Western Thought Homework


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) 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 Monday night. NOTE: For now, please list the period you attended during the FIRST term.  Thanks!

 

 

-Due Tuesday, January 30th


Interstitial Assignment 2: Time Travel

Ethical Puzzles of 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)

 

The Skull, by Phillip K. Dick

 

4 Scientific Theories for Actual Time Travel

 

All You Zombies, by Robert Heinlein

 

 

-Due Friday, January  19th


Hey all... I've decided to push Machiavelli back to the beginning of the next term.  Instead, we're going to focus on some interesting topics using the tools from the philosophers that we have read.  So... without any further ado:

 

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

 

 

 

-Due Wednesday, January 17th


Homework 28

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

 

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

 

 

-Due Friday, January 12th


Homework 27

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

 

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

 

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

 

-Due Tuesday, 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 2nd


Homework 25

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

 

Questions due here by 11:59, Tuesday night.

 

 

-Due Wednesday, December 20th


Homework 24

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

 

-Due Tuesday, December 19th

 

ALSO

 

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

 

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 Monday, January 1st.

 

 

-Due Tuesday, January 2nd


Homework 23

Please read Book 8 of Aristotle's Politics. Think of three questions and enter them here by 11:59pm tonight.

 

 

-Due Tuesday, December 14th


Homework 22

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

 

 

-Due Monday, December 11th


Homework 21

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

 

 

-Due Wednesday, December 6th


Homework 20

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

 

 

-Due Monday, December 4th


Homework 19

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

 

 

-Due Tuesday, November 28th


Homework 18

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

 

 

-Due Tuesday, November 21st


Homework 17

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

 

 

-Due Thursday, November 16th


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  13th

 

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 Sunday, November 19th.

 

-Due Monday, November 20th


Homework 15

Please read Book X of Plato's Republic. Think of three questions and enter them here by 11:59, Tuesday night.  Here's an article entitled "Democracies end when they are too democratic," by Andrew Sullivan--written prior to the election of Donald Trump, it's worth a read.

 

 

-Due Wednesday, November 8th


Homework 14

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

 

 

-Due Thursday, November 2nd


Homework 13

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

 

...and by popular demand, Socrates memes!

 

-Due Friday, October 27th


Homework 12

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

 

-Due Tuesday, October 24th


Homework 11

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

 

ALSO: If you haven't already done so, please turn in a check or money order made out to Stuyvesant High School for $30 to pay for our books.

 

-Due Thursday, October 19th


Homework 10

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

 

ALSO: If you haven't already done so, please turn in a check or money order made out to Stuyvesant High School for $30 to pay for our books.

 

-Due Tuesday, October 17th


Homework 9

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

 

ALSO: If you haven't already done so, please turn in a check or money order made out to Stuyvesant High School for $30 to pay for our books.

 

-Due Friday, October 13th


Homework 8

Please read Book III 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 $30.  Please pay with a check or money order made out to Stuyvesant High School.

 

-Due Tuesday, October 10th


Homework 7

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

 

 

 

-Due Thursday, October 5th


Homework 6

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

 

-Due Tuesday, October 3rd

 

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, Monday night.

 

-Due Tuesday, October 10th


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 today's New York Times "The Dying Art of Disagreement."

 

 

-Due Friday, September 29th


Homework 4

Please read Plato's Apology. We will discuss on Wednesday and Thursday.   Think of three questions and enter them into this form. Please do so before 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 27th


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 25th


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 Tuesday, September 19th


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 15th


Homework 1

(1) Check out this brief history of Athens. Also, look at this very brief overview of Athenian democracy

 

-DUE Tomorrow (September 12th)

 

(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 tomorrow night.

 

-Due Wednesday, September 13th


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, and you were in my sixth period class, the folder would be entitled: David Hume 6, 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 Monday.

 

 

ALSO

 

This Monday 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!

 

FINALLY

 

I'm not usually one to post scholarship stuff, but this one seems pretty good: the Jack Kent Cook foundation pays $40,000 a year and is for seniors with some financial need. Here's a link with more info--though the application process doesn't open until Thursday, September 14th

 

-Due Monday, September 11th


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 8th