Western Thought Homework


Optional Final Assignment

If you wish, write me an essay of 2-3 pages (though you can go a bit longer if necessary) about a topic of your choice.  It is suggested that you write either about Nietzsche and Beyond Good and Evil or a summary of how the readings and the discussions of the course have shaped your thinking and (perhaps?) changed your outlook.

 

If you want to do this, please upload it into our shared Dropbox by June 16th.  Please express at the beginning of the paper if you want me to grade it or not grade it.

 

-Due Friday, June 16th


Homework 61

Continue in Nietzsche's Beyond Good and Evil.  Please read Part 9 and the Aftersong.

 

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

 

 

-Due Tuesday, June 6th


Homework 60

Continue in Nietzsche's Beyond Good and Evil.  Please read Part 8.

 

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

 

 

-Due Friday, June 2nd


Homework 59

Continue in Nietzsche's Beyond Good and Evil.  Please read Part 7.

 

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

 

 

-Due Wednesday, May 31st


Homework 58

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

 

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

 

 

-Due Friday, May 26th


Homework 57

Continue in Nietzsche's Beyond Good and Evil.  Please read Part 4 AND 5.

 

Please enter questions here before 11:59pm Tuesday night. Note that there is a special section to list your favorite epigram.

 

 

-Due Wednesday, May 24th


Homework 56

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

 

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

 

 

-Due Monday, May 22nd


Homework 55

We are going to begin Nietzsche's Beyond Good and Evil.  Please read Part 2.

 

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

 

 

-Due Thursday, May 18th


Homework 54

We are going to begin Nietzsche's Beyond Good and Evil.  Please read Part 1.

 

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

 

 

-Due Tuesday, May 16th


Homework 53

We are finishing On Liberty. Here is the final section, which can be found on pp. 100-124.  Or, if you prefer, listen to it (mp3 courtesy of Librivox.org)

 

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

 

-Due Friday, May 12th


Homework 52

Please read Chapter Four of On Liberty, which can be found on pp. 79-99.  Or, if you prefer, listen to it (mp3 courtesy of Librivox.org). 

 

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, May 10th


Homework 51

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

 

Please enter questions here before 11:59 Sunday night.

 

-Due Monday, May 8th


Homework 50

Please read Chapter Two of On Liberty, which can be found on pp. 16-57. Or, if you prefer, listen to it (Chapter 2, Part 1, Chapter 2, Part 2,)

 

Please enter questions here before 11:59 Wednesday night.

 

 

 

 

-Due Thursday, May 4th


Homework 49

We are starting John Stuart Mill's On Liberty. Please read the first section, "Introductory," which can be found on pp. 3-16.  You can also find it online here .  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.

 

ALSO: Here's and interesting and topical piece from the New York Times's "The Stone": a Q&A entitled "What's Wrong with Inequality?" featuring Elizabeth Anderson.

 

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

 

-Due Tuesday, May 2nd


Homework 48

Please finish the Communist Manifesto (p.29-41). Book can be found here

 

Please enter questions here before 11:59 Thursday night.

 

 

-Due Friday, April 28th


Homework 47

Please read the second section of the Communist Manifesto--Proletarians and Communists. Book can be found here

 

Please enter questions here before before 11:59 Tuesday 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.

 

-Due Wednesday, April 26th


Homework 46

We are beginning Marx and Engels--The Communist Manifesto--please read from page 5 (the intro) up to page 19--"Bourgeois and Proletarians." Here is a PDF of the whole book

 

Please enter questions here before 11:59 Sunday night.

 

-Due Monday, April 24th


Homework 45

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

 

Please enter questions here before 11:59 Wednesday night.

 

My trip to Taiwan can be seen if you add my Snapchat, which is polazzo_journey.  Please don't let me see the embarrassing/horrible/illegal things you do!

 

-Due Thursday, April 20th


Film Suggestion

If you want to help choose a film for next week, please fill out this form.


Homework 44

Please read Book Three of the Social Contract--pages 60-109. (The whole book as a PDF is here). 

 

Please enter questions here before 11:59 Sunday night.

 

 

-Due Monday, April 3rd


Homework 43

Please read Book Two of the Social Contract--pages 26-57. (The whole book as a PDF is here). 

 

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

 

-Due Thursday, March 30th


Homework 42

Please read Book One of Rousseau's Social Contract--pages 1-23.  If you want the PDF, it can be found here

 

AND: Proof that our class will make you happy?

 

Please enter questions here before 11:59 Monday night

 

-Due Tuesday, March 28th

 

ALSO:

 

Reflection Essay 5

 

 

 

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, April 3rd.  Please save it as a PDF entitled Your Name, Essay 5 and upload it to our shared Dropbox account by 11:59pm, Sunday night.

 

-Due Monday, April 3rd


Homework 41

We are finishing Locke.  Please read from page 98 to the end of the book.  Or you can check out the PDF here.

 

Please enter questions here before 11:59 Wednesday night

 

-Due Thursday, March 23rd


Homework 40

We are continuing with Locke.  Please read pages 67-98 in your book.  Or you can check out the PDF here.

 

Please enter questions here before 11:59 Monday night

 

-Due Tuesday, March 21st

 

ALSO: Check out this interesting article by a theoretical physicist about the feasibility of time travel--it hits on many of the themes from our earlier discussions on the matter.


Homework 39

We are continuing with Locke.  Please read pages 28-66 in your book.  Or you can check out the PDF here.

 

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

 

-Due Wednesday, March 15th. 

 

In the event of a snow day, questions will be due before 11:59pm on Wednesday night.


Homework 38

We are beginning John Locke's Second Treatise.  Please read pages 1-27 in your book.  Or you can check out the PDF here.

 

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

 

-Due Monday, March 13th


Homework 37

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

 

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

 

 

-Due Thursday, March 9th


Homework 36

Here is the third reading from Hobbes's Leviathan.

 

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

 

 

-Due Monday, March 6th


Homework 35

Here is the second reading from Leviathan.

 

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

 

 

-Due Wednesday, March 1st


Homework 34

Here is the first reading from Hobbes's Leviathan.

 

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

 

 

-Due Thursday, February 16th

 

 

AND

 

Reflection Essay 4

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! Please write an essay of two to three pages (DOUBLE SPACED).  Please save it as a PDF entitled Your Name, Essay 4 and upload it to your Dropbox account by 11:59pm on the night of Sunday, February 26th.

 

-Due Monday, February 27th

 


Homework 33

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

 

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

 

-Due Tuesday, February 14th


Homework 32

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

 

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

 

IMPORTANT: From this point on, please enter the period that you are NOW IN (for the Spring term)

 

-Due Thursday, February 9th


Homework 31

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

 

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

 

-Due Monday, February 6th


Homework 30

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

 

Please enter questions here before 11:59pm tonight

 

-Due Thursday, February 2nd


Homework 29

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 26 (the end of Chapter 6) For those who want to read Machiavelli's description of Cesare Borgia's slaughter at Senigallia, it is 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 Monday night. NOTE: For now, please list the period you attended during the FIRST term.  Thanks!

 

 

-Due Tuesday, January 31st


Interstitial Assignment 3: Aliens!

The Fermi Paradox

 

 

-Due Monday, January  23rd


Interstitial Assignment 2a: Time Travel

The Skull, by Phillip K. Dick

 

4 Scientific Theories for Actual Time Travel

 

Ethical Puzzles of Time Travel

 

All You Zombies, by Robert Heinlein

 

 

-Due Friday, January  20th


Interstitial Assignment 2: Time Travel

Do I Have The Right to Be?

 

Science Solves the Grandfather Paradox 

 

Space and Time Warps by Stephen Hawking

 

The Sound of Thunder--a short story about time travel by Ray Bradbury (you can ignore the discussion questions at the end)

 

 

-Due Thursday, January  19th


Interstitial Assignment 1a

Universal Basic Income (UBI)--is it a great idea or a bad one?  Here's a piece from last year's Economist weighing the pros and cons. And... what might a world without work look like?  The Truth and Planet Money present The Last Job.

 

 

-Due Wednesday, January 18th


Interstitial Assignment 1: Rise of the Machines

Check out this video: Humans Need Not Apply

 

Also from the Wait But Why blog: The AI Revolution: The Road to Superintelligence part 1 and part 2

 

And here's the form for you to give me ideas for further discussion topics for next week:

 

 

 

-Due Tuesday, January 17th


Homework 28

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

 

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

 

 

-Due Wednesday, January 11th


Homework 27

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

 

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

 

 

-Due Friday, January 6th


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! 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 Sunday, January 8th.

 

-Due Monday, January 9th


Homework 26

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

 

Think of three questions and enter them here by 11:59, (next) Monday night.

 

-Due Tuesday, January 3rd


Homework 25

Please read these excerpts from Augustine's City of God.

 

Questions due here by 11:59, Monday night.

 

 

-Due Tuesday, December 20th


Homework 24

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

 

-Due Thursday, December 15th


Homework 23

Please read Book 7 and 8 of Aristotle's Politics. Think of three questions and enter them here by 11:59, Monday night

 

-Due Tuesday, December 13th   


Homework 22

Please read Book 6 of Aristotle's Politics. Think of three questions and enter them here by 11:59, Thursday night

 

-Due Friday, December 9th   


Homework 21

Please read Book 5 of Aristotle's Politics. Think of three questions and enter them here by 11:59, Monday night

 

-Due Tuesday, December 6th   


Homework 20

Please read Book 4 of Aristotle's Politics. Think of three questions and enter them here by 11:59, Wednesday night

 

-Due Thursday, December 1st   


Homework 19

Please read Book 3 of Aristotle's Politics. Think of three questions and enter them here by 11:59, Sunday night

 

-Due Monday, November 28th


Homework 18

Please read Book 2 of Aristotle's Politics. Think of three questions and enter them here by 11:59, Sunday night

 

-Due Monday, November 21st


Homework 17

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, Tuesday night

 

ALSO: This article is from May, but it's eerily prophetic and references Republic quite a bit.

 

 

-Due Wednesday, November  16th

 

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! 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 Sunday, November 20.

 

-Due Monday, November 21st


Homework 16

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

 

-Due Thursday, November 10thz`


Homework 15

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

 

AND: The Unique Merger that Made You (and Ewe, and Yew).  Maybe the most interesting science article of 2014--"All sophisticated life on the planet Earth may owe its existence to one freakish event."

 

 

-Due Monday, November 7th


Homework 14

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

 

 

-Due Thursday, November 3rd


Homework 13

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

 

 

-Due Tuesday, November 1st


Homework 12

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

 

 

-Due Thursday, October 27th


Homework 11

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

 

 

-Due Monday, October 24th


Homework 10

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

 

 

-Due Wednesday, October 19th


Homework 9

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

 

 

-Due Monday, October 17th


Homework 8

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

 

ALSO: I need you to pay me for the books that I have distributed.  You should have received Plato's Republic, Aristotle's Politics and Machiavelli's Prince; the total cost is $32.  Please pay with a check or money order made out to Stuyvesant High School.

 

 

-Due Tuesday, October 11th


Homework 7

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

 

-Due Wednesday, October 5th

 

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 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, Monday night.

 

-Due Tuesday, October 11th


Homework 6

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

 

 

-Due Wednesday, September 28th


Homework 5

Please start reading Plato's Apology. We will discuss on Monday and Tuesday.   Think of three questions and enter them into this form. Please do so before 11:59pm Sunday 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 Monday, September 26th


Homework 4

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, Wednesday night.

 

-Due Thursday, September 22nd


Homework 3

Please read the following article (PDF) on the Presocratics. This is taken from the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.  Please think of three questions and enter them into this form by 11:59pm, Monday night.

 

ALSO, check out these cartoons about the Presocratics. 

 

-Due Tuesday, September 20th


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 tomorrow (Thursday) night.

 

-Due Friday, September 18th


Homework 1

Please read the Funeral Oration of Pericles.  Think of three questions and enter them into this form!  Please do so before 11:59pm tonight.

 

-Due Wednesday, September 16th


Homework

You should do the following:

 

1) Make sure you have a Dropbox account--if you've entered your information into the Google form, and you don't have a Dropbox account, you will have received an invitation from me to create one.

 

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

 

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

 

4) All uploaded data is due by the start of your class on Tuesday.

 

 

ALSO

 

This Sunday is the anniversary of the September 11th attacks.  These actions triggered many debates about the appropriateness of vengeance and a discussion on justice in the philosophical community.  To that end, please read two short pieces "The Cycle of Revenge," by Simon Critchley--published in the New York Times's The Stone section and an article by Thane Rosenbaum entitled "The Nonexistent Line Between Justice and Revenge." If you want more info, you can listen to or read this interview with Rosenbaum on NPR.  Be prepared to discuss!

 

-Due Tuesday, September 13th


Homework

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

 

 

-Due Friday, September 9th