Fall 2015: Critical Reading and Writing on Human Nature

Class Time, Location: M/W/F 12pm-12:50pm, C 3055

Office Hours: M/W/F 11:00-12:00pm and by appointment, AA3040

e-mail: pgratton@mun.ca

Syllabus

Class Cancellations: If class is cancelled for any reason, the cancellation will be posted under the cancellations section of the main page of the Memorial University website.

Also note, the schedule on the syllabus may be updated during the semester, thus you should keep track of assignments, essays, etc., on this site below.

 

Date Reading
Sept 9 Course introduction
Sept 11 Plato’s Apology: read first half, until Socrates begins to ask questions of Meletus.

Resources:

  1. BBC In Our TimesSocrates (podcast)
Sept 14 Plato’s Apology: read second half
Sept 16 Plato’s Apology cont’d; Read MUN’s guide on plagiarism: http://www.mun.ca/writingcentre/plagiarism/
Sept 18 Argumentative Fallacies: Appendix I in A Rulebook for Arguments
Sept 21 Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics, Book I, chapters 1-4

Rulebook for Arguments, chapter 1.

Resources: 

  1. Aristotle Prof’s opening lecture and overview.

2. Nigel Warburton, Philosophy Classics, Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics (podcast) 

Sept 23 Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics, Book I, chapters 6-end

First Quiz on argumentative fallacies (5 points)

Sept 25 Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics, Book II
Sep 28 Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics, Book III
Sep 30 Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics, Book VI, chapters 1-12
Oct 2
  1. Continued discussion Aristotle
Oct 5  Continued discussion of Aristotle
Oct 7 Descartes, Meditations on First Philosophy, 1st Meditation

Rulebook for Arguments, chapter 2.

Resources:

  1. Philosophy BitesA.C. Grayling on Descartes’ Cogito” (podcast)
  2. BBC, In Our Times“Mind/Body Problem” (podcast)
Oct 9 Descartes, Meditations on First Philosophy, 2nd Meditation

First paper due: Beginning with a clear thesis statement, you will write 3 pages, double-spaced, on Aristotle’s view of happiness. How does he define happiness? How is it acquired? Can everyone be happy? Be sure to cite any sources that you use. (10 points)

Oct 12 No class
Oct 14 Descartes, Meditations on First Philosophy, 3rd Meditation

Rulebook for Arguments, chapter 4.

Oct 16 Descartes, Meditations on First Philosophy, cont’d 3rd Meditation
Oct 19 Rousseau, Discourse on Inequality, preface;

Rousseau, Discourse on Inequality, part I, first half. (Thomas Starratt)

Oct 21 Rousseau, Discourse on Inequality, part I, second half (Jordan Bragg)
Oct 23 Rousseau, Discourse on Inequality, part II, first half (John Henegham)

Rulebook for Arguments, chapters 6-7.

Oct 26 Rousseau, Discourse on Inequality, part II, second half (Meg O’Connell)

Quiz 2 on types on Rulebook for Arguments, chs. 4,6, and 7 (5 points)

Oct 28 Nietzsche, On the Genealogy of Morality, preface (Nic Yuzmochka)

Midterm paper due

Resources:

  1. Philosophy Now, “The Thought of Friedrich Nietzsche” (podcast)
Oct 30 Nietzsche, On the Genealogy of Morality, pp. 9-20 (Ben French)
Nov 2 Nietzsche, On the Genealogy of Morality, pp. 21-34 (Thomas S.)
Nov 4 Nietzsche, On the Genealogy of Morality, pp. 35-50 (Kathleen S.)
Nov 6 Nietzsche, On the Genealogy of Morality, pp. 51-66
Nov 9 Freud, Civilization and Its Discontents, pp. 5-20 (Riley Pike)
Nov 11 No class.
Nov 13 Freud, Civilization and Its Discontents, pp. 5-20 (Riley Pike)
Nov 16 Freud, Civilization and Its Discontents, pp. 20-50 (John H.)

Second short paper due: Beginning with a clear thesis statement, you will write 3 pages, double-spaced, comparing three different philosophers and how they make their arguments.

Nov 18 Freud, Civilization and Its Discontents, pp. 51-80 (Lori Martin)
Nov 20 Freud, Civilization and Its Discontents, pp. 81-end
Nov 23 Hannah Arendt, “What is Freedom?” (first half) (Nic Y.)
Nov 25 Hannah Arendt, “What is Freedom?” (second half) (Kathleen S.)
Nov 27 Hannah Arendt, “What is Freedom,” continued.
Nov 30 The Crispr Quandary,” Jennifer Kahn, NY Times Magazine (Nov. 11, 2015)
Dec 2 A World without Work,” Derek Thompson, Atlantic Monthly
Dec 4 The Man who Couldn’t Stop Giving, Sean Kean, Atlantic Monthly.
Finals Week: Final Paper due at Final Exam time, TBA

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