Here you will find the readings for my 2019 Summer II course. Check back frequently for updates.
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Have the assigned readings completed by the time you get to class. The first part of class each day will talk about the reading and Maggie will do some impromptu philosophizing. Our second portion for the day will emphasize discussions, one on one or in small groups. Be sure you download and complete any worksheet’s assigned for the class and bring them to your discussion day.
Questions: Email me!
Week 1, Monday, Jul 08: Introductory exploration of the course. In class reading of the following text and explication of assignment.
1. READ: M. Brown, PM000 Being playful with your education
2. WORKSHEET: PM000A In-class assignment
Week 1, Thursday, Jul 11: Disclosing the source of philosophizing.
1. READ: K. Jaspers, Way to Wisdom, Ch. 2
2. WORKSHEET: PM003, Reading Ch. 2 of Jaspers (this is the only week that Thursday will have a worksheet AND a response essay)
3. RESPONSE ESSAY: PM004: Breaking out of Whatification. Write at least 400 words, include your word count at the end of the essay.
Week 2, Monday, Jul 15: I Heart Huckabees
1. WATCH: I HEART HUCKABEES streaming on Amazon. (Sometimes findable on YouTube and Vimeo.) The movie has a lot of philosophical impact. But it also has some vulgarity and sexual situations. Just a Mature Audience reminder.
2. WORKSHEET: PM005 I Heart Huckabee
Week 2, Wednesday, Jul 17: Socrates
1. READ: Plato, Apologia, Parts 1-3
2. WORKSHEET: PM007A Trial in class: Scandal on Northeast Campus
Week 2, Thursday, Jul 18: Socrates (Cont)
1. READ: Complete reading Plato, Apologia Parts 4-7 (link above)
2. RESPONSE ESSAY: Write at least 400 words, include your word count at the end of the essay. Create a response to the text in which you elucidate the charges against Socrates, how Socrates categorizes his accusers, and the main points Socrates offers in his own defense. Given the overall argument, would you find him innocent or guilty? Do you believe that one person can corrupt an entire city? What is the most intriguing aspect to you about Socrates and his defense? What has this to do with understanding ethics? Be sure you pay attention to the notes: for instance, Socrates talks about two (2) sets of accusers: those who have talked about him over the years AND those who have actually brought charges in this trial. So when you are responding, remember to take that and other issues into account. The notes are there to help.
Week5, Tuesday, Jul 23: Ambiguity and Freedom (Cont)
1. READ: de Beauvoir, The Ethics of Ambiguity, Part II (link above)
Week 3, Wednesday, Jul 24: Ambiguity and Freedom (Cont)
1. READ: de Beauvoir, The Ethics of Ambiguity, Part III (link above)
Week 3, Thursday: Jul 25 Ambiguity and Freedom (Cont)
1. READ: de Beauvoir, The Ethics of Ambiguity, Part IV-V (link above)
2. RESPONSE ESSAY: Analyze the quote below. Write at least 500 words, include your word count at the end of the essay. Do your best to make clear what de Beauvoir is saying. Also, offer an interpretation of how the paragraph applies to our current circumstances in society. How much do you agree or disagree with the author? Why? How does the author offer insights into the current state of widespread disagreement in our society? Do you find a practical use for this theory in your own life?
At once the oppressor raises an objection: under the pretext of freedom, he says, there you go oppressing me in turn; you deprive me of my freedom. It is the argument which the Southern slaveholders opposed to the abolitionists, and we know that the Yankees were so imbued with the principles of an abstract democracy that they did not grant that they had the right to deny the Southern planters the freedom to own slaves; the Civil War broke out with a completely formal pretext. We smile at such scruples; yet today America still recognizes more or less implicitly that Southern whites have the freedom to lynch negroes. And it is the same sophism which is innocently displayed in the newspapers of the P. R. L. (Parti Republicain de la Liberté) and, more or less subtly, in all conservative organs. When a party promises the directing classes that it will defend their freedom, it means quite plainly that it demands that they have the freedom of exploiting the working class. A claim of this kind does not outrage us in the name of abstract justice; but a contradiction is dishonestly concealed there. For a freedom wills itself genuinely only by willing itself as an indefinite movement through the freedom of others; as soon as it withdraws into itself, it denies itself on behalf of some object which it prefers to itself: we know well enough what sort of freedom the P. R. L. demands: it is property, the feeling of possession, capital, comfort, moral security. We have to respect freedom only when it is intended for freedom, not when it strays, flees itself, and resigns itself. A freedom which is interested only in denying freedom must be denied. And it is not true that the recognition of the freedom of others limits my own freedom: to be free is not to have the power to do anything you like; it is to be able to surpass the given toward an open future; the existence of others as a freedom defines my situation and is even the condition of my own freedom. I am oppressed if I am thrown into prison, but not if I am kept from throwing my neighbor into prison.From Simone de Beauvoir, The Ethics of Ambiguity (2018: 42).
Week 4, Monday, Jul 29: Theory and Praxis
1. READ: hooks, “Theory as a liberatory praxis”
2. WORKSHEET: PM011 (to be updated)
3. Recommended: King, “Letter from a Birmingham jail”
4. Recommended: Malcolm X, “The Ballot or the bullet”
5. Recommended: hooks, Paulo Freire
Week 4, Wednesday, Jul 31: Critical consciousness (cont)
1. READ: Paulo Freire, Educating for Critical Consciousness (Link Above)
Ch. 2–Closed Society & Democratic Inexperience, pp. 19-28
Ch. 3–Education vs. Massification, pp. 29-35
2. WORKSHEET: PM013 (to be updated)
Week 4, Thursday, Aug 01: Critical consciousness (cont)
1. WATCH: Kat Blaque, Fake outrage and wokeness are cancelled in 2018
2. WATCH: Peter Coffin, The Outrage
3. RESPONSE ESSAY: Watch the videos and write a short 500 word essay that connects insights from Freire and hooks with the material talked about by Kat Blaque and Peter Coffin in their YouTube videos. You can bring in any insights from the rest of the semester. However, be sure that you include one short quote each from Freire and hooks that made you really think about what the YouTubers were saying. **Include the quotes at the beginning of your essay to act as guides to your critical response. Remember that your word count DOES NOT INCLUDE the quotes** For discussion on Thursday, be sure you bring your notes on the videos and texts we have read this week.
4. Recommended: Peter Coffin, College Admission Scandal
Week 5, Monday, Aug 05: Concerning Misogyny
1. READ: A. Fetters, How Women’s ‘health-care gaslighting’ went mainstream.
2. WATCH: Why are you so Angry? Playlist–Six episodes [Warning: Some profane language as well as reporting of racist, misogynist, homophobic, and transphobic language.]
3. WORKSHEET: PM014 (to be updated)
4. Recommended: M. B. Griggs, Online trolls are harassing a scientist who helped take the first picture of a blackhole.
5. Recommended: D. E. Hoffmann & A. J. Tarzian. The girl who cried pain: A bias against women in the treatment of pain.
6. Recommended: A. Samulowitz et al, “Brave men” and “Emotional women”: A theory-guided literature review on gender bias in health care and gendered norms towards patients with chronic pain.
Week 5, Tuesday, Aug 06: Concerning Workism and Failure
1. READ: Cioran, Degradation through work
2. READ: Thompson, Workism is making Americans miserable
3. READ: Halberstam, The Queer art of failure
4. WORKSHEET: PM015 (to be updated)
5. Recommended: Margen, Fifteen drawings that are an incredible reflection on what is wrong with society.
6. Recommended: Dalio, Re-engineering Capitalism
Week 5, Wednesday, Aug 07: FINAL EXAM
1. DOWNLOAD: PM023 Existential Self-Reflection
2. DOWNLOAD: PM032 Vision/Mission Collage
2. SUBMIT: No later than 1:59pm, Wednesday, Aug 07, Blackboard course link at your college.
Suggested texts and videos for after our course
- M. Pahndeepah, ed., A Booklet
- M. Pahndeepah, ed., Generation Doomed
- Contrapoints, The West
- Contrapoints, On Jordan Peterson
- Papantonopoulou, Straightness must be destroyed
- Grohmann, Queering the economy
- Lang, Metropolis
- Chaplin, Modern Times
- S01Ep02, “3 Robots,” Love Death & Robots [on Netflix]
- Graeber, Bullshit Jobs
- Coffin, Consumer Identity is Cultivated Identity
- Coffin, On Meritocracy
- Philosophy Tube, Should the rich help the poor?