!

 

 

 

-Due Monday, April  20th


Homework 46

Please finish the Communist Manifesto (pp. 20-41).

 

Please enter questions here before before 11:59 Sunday night.

 

ALSO: Check out this New York Times "Room for Debate" on the question "Was Marx Right?"

 

AND: Your brain on love--similar to your brain on drugs.

 

ADDITIONALLY: Interesting piece by Cass Sunstein on choice.

 

FINALLY: This piece is about a man who was hit on the head, transforming him into a math prodigy. Hiding here is perhaps a way to perceive "threeness" without picturing three of something or the number three.

 

 

-Due Monday, April 6th


Homework 45

We are beginning Marx and Engels--The Communist Manifesto--please read from page 5 (the intro) up to page 19--"Bourgeois and Proletarians."

 

Please enter questions here before 11:59 Tuesday night.

 

-Due Wednesday, April 1st


Homework 44

Please read Book Four of the Social Contract--pages 112-146. (The whole book as a PDF is here). 

 

Please enter questions here before 11:59 Wednesday night.

 

 

Here's a really interesting interview with Thane Rosenbaum from la couple of years ago about his book Payback: The Case for Revenge.

 

-Due Thursday, March 26th


Homework 43

Please read Book Three of the Social Contract--pages 60-109.

 

Please enter questions here before 11:59 Thursday night.

 

 

-Due Monday, March 23rd


Homework 42

Please read Book Two of the Social Contract--pages 26-57.

 

Please enter questions here before 11:59pm Sunday night.

 

-Due Wednesday, March 18th


Online Class Information--IMPORTANT

 Hello fellow plaguesters.  I hope that you are all doing fine out there and engaging in social distancing!  Regardless of whether schools are open or closed next week, I will not be there and I suggest that you not be there as well.  My plan is to carry on with the curriculum as before, except instead of in-person lectures, I'm going to be doing things on Zoom.  As before, all work will be submitted, graded and returned on Dropbox. 

 

As far as Zoom lectures are concerned, my plan is as follows:

10am-11am: coronavirus news and updates.  This meeting is optional, but designed to (a) share news and resources and (b) keep coronavirus talk from hijacking all the other course material.

11am-noon: AP Comparative Government

1:30-2:30: Western Political Thought

 

I intend to start this schedule tomorrow!

 

I am not sure if you need to have a Zoom account, but it would probably make things easier if you had one.  They are at zoom.us.  The Slack group is proving to be a great resource to share articles, information and cat memes, so if you haven't already done so, please accept the invitation and join the group!  While I will try to keep my site updated, I'm on Slack all the time and there you can get newer updates.  Most importantly, I will be sharing the Zoom invite codes to the Slack group.  At the moment, Zoom is limiting me to 40 minute meetings, but I have applied for a free K-12 waiver.  If I don't have it by Monday, we'll probably have to quit after 40 minutes and rejoin.  It'll be a slight pain, but not impossible. 

 

Obviously, we are all under a lot of pressure, so if you can't make the meetings I will understand. Still, if you could make every effort to attend, it would be great.

 

Stay safe out there.  And should things seem dark, remember the following mantra:

 

I must not fear.

Fear is the mind-killer.

Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.

I will face my fear.

I will permit it to pass over me and through me.

And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path.

Where the fear has gone there will be nothing.

Only I will remain.


Coronavirus Stuff

 Hey all.  If you are in my class, you should have received a Slack invite in your stuy.edu email. When you get a chance, please accept and download the Slack app for your phone.  This will enable us to communicate in real time.  Let's all remember to keep things civil and let's also try to remain calm.  Once you accept the invitation, please edit your profile and enter in your name (the default is just your e-mail address).  I'm creating channels for each class, so you can join your group.

 

The main idea of the group is for me to share work and articles with you and also to facilitate communication.  If school is actually cancelled, or even if it isn't, I'm going to try to do a virtual class using Zoom or some other platform.  I'll give updates on this once I figure out more.

 

In case you are interested, I wrote an editorial in today's New York Daily News--it can be found here.

 

ALSO: I do intend to get back to the actual curriculum, so starting next week, expect updates on the reading and other relevant sources.

 

CORONAVIRUS UPDATES

Coronavirus: no good options.

Why you must act now.

The New York Times coronavirus update page.

CDC worst case scenario.

How will coronavirus permanently change the world?


Homework 41

Please read Book One of Rousseau's Social Contract--pages 1-23.

 

Please enter questions here before 11:59 Tuesday night

 

-Due Thursday, March 12th

 

 

AND: Proof that our class will make you happy?

 

 

ALSO:

 

Reflection Essay 6

 

 

Having read John Locke and Thomas Hobbes, who do you think made the better argument about commonwealths and the state of nature?  How did these arguments make you feel?  Did any of them change your mind or challenge any of your previously held notions about the world?  Please write an essay of two to three pages by Monday, March 23rd.  Please save it as a PDF entitled Your Name, Essay 5 and upload it to our shared Dropbox account by 11:59pm, Sunday night.

 

As usual:

 

-Please remember to proofread your paper!  Reread it, or have a friend read it.

-Use clear, simple and easy to read sentences.

-Don't be afraid to assert your own opinion.

-Use direct quotes from the text!

 

 

-Due Monday, March 23rd


Homework 40

We are finishing Locke.  Please read from page 98 to the end of the book. 

 

Please enter questions here before 11:59 Sunday night.

 

-Due Monday, March 9th


Homework 39

We are continuing with Locke.  Please read pages 67-98 in your book. 

 

Please enter questions here before 11:59 Monday night

 

-Due Tuesday, March 4th


Homework 38

We are continuing with Locke.  Please read pages 28-66 in your book. 

 

Please enter questions here before 11:59pm Tuesday night.

 

-Due Thursday, February 27th. 


Homework 37

We are beginning John Locke's Second Treatise.  Please read pages 1-27 in your book. 

 

Please enter questions here before before 11:59pm Sunday night

 

-Due Monday, February 24th


Homework 36

Here is the fourth (and final) reading from Hobbes's Leviathan.

 

Please enter questions here before 11:59pm Tuesday night.

 

 

-Due Wednesday, February 12th


Homework 35

Here is the third reading from Hobbes's Leviathan.

 

Please enter questions on the third reading here before 11:59pm Sunday night.

 

 

 

-Due Monday, February  10th


Homework 34

Here is the second reading from Leviathan.

 

Please enter questions on the second reading here before 11:59pm Wednesday night.

 

 

 

-Due Thursday, February 6th


Homework 33

Here is the first reading from Hobbes's Leviathan.

 

Please enter questions on the first reading here before 11:59pm Sunday night.

 

 

-Due Monday, February 3rd

 

 

AND

 

Reflection Essay 5

What is your reaction to Machiavelli's Prince?  How did it make you feel?  Did it change your mind or challenge any of your previously held notions about the world? Make sure you anchor your statements in the text!

 

Tips

-Please remember to proofread your paper!  Reread it, or have a friend read it.

-Use clear, simple and easy to read sentences.

-Don't be afraid to assert your own opinion.

 

Please write an essay of two to three pages (DOUBLE SPACED).  Please save it as a PDF entitled Your Name, Essay 5 and upload it to your Dropbox account by 11:59pm on the night of Sunday, February 9th.

 

-Due Monday, February 10th


Homework 32

Please read The Prince, from Chapter 21 (p. 94) to the end of the book (p. 112).

 

Please enter questions here before 11:59pm Wednesday night.

 

-Due Thursday, January 30th


Homework 31

Please read The Prince, from Chapter 17 (p. 71) to the end of Chapter 20 (p. 93).

 

Please enter questions here before 11:59pm Monday night.

 

-Due Tuesday, January 28th


Homework 30

Please read The Prince, from Chapter 11 (p. 49) to the end of Chapter 16 (p. 70).

 

Please enter questions here before 11:59pm Tuesday night.

 

-Due Wednesday, January 15th


Homework 29

Please read The Prince, from Chapter 7 (p. 28) to the end of Chapter 10 (p. 48).

 

Please enter questions here before 11:59pm Sunday night .

 

-Due Tuesday, January 14th


Homework 28

We are moving on to Machiavelli. For background, please read the timeline entitled "The World of Niccolo Machiavelli and the Prince," on page ix of our book. Also, please read the introduction (though it is about 30 pages, they go quickly).

 

Read The Prince, from page 5 (the dedicatory letter) up to page 27 (the end of Chapter 6) Also, please read Machiavelli's description of Cesare Borgia's slaughter at Senigallia, found here (entitled "A description of the methods adopted by the Duke Valentino when murdering Vitellozzo Vitelli, Oliverotto da Fermo, the Signor Pagolo, and the Duke di Gravina Orsini").  

 

Please enter questions here before 11:59pm Wednesday night.

 

 

-Due Thursday, January 9th

 

AND

 

Reflection Essay 4

What is your reaction to the excerpts from Augustine's City of God?  How did they make you feel?  Did they change your mind or challenge any of your previously held notions about the world? Make sure you anchor your statements in the text!

 

Tips

-Please remember to proofread your paper!  Reread it, or have a friend read it.

-Use clear, simple and easy to read sentences.

-Don't be afraid to assert your own opinion.

 

 

Please write an essay of two to three pages (DOUBLE SPACED).  Please save it as a PDF entitled Your Name, Essay4 and upload it to your Dropbox account by 11:59pm on the night of January 12th.

 

-Due Monday, January 13th


Homework 27

Please read the fourth (and final) excerpt from Augustine's City of God.

 

Questions due here by 11:59pm, Monday night.

 

 

-Due Tuesday, January 7th


Homework 26

Please read the third excerpt from Augustine's City of God.

 

Think of three questions and enter them here by 11:59pm,  Wednesday night.

 

Also, check out this interesting piece from The New Yorker: What if parents loved strangers' children as much as their own?

 

-Due Thursday, January 2nd


Homework 25

Please read the second excerpt from Augustine's City of God.

 

Think of three questions and enter them here by 11:59, Sunday night

 

-Due Tuesday, December 17th


Homework 24

We are beginning a short unit on Augustine.  Please check out Augustine the African in preparation for class. 

 

Also, please read these excerpts from Augustine's City of God.

 

Questions due here by 11:59, Wednesday night.

 

-Due Thursday, December 12th


Homework 23

Please read from p. 192 to the end of Book 8 (p. 216)

 

Please enter questions here by 11:59, Thursday night

 

 

-Due Monday, December 9th

 

AND

 

Reflection Essay 3

What is your reaction to Aristotle's Politics?  How did it make you feel?  Did it change your mind or challenge any of your previously held notions about the world? Make sure you anchor your statements in the text!

 

Tips

-Please remember to proofread your paper!  Reread it, or have a friend read it.

-Use clear, simple and easy to read sentences.

-Don't be afraid to assert your own opinion.

-If you want to disagree with Aristotle, that's okay, but you should have a reasonably good idea of what he believes if you want to argue against him.

 

Please write an essay of two to three pages (DOUBLE SPACED).  Please save it as a PDF entitled Your Name, Essay 3 and upload it to your Dropbox account by 11:59pm on the night of December 15th.

 

-Due Monday, December 16th


Homework 22

Please read pp. 171 to 192 (up to 1332b14).  Note that this is not the entirety of Book 7!

 

Please enter questions here by 11:59, Tuesday night

 

 

-Due Wednesday, December 4th


Homework 21

Please read Book 6 of Aristotle's Politics.

 

Please enter questions here by 11:59, Tuesday night

 

 

-Due Wednesday, November  27th


Homework 20

Please read Book 5 of Aristotle's Politics.

 

Please enter questions here by 11:59, Thursday night

 

 

-Due Friday, November  22nd


Homework 19

Please read Book 4 of Aristotle's Politics.

 

Please enter questions here by 11:59, Tuesday night

 

 

-Due Wednesday, November  19th


Homework 18

Please read Book 3 of Aristotle's Politics.

 

Please enter questions here by 11:59, Thursday night

 

 

-Due Friday, November  15th


Homework 17

Please read Book 2 of Aristotle's Politics.

 

Please enter questions here by 11:59, Monday night

 

 

-Due Tuesday, November  12th


Homework 16

We are beginning to read Aristotle's Politics.  Please read Book 1 (this reading should be about 26 pages).

 

Please enter questions here by 11:59, Sunday night

 

 

-Due Monday, November  4th


Homework 15

Please read Book X of Plato's Republic. Think of three questions and enter them here by 11:59, Tuesday night. 

 

 

-Due Wednesday, October 30th

 

Also...

 

Reflection Essay 2

What is your reaction to Plato's Republic?  How did it make you feel?  Did it change your mind or challenge any of your previously held notions about the world? Make sure you anchor your statements in the text!

 

Tips

-Please remember to proofread your paper!  Reread it, or have a friend read it.

-Use clear, simple and easy to read sentences.

-Don't be afraid to assert your own opinion.

 

Please write an essay of two to three pages (DOUBLE SPACED).  Please save it as a PDF entitled Your Name, Essay 2 and upload it to your Dropbox account by 11:59pm on the night of Tuesday, November 5th.

 

-Due Wednesday, November 6th


Homework 14

Please read Book IX of Plato's Republic. Think of three questions and enter them here by 11:59, Monday night.

 

-Due Tuesday, November 13th


Homework 14

Please read Book IX of Plato's Republic. Think of three questions and enter them here by 11:59 Sunday night. Also, please read this piece by Andrew Sullivan from 2016: Democracies end when they are too democratic.

 

 

-Due Monday, October 28th


Homework 13

Please read Book VIII of Plato's Republic. Think of three questions and enter them here by 11:59 Tuesday night.

 

 

-Due Wednesday, October 23rd


Homework 12

Please read Book VII of Plato's Republic. Think of three questions and enter them here by 11:59 Sunday night.

 

 

-Due Monday, October 21st


Homework 11

Please read Book VI of Plato's Republic. Think of three questions and enter them here by 11:59 Wednesday night.

 

 

-Due Thursday, October 17th


Homework 10

Please read Book V of Plato's Republic. Think of three questions and enter them here by 11:59 Thursday night.

 

 

-Due Friday, October 11th


Homework 9

Please read Book IV of Plato's Republic. Think of three questions and enter them here by 11:59 Monday night.

 

 

-Due Tuesday, October 8th


Homework 8

Please read Book III of Plato's Republic. Think of three questions and enter them here by 11:59 Thursday night.

 

 

-Due Friday, October 4th


Homework 7

Please read Book II of Plato's Republic. Think of three questions and enter them here by 11:59, Thursday night.

 

 

 

-Due Friday, September 27th


Homework 6

Please read Book I of Plato's Republic  Think of three questions and enter them here by 11:59pm, Tuesday night.

 

-Due Wednesday, September 25th

 

Also:

 

Reflection Essay 1

What is your reaction to the Socratic dialogues (Meno, Apology and Crito)?  How did they make you feel?  Did they change your mind or challenge any of your previously held notions about the world?  Please write an essay of two to three pages (DOUBLE SPACED) for NEXT Tuesday.  Though this is expected to be a casual essay, I still want to see you excerpting and reacting to specific arguments or points in the texts.

 

Please save it as a PDF entitled Your Name, Essay 1 and upload it to your Dropbox account by 12 midnight, Tuesday night.

 

-Due Wednesday, October 2nd


Homework 5

Please start reading Plato's Crito. Please enter your three questions into this form by 11:59pm, Thursday night.

 

Also check out this piece from the New York Times: "The Dying Art of Disagreement."

 

 

-Due Friday, September 20th


Homework 4

Please read Plato's Apology. Please enter your three questions into this form by 11:59pm, Tuesday night. Here's a much shorter version of the Apology in comic form!

 

ALSO: For those of you who wonder whether formal logic can be used to prove mathematics, we proudly present "Harry Potter and the Set of All Sets the Do Not Contain Themselves."

 

 

-Due Wednesday, September 18th


Homework 3

Please read Plato's Meno.  It is 36 pages long, but I think you'll find it's pretty entertaining reading.  Please enter your three questions into this form by 11:59pm, Sunday night.

 

-Due Monday, September 16th


Homework (No number)

Please read the following article (PDF) on the Presocratics. This is taken from the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. 

 

ALSO, check out these cartoons about the Presocratics. 

 

-Due Friday, September 13th


Homework 2

Please read the Melian Dialogue from Thucydides's History of the Peloponnesian War. Think of three questions and enter them into this form. Please do so before 11:59pm tonight.

 

-Due Wednesday, September 11th

 

 


Homework 1

(1) Historia Civilis is a neat YouTube channel that has videos about ancient topics.  They did an excellent video explaining the rise of Athens's democracy.  Watch it here. Also, please read this brief history of Athens. Also, look at this very short overview of Athenian democracy, which fills in some of the holes in the video.

 

-Due Monday, September 9th

 

(2) Please read the Funeral Oration of Pericles.  Think of three questions about the Oration and enter them into this form!  Please do so before 11:59pm Monday night.

 

-Due Tuesday, September 10th


Homework

Please go to this form and enter in all information!  Please read this comic. And also this comic. Be prepared to discuss!

 

ALSO:

 

1) Make sure you have a Dropbox account!

 

2) Share a folder with me.  The format should be as follows:  If your name were Friedrich Nietzsche, the folder would be entitled: Friedrich Nietzsche, WPT .  My e-mail address for sharing is mpolazzo@gmail.com

 

3) Upload a headshot (not a whole body picture) of yourself that (a) is not too large and (b) actually looks like you. Place it in the shared folder. Name it friedrichnietzsche.jpg (substitute your first and last names).  Please note that all headshots should be in JPEG form!

 

 

-Due Friday, September 6th