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Thursday, May 1

May 13, 2016
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Why We Think: Today I gave out copies of the “quiz” from Tuesday, with answers. We reviewed the empiricists (Bacon, Hobbes, Locke, Berekley) vs. the rationalists (Descartes, Spinoza, Leibniz), and I gave you an assignment for Tuesday: fill in the relevant philosopher and concept for each of these seven examples: WWT examples May 12 2016

Then we talked about the Age of Revolution and Rousseau.The easiest way to understand Rousseau is to compare his views on man in his “state of nature” — that is, without government or civilization — with those of Hobbes and Locke:

Hobbes Locke Rousseau
Man in his state of nature is… Corrupt: the “war of all against all” Mind is a blank slate, but capable of reason Perfect. (It’s civilization that corrupts)
What’s the solution? A “leviathan”: big, even repressive government. (It’s better than anarchy!) Limited government; education for all True democracy; the “general will”
This philosophy led to… The nanny state/police state Liberal democracy The French Revolution;
every totalitarian
government since

Rousseau’s ideas about man being perfect in his state of nature were a huge influence of Romanticism in art, and on the hippies 200 years later. His idea of the “general will” — which in theory means that the people have the power, but that disagreeing with the majority can be dangerous — would provide aid and comfort to dictators for centuries.

History: 

Siren: Worked on May stuff.

Daily Prompt:

Survey: CNF: Quiz on CNF ethics, etc.

I gave out two “How-To” essays from last year’s literary journal: “How To Be Your Father’s Daughter In 25 Easy Steps,” and “How To Take A Shower.” We talked about the concept of a how-to essay; specifically, that a how-to essay is not always about the thing it claims. There can be an ulterior motive.

We brainstormed some ideas for how-tos and I will post a list of those idea here ASAP. You will have to choose one for your how-to essay, though I haven’t set a due date yet.

I HAVE set a due date for your “what if?” essay, which is due Thursday, May 19. (Unless you’re one of the major-changers.) And your portfolios are due May 31.

Survey: Screenwriting: 

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