Philosophy Assignment

Section I: Epic as Human-Cultural Identity Odyssey – Homer
According the Odyssey [1] Jove/Jupiter/Zeus stated to the Assembly of Gods “See now, how men lay blame upon us gods for what is after all nothing but their own folly. Look at Aegisthus; he must needs make love to Agamemnon’s wife unrighteously and then kill Agamemnon, though he knew it would be the death of him; for I sent Mercury/Hermes to warn him not to do either of these things, inasmuch as Orestes would be sure to take his revenge when he grew up and wanted to return home. Mercury/Hermes told him this in all good will but he would not listen, and now he has paid for everything in full”; [2] Ulysses/Odysseus stated to Nausicaa “The winds and waves have taken me all the way from the Ogygian island, and now fate has flung me upon this coast that I may endure still further suffering for I do not think that I have yet come to the end of it, but rather that heaven has still much evil in store for me”; [3] and Nausicaa stated to Ulysses/Odysseus “Stranger, you appear to be a sensible, well-disposed person. There is no accounting for luck; Jove/Jupiter/Zeus gives prosperity to rich and poor just as he chooses, so you must take what he has seen fit to send you, and make the best of it.” Explain the view of gods, fate, and man within Greek belief, thought, and culture as a whole. Do you consider Ulysses/ Odysseus as a “hero” or a lying, cheating, killing, manipulative power hungry man in quest for his immortality? Explain.
Section II: Ancient Philosophy as Basis of Western Thought Euthyphro & Apology -Socrates & Plato
The portrait established here of Socrates by Plato is a very particular type of person and philosophic mind. Define and describe in detail (via examples) the type of [1] philosophic mind/thinker, [2] religiosity/irreligosity, [3] teacher/instructor, and lastly [4] overall person. Is Socrates aman of incredible thought, morality, and wisdom or merely a manipulative old man in quest of trapping young men into his sophistic way of thought? Explain. Do you think Socrates an agreeable type of person ‘to be’ or ‘not to be’? Explain.
Physics, On the Soul & Metaphysics -Aristotle
Aristotle’s concept of ‘nature’ exudes from, is part of, is separate to and at the same time a portion of the Divine (so to speak). Explain the concepts of [1] soul(s) at all levels, [2] thought,[3] motion, [4] ‘potentiality’ and ‘actuality’, [5] nature, [6] and the Unmoved Mover itself. Do you think Aristotle’s vision of the Divine, attaining perfection, mystical union, singularity of soul, etc. are practical and attainable in a single life? Explain.
Section III: Philosophic-Religious Thought/Theory The City of God Against the Pagans -St. Augustine
In Book IV St. Augustine gives reason for rise of the Roman Empire and its origins being within the purview of the one True God as well as how and by whom worship is to be administered. Further in Book X St. Augustine speaks of theurgy, the ‘Platonists,’ other religious groups, etc. and their importance within the debate. Explain the importance of and validity given to St. Augustine’s assertions in contrast to his well known adversaries and their positions (meaning give their positions as well as his). Do you think St. Augustine has been given favourable treatment over the centuries atop others strictly on sound thought or preferential theological grounds? Does the logician/philosopher or the theologian gain or remain credible? Explain.
Summa Theologica -St. Thomas Aquinas
In Question 1. The Nature and Extent of Sacred Doctrine: Article 1-10 (speaking of philosophy, meanings of words, science, practical science, sacred doctrine, wisdom, etc.) St. Thomas addresses objections, responses, and his answers to sacred doctrine et al. Explain the importance of and validity given to St. Thomas’ assertions within these sections. Do you think St. Thomas is correct in his assertions on God and man? How does St. Thomas differ from St. Augustine? Explain.
Section IV: Social and Political Thought/Theory Communist Manifesto -Karl Marx & Frederich Engels
Marx and Engels spell out their concept of class divisions and ultimate liberation of the human being from all manipulation… be they personal, social, cultural, religious, economic or even geopolitical. Explain the importance of and validity given to Marx and Engels’ assertions in detail concerning the above mentioned topics (personal, social, cultural, religious, economic, geopolitical). Do you think Marx and Engels were correct in their assertions and did they meet their goal/objectives? Explain.
On Liberty –John Stuart Mill
Mill stated “All that makes existence valuable to any one, depends on the enforcement of restraints upon the actions of other people… the object of this essay is to assert one very simple principle… that the sole end for which mankind are warranted, individually or collectively in interfering with the liberty of action of any of their number, is self-protection.” In relation to the individual to what extent or end does Mill express [1] society, [2] government, [3] the majority, or [4] the minority go in their quest for stability and/or pleasures? Explain the importance of Mill’s assertions in detail and whether Mill is correct in these assertions? Why is personal pleasure so important to Mill?
Section V: Social and Economic Thought/Theory A Wealth of Nations –Adam Smith
In Book I, Chapter IV: Of the Origin and Use of Money Smith writes of Exchange Surplus and Value while in Book I, Chapter V: Of the Real and Nominal Price of Commodities, or of their Price in Labour, and their Price in Money he writes of Labour, Barter, and Money. Explain the importance of Smith’s assertions in detail in comparison to our example of ‘the butcher, brewer, baker, and beggar’ (also from the writings of Smith). Do you think Smith is correct in these assertions and do his ideas support the ideals of J.S. Mill? Explain.
Section VI: Ethical Theory and Thought on the Self Groundwork for the Metaphysics of Morals -Immanuel Kant
Kant states “All men attribute to themselves freedom of will. Hence come all judgments upon actions as being such as ought to have been done, although they have not been done. However, this freedom is not a conception of experience, nor can it be so, since it still remains, even though experience shows the contrary of what on supposition of freedom are conceived as its necessary consequences… Therefore freedom is only an idea of reason, and its objective reality in itself is doubtful; while nature is a concept of the understanding which proves, and must necessarily prove, its reality in examples of experience.” Explain the importance of and validity given to Kant’s assertions in light of his concepts of the categorical imperative, truth, duty in comparison to the thoughts and ideals of Marx and Engels. Do you think Kant or Marx and Engels have it right? Explain.
Section VII: Scientific Thought and Human Experience On the Origin of Species by Natural Selection –Charles Darwin The Elaboration of the Universe –Jean Piaget Sustainability Does Not Come Naturally: A Darwinian Perspective on Values; Science Delusion and the Appetite for Wonder –Richard Dawkins
(1) Darwin states “Thus it is, as I believe, that when the males and females of any animal have the same general habits of life, but differ in structure, colour, and ornament, such differences have been mainly caused by sexual selection; that is individual males, have had, in successive generations, some slight advantages over other males, in their weapons, means of defense, or charms; and have transmitted these advantages to their male offspring. Yet, I would not wish to attribute all such sexual differences to this agency…”; (2) Piaget states “Thus it may be seen that thought in its various aspects reproduces on its own plane the processes of evolution we have observed in the case of sensory motor intelligence and the structure of the initial practical universe. The development of reason, outlined on the sensory motor level, follows the same laws, once social life and reflective thought have been formed.”; (3) Dawkins states “Now values… By values I am going to mean the criteria in the brain by which animals choose how to behave… the majority of the things in the universe don’t actively strive for anything. They just are… Humans are unique in many ways and perhaps the most obviously unique feature is language… language, as far as we know, has evolved only once… According to the young and thriving discipline of evolutionary psychology, the language learning module [within the human] is just an example of a whole set of inherited special-purpose computational modules in the brain… These modules will presumably be mediated by specific built-in values. If we turn our Darwinian eyes on our modern civilized selves and our predilections -our aesthetic values, our capacity for pleasure, our arts, our philosophies -it is important to wear sophisticated spectacles.” Now… put on the ‘sophisticated spectacles’ alluded by Dawkins and explain man by the thought of Darwin, Piaget, and Dawkins in relation to [1] how man acts by evolution, [2] ‘behaves’ via psychology, [3] and should act via philosophical values. After experiencing many different philosophies throughout the semester who has it right in comparison Darwin, Piaget, Dawkins or do they have the correct formulation of reality? Explain
INSTRUCTIONS:Please answer the 10 essay questions from the list below thoroughly with 2-3 paragraphs as needed to explain your position… but fully explain your position in light of the philosophical information learned over the course of the semester (NOTE: a proper paragraph is at least 5-7 full sentences). This is an exercise in application of the information you have learned from the authors/material to answer in your own words. If you do not answer the issue/information listed you receive no points for the essay.

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