Archives for the month of: October, 2014

Today, we’re reading Pick a Color, by Etgar Keret, in class.

The next two weeks will differ a bit from the loose outline of them in the syllabus, because they’re being updated to respond to your interests and things that we still need to talk about in the course.

For Monday 11/3, please read “What to do” in Think, and also please read:

Excerpts from The Enchiridion, by Epictetus

Excerpts from the Ethics, by Benedict de Spinoza

Excerpts from Man’s Search for Meaning, by Viktor Frankl

We’ll be thinking about choice, emotion, and how to live.

You might also be interested in this short article about Spinoza on emotions.


Two videos on Anselm’s ontological argument:

One version

Another version

Kurt Elling, Those Clouds Are Heavy, You Dig? 

I’m referring enough of you to this book that I thought I’d just post it.  Nigel Warburton has put together a collection of important, short texts in philosophy–some are short texts that were always short, many are excerpts of longer works.  This sort of book is often used in introductory philosophy courses–if we used it it would take the place of most of the handouts.  Anyway, it’s broken up into various themes, and many of your projects fit into one or more of these themes.  This is a great place to look for philosophical works, whether I’ve referred you to it or not.  And someone (not me!) put a PDF of it online!

Nigel Warburton, Philosophy: Basic Readings.

As noted in the syllabus, the syllabus is subject to change.  So, here’s a change!

Instead of the second oral exam, we will have conferences for your final project.  There will be no second oral exam.  For the 10% of your grade that the second oral exam was meant to contribute, your highest grade in the course will be duplicated in the spot for the grade for the second oral exam, provided you show up for your conference and make it productive.  There will be a spreadsheet on this website to sign up for conference timeslots.

Email me or stop by office hours with any questions!

For the week on God and Good and Evil (beginning 10/27) please read (along with the relevant chapter of Think):

Excerpt from Anselm’s Proslogium

Excerpts from Pascal’s Pensees (“The Wager”)


“Evil and Omnipotence” by J.L. Mackie


Richard Swinburne, “Why God Allows Evil”

Here is a link to a PDF of scans from Warburton’s Philosophy: Basic Readings which contains Pascal, Mackie, and Swinburne.

Readings for next week (October 20 and 22):

For Monday, along with chapter 3 of Think, please read:

Excerpts from the Metaphysics of Morals by Immanuel Kant

Excerpts from Leviathan by Thomas Hobbes

By Wednesday, please also read:

Excerpts from The Racial Contract, by Charles Mills

Here are the guidelines for the final project.

Notably, the proposal is due FRIDAY, 10/17, at 11:59 PM.  This is a short email explaining what you’d like to do for your final project, including the question you’d like to explore.  This email is the beginning, not the end, of the conversation on planning your final project.

Don’t forget!  We don’t have class today!  Or Wednesday!  Instead, we have oral exams.

Jeopardy board from today’s review