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Writing assignment 2

Just so no one will accuse me of making the writing assignment difficult to find…

Written Assignment 2

Click the above link for a PDF version of the second and final writing assignment for the course.

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In the blogs, 11/20/2008

In the blogs today, November 20, 2008:

    At 4:30:

  • Hannah says that the government should be more subject to moral rules than everyone else, not less
  • Tori defends Hobbes’s logic, and offers a sense in which the government might be held responsible in a moral sense.
    At 6:30:

  • Matt P., and, in the comments to his entry, Monica, give a convincing case for the plausibility of Hobbes’s position.
  • Matt F. gives an argument for why we should reject Hobbes’s notion of sovereign immunity from moral judgment.

Homework for 11/20

Here’s your homework for this Thursday, November 20:

  • Blog about the connection that Hobbes posits between morality and government. What’s the connection? Are governments/sovereigns subject to moral judgment?
  • Read section 7 in Book I of Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics. It’s short, but kinda tough – work your way through it slowly and we’ll begin our discussion of Aristotle in class on Thursday.

Here is a huge link to audio files

In the blogs, 11/17/08

In the blogs today, November 17, 2008:

    At 4:30,

  • Sean points out that we’re in a constant struggle against falling back into the state of nature
  • Kristen explains that it’s difficult to know what people would be like in the state of nature
    At 6:30,

  • Joe sums up Hobbes’s argument in an extremely clear way.
  • Chris R. argues against Hobbes’s claim that resources are necessarily scarce.

Homework for 11/18

Here’s your homework for Tuesday, November 18:

  • Blog about Hobbes’s conception of the state of nature. Is he right that human nature, combined with the finiteness of the world’s resources, will necessarily lead to a state of war? Is he right that the state of war described would really be the worst situation imaginable? Due Sunday at midnight
  • Read chapters XIII and XIV of the Hobbes. This is only a few pages, so you will have the chance to read extremely closely. Pay special attention to the things that we haven’t yet gone over in detail in class: in particular, the way that the social contract requires the existence of a government, and the way in which morality arises out of the whole thing.

Homework for 11/13

Here’s the assignment for Thursday, November 13:

  • On your blog, I want you to think back over Kant and Mill and do some broad decision making. Each theory has its own problems. If you had to choose one of the two theories based solely on which one had the least troubling problems, which would it be? Are you bothered more by the shortcomings of Mill – think about, for example, his judgment of someone who tries to give to charity but the money ends up going for bad things – or the shortcomings of Kant – for instance, his judgment on what you should do if there’s a murderer looking for your grandmother.
  • Read the section from Hobbes’s Leviathan in the Cahn/Markie book. Rachels’s chapter “The Idea of a Social Contract” will help you to get your mind around Hobbes’s theory.

Audio files can be downloaded by clicking here. I got a report from a student that the link hasn’t been working right for everyone; if you have problems accessing the files through this link, please let me know and I will try to diagnose the problem.

In the blogs, 11/10/08

In the blogs today, November 10, 2008: