TH, June 9th–Humanities

First Question:

Bostrom’s Dragon. Let me tell you a story. Imagine if there were a Kingdom terrorized by an evil dragon that demanded 10,000 people be delivered to it–to be horribly devoured–every night. What should we do about it?

First Priority: Final Paper…


First, we need to go over the details. The final paper is due on on Thursday, June 16th. I won’t be here June 14th–it will be a writing day for you. I’m asking for a 600 word final essay on a philosophical topic that relates to people’s real life.

First, we need a topic:

We’ll work together on possibilities in class and brainstorm a list to get you started. Here are some resources to help as well.

For example, you could write about the phenomena of being hated. Or regret. Or grit.

Then, time for you to think. Choose a partner and we’ll take a walk. Have a good discussion about your respective topics. We’ll come back and you’ll write for 15-minutes while you’re fresh about the experience.

Finally, I’d like you to take a look at the resources above and find three articles, thinkers, events, or facts that can add depth to your discussion. They don’t have to support you (in fact, it would be better if at least one didn’t), but they should give you material to work with.


Then, I want to take a quick look at Spinoza

Spinoza argues that true happiness is aligning our will with that of the universe. For instance, if our dog is killed in a car accident, we would have to acknowledge that this is a true possibility in this universe and that we have no right to rage against it. You buying that?

From the text…Seneca, Spinoza’s favourite philosopher, had compared human beings to dogs on a leash being led by the necessities of life in a range of directions. The more one pulls against what is necessary, the more one is strangled – and therefore the wise must always endeavour to understand ahead of time how things are – for example, what love is like, or how politics works – and then change their direction accordingly so as not to be strangled unnecessarily. It is this kind of Stoic attitude that constantly pervades Spinoza’s philosophy.

and then we’ll move on to Buddha. And, eventually, Confucius.

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