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BU / Humanities / HU 201 / What is the full version of the serenity prayer?

What is the full version of the serenity prayer?

What is the full version of the serenity prayer?


October 11, 2016 – Lecture - Hinduism 

What is the full version of the serenity prayer?

I. “The Serenity Prayer” 

a. “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know  

the difference.” – Reinhold Niebuhr

i. Goes with Epictetus’ idea that you should come up with a  

list of things you can control and you can’t control

b. “Don’t demand that things happen as you wish, but wish that  they happen as they do happen, and you will go on well.” –  

Epictetus, Handbook #8

i. Don’t have expectations of things you don’t have control of ii. Mold your expectations to fit reality

iii. Don’t try to shape the world to fit your desires, shape your  

desires to fit the world

What are the basic beliefs of the hinduism?

Don't forget about the age old question of Define a monolithic family.

c. Live “in accordance with nature” - Epictetus

i. Nature = reality; the way things are

ii. Accept things the way they are

II. Hinduism 

a. Ancient India

b. Polytheistic, but with an underlying monotheism

i. All these multiple gods are just manifestations of one  

universal, spiritual reality

c. Vedas (date back to 3000 BCE)

i. Veda = to know; to have knowledge If you want to learn more check out What does central processing unit cpu mean?

ii. Original sources of wisdom; sacred scripture

d. Upanishads (1000-600 BCE)

i. Upanishad = to sit at the feet of something

ii. Like a philosophical commentary on the Vedas

How is morality determined in hinduism?

e. Caste system determines one’s dharma (basically like a class  


i. Brahmins (priests-philosophers)

1. Help others to live spiritual lives

2. Leaders, teachers who devote their entire life to  

religion and knowledge

ii. Warriors/guardians

1. Military class

iii. Craftsmen/merchants

1. Make products to trade and sell

iv. Slaves/laborers

f. “Untouchables” (outcasts)

i. Don’t belong to the social hierarchy

III. Hindu Ethics 

a. Rejecting a life of earthly pleasure (desires)

i. Earthy pleasure will only lead you astray  

ii. You can never be totally satisfied – feel frustrated

iii. Epictetus – you will never feel serene

b. Focusing on the internal qualities of knowledge, discipline, and  


i. Control your desires with mind

c. External Action – performing one’s dharma while “renouncing the Don't forget about the age old question of What is cell replication called?

fruits of actions”

i. Dharma = duty or obligation

1. What holds a society together

2. Could refer to how a universe is held together with  


ii. How do you know what your obligations are?

1. Your position in the caste system

iii. “renouncing the fruits of actions” = you do things because  it is your duty and not because of the results of the action;  don’t do your duty because of the consequences of the  

action, but do it because it’s right

IV. Comparisons with Stoicism?

a. Rejecting a life of earthly pleasure (desires)

i. Pleasure doesn’t count as a goal towards serenity

b. Focusing on the internal qualities of knowledge, discipline, and  


i. Epictetus believed these are the things we can control, so  If you want to learn more check out What is a system of beliefs and practices called?

it is okay to focus on them

c. External Action – performing one’s dharma while “renouncing the

fruits of actions”

i. Stoicism – accept things the way they are

ii. We can never totally control the consequences or results of

our actions

iii. Doing your duty because it is right and not what happens  


V. Greater Spiritual Reality

a. Hindus believe there is a deeper spiritual reality that binds  everything together

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ -------------------If you want to learn more check out What is the sedimentary cycle?
We also discuss several other topics like What are the two types of tracking?

October 18, 2016 - Discussion 

I. Materialism vs. Monism vs. Dualism

a. Materialism 

i. Belief that reality is really physical

ii. Sensible world that we can sense  

iii. Like Plato’s Physical World

iv. You are nothing but your body – cells, atoms, tissues

b. Monism 

i. Belief that reality can be reduced to be one single spiritual  


ii. The world is really spiritual inside that binds everything  


iii. Anything that is physical is illusionary

1. What’s really real is what’s all the way out there

iv. You are really your soul, spirit

c. Dualism 

i. Physical and spiritual (or intellectual) world

ii. Plato is a dualist

1. Society can be broken down into two realities

iii. Aristotle is a dualist

1. Aristotle believes the soul is what connects  

everything together in your body; they’re inseparable

II. Hinduism 

a. Physical body (matter) vs. Atman (soul)

i. On the surface, Hinduism appears to be dualism – but we  

don’t know for sure

ii. When you die, Atman is recreated to new body and you are

born into a new person

b. Reincarnation & Samsara 

i. Reincarnation: once your body dies, your soul/spirit either  immediately or after a period of time travels to another  

person and that person is born with your soul

ii. Samsara: cycle of life, death, and rebirth

c. Brahman – monism/pantheism

i. Ultimate spiritual reality that’s behind everything

ii. It’s what binds the universe together

d. Atman is a part of Brahman

i. Like how when one raindrop falls and lands in a puddle

III. Important Terms

a. Maya – a veil of illusion (referring to physical/material world); like virtual reality

b. Moksha – Hindu equivalent of Nirvana; you are no longer  reincarnated when you attain this; it’s like living in eternal  

happiness; like a blessing

i. Moksha is something you can attain when you’re in the  highest caste and you’ve done your dharma  attain  

eternal bliss and will not be reincarnated again

c. Karma – accumulated value of your actions

d. Atman – an individual’s soul or spirit

IV. Important Passages

a. Pg. 49, Isa scripture

i. You have to overcome the idea that there is a division in  

the universe

ii. Immanent: what’s in the physical world with us

iii. Transcendent: goes beyond the physical world

iv. Come to see that Hinduism in a monist society

1. We only think things are real b/c we can sense them;  

but, if you are truly….

V. Other aspects to Hinduism

a. Caste  Dharma  Karma  how you get reincarnated

b. Your job is to move up the ladder

c. Main belief: it happens b/c it happens – we can’t explain it d. We’re all inseparable spiritually  

VI. Connect Epictetus’ Divine Providence to Hinduism? a. Divine Providence

i. Everything is planned out by a higher power

b. Hinduism

i. There’s a reason why you’re in a certain caste

ii. Everything is a part of Brahman

c. There’s a reason for things – universe is not just physical, but  also has a divine underbelly

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ --------------------------------------

October 24, 2016 – Lecture - Buddhism 

I. Hermann Hesse (1877-1962)

a. Born in Germany

b. Son of two former missionaries in India

i. Why he’s so interested in eastern spirituality (Hinduism  

and Buddhism)

ii. Was sent to religious school to be either a missionary or  


1. Skeptic of which religion was truly spiritual

c. Grandfather: Indologist

d. Favorite philosophers: Plato and Nietzsche 

e. Favorite novelist: Dostoevsky 

i. Crime and Punishment

ii. Hesse liked that D would ask existentialist questions  

f. Interest: philosophy, spirituality/mysticism, psychology pacifist  

(WWI -- move to Switzerland)

i. Mysticism 

1. Branch of spirituality

2. Latin term of mysterium

3. Means anything that you can’t put in rational words  

or analyze

ii. Psychology = the study of the soul or inner self; looking  

within yourself

iii. Pacifism = human nature could overcome war if we put our

minds to it

g. Emphasizes the principle of individuality

i. Individuality

1. How to be true to yourself even in the midst of  

socialist forces (ex. Government);  

2. Be a unique and authentic individual

3. Teaches the theory of non-conformism  

ii. Also stressed the duality of human nature

1. Rational vs. Irrational; Good vs. Evil; Masculine vs.  

Feminine; Civilized vs. Savage

2. You have to realize you are made of two opposite  

aspects of your personality

h. Critic of “bourgeois” European culture

i. Composed of individuals who don’t look too much into their


1. Average people

ii. If you just try to conform to average, middle-class, you’re  

going to live an average life

1. You should be an authentic individual and pursue  

your own individualistic path

i. Most famous novels: Siddhartha (1922), Steppenwolf (1927) II. Siddhartha(preview)

a. He and his family are part of the Brahmin class

b. First chapter

i. How do he and his dad confront each other?

1. His dad doesn’t want him to leave

2. Siddhartha stands in place for the entire night to  

show his defiance (but doesn’t actually speak out)

3. “Rebel with a cause” -- spiritual and self-knowledge

c. Encounter with the Buddha

i. He has a problem with the Buddha’s teaching

III. Important Themes in Siddhartha 

a. Buddhism 

b. Story of Siddhartha Gotoma (also Gautama) becoming “The  


c. Warrior caste, “Four Passing Sights”, Bodhi tree

i. Warrior caste

1. Wants to get away from the family and gain his own  


ii. Bodhi Tree = famous tree where the Buddha has an  

awakening and Siddhartha becomes the Buddha

iii. Four Passing Sights 

1. Old Person

2. Sick Person  

3. Corpse

4. Wandering monk

d. Four Noble Truths 

i. Life is “dukkha”

ii. Origin of suffering

iii. Cessation of suffering

iv. Eightfold Noble Path

e. The Buddha’s “Middle Path”

f. Buddha’s rejection of Hindu caste system and asceticism i. Asceticism = someone who is deprived of worldly desires g. Nirvana

h. Principle of “an-atman” (non-atman)

i. Unity of the Universe (interconnected causes and effects)

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October 25, 2016 - Discussion 

I. Siddhartha (continued)

a. Last lecture: Left off with Siddhartha departing from his home b. He goes and joins the Samanas/Sadhu (wandering monks) i. Wandering ascetic monks

ii. They believe in ascetism/ascetics (austerity = frugal  life


1. Not to be confused with aesthetic

2. No material possessions; self-deprivation

3. Live an extremely minimalist life

iii. Like freeform, free-floating spiritual group

iv. Living an extremely deficiency (opposite is gluttony)

v. Why do they do this?

1. If you escape and toughen your body, you won’t be  

constantly plagued by hunger, thirst

vi. Samanas want to forget their body, so they can focus on  

their soul

vii. Why is Siddhartha ultimately dissatisfied with the  


1. Pg. 18, last paragraph  

1) He doesn’t want to learn from anymore b/c  

they can’t teach him all the knowledge he  


2. They can’t teach him experiential knowledge or  

intuitive knowledge

1) Things you learn from personal experiences

i. Goes with Aristotle’s idea of Theoretical  

and Practical Wisdom

viii. After Siddhartha leaves the Samanas, he goes to see the  

Buddha in the Jetavana Grove

1. The Buddha looks just like the others on the outside,  

but he has some sort of grace to him that they can  

clearly identify

c. Maya v. Atman/Brahman  

i. Maya = physical world is real world

ii. Analogous to Plato’s Two World’s theory

iii. You’re trying to leave Maya (your body) behind, so you can  turn your attention to what’s non physical  


d. Pg. 15 – seems like he is leaving his own body and wants to go  

into some new creature or his spirit

II. Core Ideas of Buddhism 

a. The Four Noble Truths (four great insights the Buddha came up  

with when he got enlightened under the Bodhi tree)

i. Life is “Dukkha” (life is full of suffering)

1. You are getting closer to death as life goes on

ii. The origin of suffering is your physical, material, bodily  


iii. How do you terminate your sufferings?  

1. Overcome your desires (not all of them, but just  

putting them in the right perspective; don’t let your  

desires rule your life)

 iv. The Eight Fold Path 

1. Like a how-to manual on how to live your life and  

overcome your desires

2. How do you live your life just the right way?

3. Ex. How to speak correctly; how to conduct yourself  

correctly; how to concentrate correctly

b. The Middle Path 

i. Living a life of moderation

1. Like the Golden Mean by Aristotle

2. Goldilocks principle

ii. Not living to extremes

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ -------------------

October 27, 2016 - Discussion 

I. Buddhism

a. Branched off from Hinduism; has similar ideas to it, but not quite  

the same

i. Hinduism has two worlds

1. Physical (not real) and spiritual (Brahman)

ii. How are they similar?

1. Everything is part of the same spiritual reality

2. Looking behind your own individual soul/Atman to  

realize you are part of the bigger Brahman and world

b. Nirvana is highest goal: ultimate state of mind where your mind  

and soul try to overcome your desires; like an escape hatch i. Means to blow out something; like extinguishing a flame c. Everything is linked by a chain of causality

i. Cause1  Effect1  Cause2  Effect2  ∝

ii. Interconnected unity of the world (holistic) (holos) -- One  

big whole

iii. Everything in the world is coherent like a jigsaw puzzle d. On one hand, you should feel a part of this world and only this  


i. Everything is interconnected by cause and effect

ii. You have to try and rise above/transcend the world b/c the  

world is full of suffering  

II. Siddhartha (continued)

a. Pg. 32 – Siddhartha contradicts the Buddha

i. The Buddha is not a traditional Hindu and sees the world as

made up of an eternal chain of causes and effects

ii. Siddhartha doesn’t see how you should feel a part of this  

world but at the same time transcend it

iii. *How can you possibly feel at one with everything if you’re  

also trying to escape from it?

iv. If you can escape from this life, then there is no real  


v. Buddha’s response (pg. 33)

1. He says the only goal of Buddhism is to remove  

yourself from your suffering

2. He is more worried about curing suffering – Buddha is

focusing more on practical wisdom (Aristotle)

b. IMPORTANT: Govinda leaves Siddhartha for once and tells him to  

go off to see the Buddha himself

i. Pg. 41 – Siddhartha has left the Buddha and Govinda

1. He feels alone and doesn’t belong to any class 

outcast, desolate, ostracized, alienation, estranged,  

like an Untouchable

c. “Kamala”, Part II

i. NEW VIEW of reality

1. Accepts the physical world; not looking for some  

spiritual reality

2. Enjoying all the things in nature; taking it all in  

1) Wake up and smell the coffee – what makes  

you happy is right in front of you

ii. Pg. 45 – going to look at the physical world as the real  

world and not as a veil of illusion

iii. Doesn’t want to try to escape the world through Nirvana iv. What does Siddhartha do in the novel that shows you he is  

going to accept the physical world?

1. Goes to live with Kamala and focuses on pleasures

2. Lives a very erotic and pleasurable life

3. Kamala = like a glorified prostitute

1) In return, teaches art of love

4. She introduces him to Kamaswami

d. What does the Buddha mean when he talks about Nirvana? i. You want to extinguish the suffering – the way you do that  

is by overcoming your desires

ii. Nirvana = when you extinguish your suffering so you’re in  an ultimate state of peace and liberation; it is a state of  

mind; brings you peace, serenity

iii. You have many souls, not just one

1. Many Buddhists don’t believe in reincarnation

iv. There is not world beyond this universe for the Buddha ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ -------------------

October 31, 2016 – Lecture – Buddhism (continued) 

I. Buddha’s rejection of Hindu caste system and ascetism a. Reject Hindu Caste

i. More of a possibility to attain spiritual enlightenment for  

everyone, not just one caste

ii. Only eligible people who can attain Nirvana are the people  

at the top of the caste system

1. Buddha doesn’t think social class should determine a

person’s spirituality

b. Reject Ascetism

i. Ascetism = deprive yourself of all material, possessions; do it in an extreme way

1. Samanas = people who carried the idea to full  


ii. Buddha’s main criticism

1. He believed in a life of moderation, not extremes 

The Middle Path (parallel to Aristotle’s Golden Mean)

2. You have to put your desires into perspective, but  

don’t let them completely rule your life

1) Ascetism – extreme – deficiency  

3. The Buddha would also be against self-indulgence

II. Buddhist principle of “an-atman” (non-atman) and idea of “skandhas” a. “An-atman” -- The Buddha’s non-soul doctrine

i. You do not have an immortal, eternal soul – you do not  

have an atman  

ii. No essential soul that defines who you are and that always  

stays the same through multiple lifetimes  

iii. The Buddha believed you are part of the interconnected  


1. Your soul is always changing and being influenced by

all the changing causes in the universe

2. You have no static, unchanging soul

b. “Skandhas” = bundle/cluster of energy that make up your body i. Principle of no soul  

ii. Idea that soul is made up of bundles of energy that make  

up your body and your person

1. Ex. Willpower, body, feelings, consciousness, etc.

iii. You don’t have a fixed soul, just aggregates of your soul  when you die, only these aggregates are left  you are  

more multi-faceted

c. Buddha teaches there is no atman as a constant, eternal aspect  

to you; there are clusters of you

d. The Buddha didn’t say you don’t have a soul; but, you just have  

many aspects to you

III. Hinduism vs. Buddhism

a. Hinduism

i. You have one eternal soul

ii. Are you a body with an atman attached?

b. Buddhism

i. You have a lot of mini souls

ii. Are you a body with many different aspects to you?

IV. Siddhartha – Key Points

a. Siddhartha’s life with Kamala and Kamaswami 

i. Relationship w/ Kamala 

1. About physical satisfaction and love – Kamala is the  

teacher; one who guides him

2. Kamala is more dominant over Siddhartha

3. Opposite of Samana lifestyle (deficiency  self


ii. Kamaswami 

1. Dying businessman in the village

2. Kamala introduces Siddhartha to him b/c Siddhartha  can learn business from him & that is the only way  

he can bring her material gifts

3. Siddhartha says he knows three things while with the

Samanas that could benefit him…

1) Think

2) Fast

3) Wait

4. Ex. Passage in “Amongst the People”

5. Siddhartha goes to town to get rice  it’s not there,  so he comes back to Kamaswami without it 

Kamaswami gets very mad

1) Siddhartha views this as a positive venture --  

why? – he made good friends who would sell  

him rice next year or give him a place to stay –  

could have long-term benefits  not interested  

in just material possessions  

b. Life of detachment, but then engagement 

i. How is he detached if he is learning the art of love from  

Kamala and the art of business from Kamaswami?

1. He is never completely satisfied with what he does ii. How does he become more engaged and part of this  

ordinary bourgeoisie society?

1. Gambling  

1) it stimulates him and likes the risk and passion  

of it

i. He’s not afraid to lose a lot

ii. Won a lot and lost a lot while gambling

2) Does it as a quick burst of happiness

2. Sex

3. Drinking

iii. He’s getting so engaged that he’s getting sick of it

1. Does it to such an extreme path, not following the  

Middle Path or Golden Mean


c. Why does Siddhartha eventually leave the town? How do Kamala  

and Kamaswami react differently to his departure? 

i. Why does he leave?

1. Becomes nauseated by his lifestyle

ii. Seems like he and Kamala are equals when Siddhartha  


iii. Reactions

1. Kamala – not surprised

2. Kamaswami – worried at first  panics, thought he  

was kidnapped by bandits  gets angry at him

iv. Kamala got pregnant the last time they had sex –  

Siddhartha is also leaving his child behind

d. Experience of despair (dream of the songbird) 

i. Feels this way when he leaves town

ii. Dream

1. The bird dies

2. To him, the bird represents all the good things he  

values; his inner spiritual beauty  his lifestyle  

changed so much he almost corrupted him

3. Death of bird = wake up call for Siddhartha about  

how he has been leading his life up till then

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November 1, 2016 – Discussion (continued) 

I. Important Themes in Siddhartha (continued)

a. Experience of despair (dream of the songbird) 

i. Pg. 87, beginning of the chapter  

1. Siddhartha felt completely exhausted and sick of his  

life – feels like he is in a permanent hangover

1) If you only live for pleasure, it loses its value  

after a while

2. He isn’t physically or spiritually healthy

3. Would rather be asleep for eternity rather than live

1) Similar to how Socrates doesn’t fear death b/c  

he doesn’t know what will happen – could be  

an eternal sleep

4. He’s lost, suicidal, desperate

5. SETTING: by the river, contemplates just drowning in  

the river to commit suicide

1) Thinking of the Ophelia death from Hamlet (not

a complete parallel)

2) Possibly just having an existential crisis

6. What does he experience that changes his whole  

state of mind and cheers him up?

1) Hears the vibration of the word “Om” from the  

waves of the river

b. “OM” (“Aum”) 

i. Associates the river with the word “Om”

ii. Has a feeling of unity when he hears this word – this  

echoes the Buddhist and Hinduism teachings

iii. What is the meaning of “Om”?  

1. Perfect state of mind/perfect person

1) Aristotle – highest goal = happiness

2) Epictetus – highest goal = serenity

3) Hinduism – highest goal = Moksha  

4) Buddhism – highest goal = Nirvana

iv. When you say Om, you have to use your full mouth 1. Puts you at rest, makes you serene

v. Saying the word makes him fall asleep, and when he  

awakes he sees Govinda

1. He recognizes Govinda, but Govinda doesn’t  

recognize him

1) Why? Has been 20 years; Siddhartha likes food  

now; dressed in very fancy clothing; lots of  

wine-drinking; lack of sleep from partying and  


c. Reuniting with Govinda 

i. He is with the Buddhist followers, why does Govinda stop  

at the river to see Siddhartha?

1. As a good deed even though he doesn’t recognize  Siddhartha

2. It is a dangerous place with dangerous creatures like  

snakes, rodents, etc.

ii. Siddhartha contemplates living by the river b/c it makes  

him so serene by saying Om

d. The river and its lessons (symbolic interpretation) 

i. “Go with the flow” attitude  serenity/tranquility

1. The river is always flowing so just go with the flow  

ii. Unity

1. You are part of one big whole

iii. Change/Time

1. Nothing ever stays permanent  

2. Ex. Time flies when you’re having fun – subjective

iv. Reflection

1. Inner self-reflection

v. No time (eternal)

1. The idea of time is an illusion

2. You can reach a state of mind where you aren’t  

worried about time or what’s going to happen

3. Time is a construct made by people

4. Eternity mean something doesn’t really change

e. Life with Vasudeva 

i. Vasudeva - ferryman

ii. Lives a simple life and enjoys what he can

f. Reuniting with Kamala 

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November 3, 2016 – Discussion (continued) 

I. Three Mystical “Visions” 

a. Siddhartha stares at Vasudeva (“Om” chapter)

b. Siddhartha stares into river (“Om” chapter)

c. Govinda stares into Siddhartha’s face (“Govinda” chapter) II. Criticisms of Siddhartha during his journey

a. “Amongst the People” and “Samsara”

i. Doesn’t care about his business transactions; doesn’t show


ii. Pg. 67-68: how Siddhartha is wasting money and time (ex.  

w/ the rice sale)

b. When he tells the Buddha off; lectures the Buddha like he is the  Buddha’s teacher

c. Lives a very self-indulgent life when he was with Kamala and  

Kamaswami; not following the Golden Mean or Middle Path d. Hypocritical – he was so stubborn when he left his father; but, he  

can’t understand the same thing when his own son wants to  


e. He was absorbed in his own spiritual journey; he didn’t care  

about the people he left behind

i. Before he left, his father told Siddhartha that if he found  

enlightenment, to come back and teach the father

III. Siddhartha’s attitude (in “Govinda” chapter)

a. Idea that suffering teaches you

b. He needed the suffering and nausea to get to the state of  


i. But he accepts it in the end

ii. It’s all part of the unity of the universe

IV. Lessons that Siddhartha has learned while on his journey to Nirvana  

(pg. 142, begins at the bottom)

 a. Wisdom cannot be communicated or taught 

i. Plato and Socrates would disagree: for them, knowledge =  

wisdom; if you know the idea of the good, you do the good  b. Appreciation of the present moment 

i. Pg. 145 – comparison with a stone

c. Truth is double-sided (always express it in opposites)

i. Pg. 142-143 = Dialectical thinking: always think of the  


ii. Ex. Yin v. Yang

iii. You need opposites to express the truth – need to know  

down to know up or know left to know right

iv. If you want to get to the truth in reality, you have to look  beyond the words – they don’t express the full totality –  

words are one sided

d. Time is an allusion and is not real (eternal moment)

i. “The river is everywhere at once” – all the different parts of

the river exist at once

ii. Things change in time, yet it’s part of one eternal moment 1. Telling us not to worry about the past

2. It only matters what you are doing now and in the  


iii. Every moment you love is always the present – the most  

you have of the past are your changing experiences

iv. Time is a conceptual construct

 e. Love everything 

i. Opposite of Epictetus

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November 7, 2016 – Lecture – The European Middle Ages  (Medieval Period) 

I. 5th Century CE (rise of the Byzantine Empire  ) 15th Century CE (start  

of the Renaissance)

a. Birthplace is Constantinople (Byzantium)

II. Religion 

a. Predominantly religious in general  

b. Particularly monotheistic (belief in one god or higher power) c. Judaism, Christianity, Islam 

III. Early Medieval Art 

a. Emphasis on light (symbol of the divine)

i. Dark = demonic  

b. Hagia Sophia, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey), 532-537 CE c. Mosaic – “Justinian and Attendants”, C. 547

i. Human like figures depicted more cartoon like and with  

less accuracy and detail

ii. Why not emphasize the human figure?

1. Human being takes second stage to the depiction of  

the divine

iii. God is the most important

d. Illuminated Manuscripts – The Book of Kells, Ireland, 760-820 CE i. Illuminated = filled with light…filled with divine knowledge e. Gothic Architecture – Reims Cathedral, France, 1220-1236 CE  

(late Gothic)

i. The verticality of the architecture casts your eyes up to the

heavens rather than the ground

ii. Pointed arches pointing up to heavens

iii. Emphasis on light for divine power  stain glass windows 1. Hard to support building if windows are made of  


1) Recently, architects use flying buttresses (look  

like the ribcage of a whale)

2. Advantage of stain glass windows?  

1) Use it to spread scripture of Biblical stories to  

the illiterate

f. Stained Glass – Rose Window, Chartres Cathedral, France i. Some say this is an example of divine providence

IV. Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274)

a. Born in Aquino, Italy (near Naples)

b. Highly influenced by Aristotle

c. Believed that the more you study science, the more you can  

understand the world God created

d. Science and religion are inseparable  

V. Cosmological Proof (Argument from Motion and Causation) - Aquinas a. Everything in motion is caused by something else, and every  

cause is the effect of a previous cause, and so forth.

i. Ex. One billiard ball hitting another

b. If we follow the “chain” of previous causes and effects, there  

must be a First Cause (“Prime Mover”) that sets everything off. i. There has to be a big bang that sets everything into effect 1. Cause = God or divine power

c. Therefore, a First Cause or “Prime Mover” must exist.

d. Criticisms

i. There is no empirical proof that we know through our  


1. Reply: He would say it is a logical proof based simply  

on cause and effect.

VI. Teleological Proof (Argument from Design/Harmony) - Aquinas a. We know empirically that all natural things have  


b. There is therefore a pattern or order in Nature that cannot be  

purely accidental or random.

c. The fact that Nature has a rational order means that Nature must

have been created intelligently.

d. Hence, an intelligent being must have created the universe and  

must exist.

i. There must be some intelligent force behind everything  

that makes the universe work.

e. Criticisms

i. Couldn’t this be evolution?  

1. Reply: Nature has too much of an intricate pattern  

behind it that evolution cannot be the only thing to  

explain it

f. **Proof based on Intelligent Design vs. Evolutionary Theory  VII. Argument from Morality - Aquinas

a. There are certain objective moral truths (“moral facts”) that  do not merely depend on individual opinions or social consensus  

 Moral Realism

i. Ex. The Ten Commandments

b. If there are objective moral truths, they have to depend on the  

universe (reality)  objective moral structure

c. If there is an objective moral structure, then there must have  been an objective superior being that created the universe 

therefore, a supreme moral being exists

d. According to Aquinas, you have to believe in a powerful, supreme

being, in order to be an ethical person

VIII. Saint Anselm (c. 1033-1109)

a. Archbishop of Canterbury, England

b. Believes you should be able to use your human reason and  

spiritual faith together to make decisions

c. “Credo ut intelligam”  

i. I believe so that I can understand

IX. Ontological Argument – Anselm

a. I imagine something in my mind so great and so perfect that  

nothing greater can be imagined.

b. Something that exists in reality and in my mind is “greater” than  

something that only exists in your mind

i. Ex. Unicorn that is only in your mind << unicorn that exists

in reality and your mind

c. Thus my idea of something so perfect that nothing greater can  be imagined must exist in reality and not merely in my mind.  Otherwise, something greater than it could be imagined (i.e.,  

that is also exists in reality)

i. It can only be perfect if it existed in reality and your  


d. Therefore, this greatest and most perfect being must exist in  

reality as well as in my mind

e. **Proof based on mental reality vs. actual reality

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November 8, 2016 – Discussion - The Modern World (The   Renaissance  The Enlightenment) 

I. The Renaissance ~ 15th-17th centuries CE

a. Revival of ancient Classical culture  

b. Rejects worldly view of Middle Ages and goes back to ancient  

Greco-Roman ideas

c. Rationalism and Humanism 

i. Rationalism = belief in the special power of human reason,  

intelligence, thinking power

ii. Humanism = focus on the potential of what humans can  achieve; we have a special status in reality; belief in the  

special status of human beings as being central for giving  

reality meaning -- humans are at the center of reality

d. Secularism 

i. Secular = not religious

ii. Secularism = principles not based on religion

iii. Now rely on science rather than religion for explanations of

true reality

e. The Scientific Revolution 

i. Key figures

1. Copernicus – heliocentric theory; sun is center of  


2. Galileo – invented telescope

3. Bacon – Father of Empiricism

ii. Emphasis on the physical/natural world and empirical  


1. Empirical knowledge = knowledge using your senses  

to observe things

2. Explaining things through science

II. Naturalism/Realism in Renaissance Art – began in Florence, Italy a. Motto: Art for art’s sake - art no longer tended to serve the  


b. More human centered; less focused on divine

c. Naturalism/Realism in Art

i. Artists become “more scientific”

ii. Empirical observation

iii. Study of human anatomy/body

iv. Goal: objective knowledge of reality; imitation of reality d. Leonardo da Vinci, Mona Lisa (or La Giaconda), 1503-1506

i. Possibility that it was the wife of a Florentine merchant

ii. Key Aspects that makes it a Renaissance artwork

1. She is central; size takes up entire portrait

2. Natural landscape

3. Use of perspective/depth

4. Naturalistic/realistic shading/detail

iii. Unfinished background = more focused on her rather than  

the landscape

e. Raphael, School of Athens, 1510-1511

i. Key Aspects that makes it a Renaissance artwork

1. Revival of classical culture by focusing on Greek  


1) Plato pointing up to his World of Ideas

2) Aristotle putting his hand out to practical world

f. Michelangelo, Sistine Chapel, The Creation of Adam, 1508-1512 i. Key Aspects that makes it a Renaissance artwork

1. Human relationship with God

2. Contrapposto – shifted weight; poise

3. Adam is sized proportionately to God

g. Hans Holbein the Younger, The French Ambassadors, 1533 i. Key Aspects that makes it a Renaissance artwork

1. Very realistic and naturalistic

2. No religious element; human-centered

3. Scientific objects scattered around

III. The Enlightenment (“Age of Reason”) ~ 17th-18th centuries CE a. Sir Isaac Newton – atomism 

i. If you understand how atoms work and collide, you  

understand the inner workings of reality

b. Scientific and Industrial Revolutions 

c. Enlightenment Philosophers

i. Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679)

1. British political philosopher

2. Social Contract theory

ii. Immanuel Kant (1724-1804)

1. German thinker

d. John Stuart Mill (1806-1873)

i. Heavily influenced by the Enlightenment

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November 10, 2016 - Discussion 

I. “What is Enlightenment?” (Kant) ~ 1784

a. Kant’s reply to a minister who asked “what is the enlightenment” b. Frederick II (“the Great) ~ 1712-1786

i. King of Prussia, 1740-1786

ii. “enlightened absolutism” 

1. Gave absolute freedom to the people, even though  

he was the King

2. Definition: hold absolute political power, but  

enlightened enough to be rational

1) Was educated, respectful, but was never  

threatened by the people

3. like the Pericles of Russia at the time

4. opposite is “unenlightened absolutism”

iii. In 20th century, he was referred to as the precursor to Hitler c. Immaturity

i. Criticizing the lack of courage and resolution to use your  

wisdom and understanding

1. Like dependency on others

ii. Maturity = knowing how to express your wisdom

iii. Reasons for immaturity = cowardice and laziness

d. Sapere aude! 

i. Have courage to use your own understanding

ii. Dare to be wise and have wisdom

1. Stand up for yourself and think for yourself

e. Private vs. Public use of reason 

i. Public = when you go home from that job and use your  

wisdom for yourself

1. Doesn’t think you should be fired for what you say  

outside of the job

ii. Private = when you have an assigned professional task and

you use your reason for that

1. You have a role to fill

2. You have restrictions on your freedom to keep the  

social order in tact

iii. If you didn’t have this, you wouldn’t have a rational  

community of people

iv. How does this relate to today? Is it realistic?

1. You have the right to choose whether you want to  


2. Kant says you should have room to express yourself,  

but still do your assigned job

3. In some high classified jobs, like the military or CIA,  

you would not be allowed to divulge that classified  

information on your free time

v. This is a good theory, but in practice it might be hard to  

play out

f. ***Reason  Freedom/Autonomy  

i. Why is it that the more rational you are, the freer you are? 1. You are not as chained to one point of view, so you  

have more options to consider and you are able to  


2. The more rational you are, the less you are controlled

by your desires and the freer you will be

3. When you are rational, you can step back and think  

and be less instinctual  

ii. ***Universal, unconditional laws of reason (categorical  


1. Apply to all situations and never have any exceptions

(ex. Do not kill)

iii. “self-legislation”  

1. This is what makes you free; you make the laws  


iv. *The more rational you are and the more laws you give  yourself, the freer you will be

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November 14, 2016 – Lecture 

I. Kant’s Ethical Theory 

a. Deontology = duty-based (obligation)

i. Do the right thing b/c it is the right thing to do

b. Reason  Freedom

c. Reason  Universal, unconditional laws of reason

i. Categorical imperatives 

1. Ex. Do not kill, do not steal

d. Consequences do not count

i. We can’t predict the future

e. Happiness does not count

f. Not dependent on specific situations

II. Mill’s Criticisms of Kant’s Theory

a. In everyday life, most people tend to focus more on  

consequences based on their specific moral situation

i. Example

1. Consequences for Terry Malloy if he testifies against  

Johnny Friendly = his brother might get hurt, Edie  

Doyle might not continue the relationship with him;  

he may get hurt

b. Kant’s theory does not really help us when there is a conflict b/w  categorical imperatives. (We’d have to rely on consequences to  

choose the best law of reason to follow)

i. Examples

1. If you have to lie to save someone’s life

2. Assisted suicide for human beings – end their life and


III. Kant vs. Mill

a. Kant – not focused on questions; doesn’t believe it matter what  situation you’re in; doesn’t believe happiness should account into


b. Mill – consequences matter; depends on the situation you’re in;  

believes happiness sis a factor



a. Theoretical pursuit of truth/wisdom

i. They do it for the sake of truth itself

ii. Ex. Socrates

b. Practical Concerns

i. Ex. Social-political reform

ii. Ex. Karl Marx  

1. Believed philosophy should bring about change

iii. Ex. John Stuart Mill

c. Combination of the Above

V. John Stuart Mill (1806-1873)

a. Utilitarianism/Consequentialism 

i. The right thing to do is based on what your consequences  do

ii. It doesn’t matter what intentions you have  only  

consequences matter

1. Kant is the opposite – he believes in the right  


b. Utility  Benefits  Consequences  

i. The Greatest Happiness Principle (synonymous with Utility) 1. When you decide the right thing to do, must take into

account the consequence of happiness; happiness  

DOES count

c. Father: James Mill (utilitarian philosopher)

i. Disciple of Jeremy Bentham (1748-1832)

1. “Father” of utilitarian ethics  

2. Emphasized the idea of consequences  

VI. Bentham: reform of the British penal system

a. Right choice/action leads to the greatest amount of pleasure and  

least amount of pain (Hedonism: highest goal = pleasure)

i. What did Bentham say we should do about the British  


1. You don’t punish a prisoner that is more than  

necessary; punish only in the appropriate way; if you  

inflict too much pain, you are acting evil and  


b. Laissez-faire economics 

i. Adam Smith’s “invisible hand”

1. The least possible gov’t intervention in the economy,

the better the economy progresses (ex.  


c. Individual liberty  democracy

i. You cannot use your freedom to hinder someone else’s  

freedom or life (The No Harm Principle)

1. Ex. Peaceful protests are okay, but once it begins to  

hurt other people it is considered bad according to  


ii. Personal vs. Public happiness 

1. You can’t just take your own personal happiness into  

account, you also have to look at others happiness

VII. J.S. Mill: On Liberty and Utilitarianism

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November 15, 2016 – Discussion - Mill 

I. John Stuart Mill’s education

a. Father was utilitarianism – the more education you have, the  

more you can make informed decisions later in life

i. Decided to homeschool John from young age  

1. John suffered from depression and had a mental  

breakdown in his teens

b. Big Lessons  

i. Private/personal vs. public/collective happiness

1. You can’t focus on just your own happiness, must  

look at other people’s lessons

2. Didn’t feel happy b/c he was so isolated and didn’t  

feel like he fit in to society

3. You’re only happy when you’re with other people who

are happy

ii. Utilitarianism requires a richer conception of human nature 1. Human psychology is fragile

2. His father’s philosophy didn’t understand complexity  

of human nature enough

3. We have to look at their feelings, desires

II. Mill’s Theory

a. Highest goal = Happiness = Pleasure (1st principle)

i. Bases his whole theory on this principle

1. Everything else based on this

ii. Must accept this to be human

iii. Can’t logically prove this, but it’s just something you know b. Other types of pleasure…

i. Spiritual

ii. Work  

iii. Emotional – love v. lust

iv. Intellectual

c. You have to look at the Quantity and Quality of pleasure d. Avoiding pain (“passive pleasure”)

i. Ex. Couch potato  

e. Satisfying desires (“active pleasure”)

i. Ex. Food, sex

f. The best way to live your life, according to Mill, is to avoid pain  

and satisfy your desires

III. Greatest Happiness Principle (Principle of Utility)

a. You have to look at how it contributes to your overall happiness b. ***DEFINITION: a choice or action is right when it aims at  

producing the greatest amount of happiness and the least  amount of unhappiness for the greatest number of  

individuals affected by that action***  

i. Pleasure is good, pain is bad

c. We’re not happy if the people around us are not happy

d. How do we know if choice is right or not?

i. See if it produces more pleasure or pain for people

ii. Ask yourself…

1. Who’s affected?

2. How do you measure the pleasure of the action?

e. Example: New medicine to help arthritis, but causes fatal  

reaction in 1% of those who take it

i. Mill’s Position

1. You should give them a choice to make the decision  

whether you want the medicine or not

2. Increase amount of pleasure = decrease amount of  


f. Example: in your will, if you leave most of your money to medical research firm that will help make a huge change and you will  benefit humanity – would you do that, meaning you would only  

leave a minimal amount to your relatives and children?

i. Mill’s Position

1. It’s the right decision to give to humanity b/c it is  

helping the greatest number of people

g. Example: What would you do if you found a dead cockroach in  

your salad?

i. Mill’s Position

1. Not say anything because it would cause more pain  

for others

h. Criticisms of Utilitarianism

i. “Swinish” Theory

ii. “Godless” Theory

iii. Too difficult to predict consequences

1. Kant = consequences don’t count

2. Mill = all that counts are consequences

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November 21, 2016 – Lecture – Mill (Ch. 3 and 4) 

I. Do people really follow the GHP?

a. Egoism vs. Altruism

i. Egoism = being ethically self-centered; putting yourself  


ii. Altruism = being selfless; putting others above their own  


b. Aren’t most people naturally selfish?

II. Mill’s Response (in Ch. 3 of his book)

a. External sanctions 

i. Fear of others disapproval

1. Don’t want people criticizing or condemning you;  

want to be praised

ii. Fear of being punished (law)

1. You do the right thing because if you didn’t, you  

would be arrested or caught

2. Ex. Tax evasion, not going over the speed limit too  

often so you don’t get a ticket

iii. Fear of divine retribution (religion)

1. Going to hell or purgatory in the afterlife

b. Internal sanctions (conscience)

i. Mill = all human beings have some sort of a conscience ii. Conscience – part of your personality that worries about  


1. Conscience is in your super ego (according to Freud)

III. Utilitarianism, Chapter 4

a. Of what sort of proof is the principle of utility susceptible? i. The reality of human nature is based on individual  

empirical knowledge

1. Human nature desires happiness

b. “No reason can be given why the general happiness is desirable  

except that each person…desires his own happiness.”

i. You have to put together each person’s happiness

ii. The desire for the public/collective good is based on the  

fact that each of us recognizes our own happiness

c. Humans either desire…

i. Happiness

ii. Some things that are a part of happiness – e.g. Virtue

d. Everything humans do in life in some way or another relates to  happiness

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November 21, 2016 – Lecture (continued) – The Death  Penalty/Capital Punishment 

I. *According to Mill, death is the way out

II. Retentionist Arguments (SUPPORT the death penalty)

a. A Matter of Justice 

i. Retribution and Proportionality 

1. Retribution – retaliation or payback

2. Proportionality – punishment fits the crime; you take  

someone’s life, you die

ii. Principle of Desert 

1. You execute a criminal because they deserve it

iii. Lex talionis – “law of the claw”

1. “eye for an eye”


b. General and Specific Deterrence 

i. Deterrence = prevention of future crimes

ii. General – sets a precedent for other people; prevent future

crime other people

iii. Specific – by executing a criminal, you make sure no one  else does it; make sure that specific person doesn’t do it  


iv. **Mill would support this argument the most to support the death penalty; even though you’re killing people, you’re  

saving innocent lives**


c. Emotional Closure for Family of Victim 


d. Economic Costs 

i. Some think it costs more to keep them in prison than to put

them to death

ii. A lot of research shows it costs more try a person for death

penalty cuz it takes longer trials and other lawyers


III. Abolitionist Arguments (AGAINST the death penalty)

a. Cruel and Unusual Punishment 

i. Violates principle of human dignity


b. State-Sanctioned Murder 

i. Two wrongs don’t make a right


c. Discrimination (poor, uneducated, etc.)


d. Mistakes 

i. Innocent people sometimes executed


e. Primitive Emotions 


f. Economic Costs 


g. Lack of Emotional Closure 


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November 28, 2016 – Lecture – Capital Punishment 

I. Landmark U.S. Supreme Court Cases  

a. Furman v. Georgia (1972)

i. The state that subjects a person to it cannot use it  

arbitrarily  basically how it should be applied

ii. Led to a 4-year moratorium due to a concern with  

inconsistent application

iii. Death penalty must be applied in a reasonable, rational,  

and consistent way

b. Gregg v. Georgia (1976)

i. Is the death penalty “cruel and unusual punishment”?

1. 8th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution – human  


ii. Decision

1. Majority of supreme court decided it is constitutional

2. If a state wants to use it, they have to make sure it is

applied correctly

1) States can decide for themselves if they want  

to use it

II. International Views  

a. Europe

i. Article 2 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the  

European Union prohibits use of the death penalty

ii. Why?  

1. They think it is cruel and unusual

2. We can use less cruel punishments (i.e. life without  


1) **JS Mill supported death penalty because it  

guarantees security the criminal would not  

commit these crimes again

b. 2007, 2008, 2010: The United Nations General Assembly  established non-binding prohibitions calling for a “global  

moratorium/suspension on the use of the death penalty”

i. Problem: nations don’t always obey

III. Increasing Skepticism

a. 2002: Atkins v. Virginia (U.S. Supreme Court)

i. Ban on executing the mentally handicapped

ii. You could argue that they didn’t have the rational or  

mental capacity to think clearly

b. 2004: Federal - Advancing Justice Through DNA Technology Act i. Funding for post-conviction DNA testing

1. To make sure death row prisoners are actually guilty

ii. Reason: to not make any mistakes

iii. Would it be worth it to execute 99 guilty prisoners and 1  

innocent prisoner?

1. According to GHP, it would be okay because it is for  

the greatest number of people

2. Impersonal vs. personal decision

3. What would Mill say about innocent people being  


1) It would be heinous if an innocent person was  


2) Jurys and judges should be completely sure  

beyond a shadow of a reasonable doubt that  

the person(s) is guilty no matter what before  

sending them to death row

i. It all depends on how much trust you  

have in your justice system

c. 2005: Roper v. Simmons (U.S. Supreme Court)

i. Ban on executing minors (under the age of 18) at the time  

of the crime

ii. We can’t be sure that those under the age of 18 developed  

in a certain way that they know the consequences

iii. If you’re under 18 and commit a heinous crime, you cannot be subject to the death penalty

IV. Current Status of the Death Penalty

a. **As of November 2016, capital punishment is currently  

authorized and in use by 31 states

b. States Against It

i. New Mexico, Illinois, Connecticut, and Maryland have  

recently abolished it.

1. Courts in Maryland have recently declared the state’s

capital punishment law as unconstitutional.

c. Polls

i. A majority of Americans (about 60%) still support the use  

of the death penalty for murderers

ii. However, recent polls also indicate the support for the  

death penalty is declining

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November 28, 2016 – Lecture (continued) 

I. Arthur Schopenhauer (1788-1860)

a. Same time period as JS Mill

b. Early Life

i. Born in Danzig (now Poland)

ii. Father: merchant  

1. Wanted Arthur to become involved in family business

c. Known as “The Great Pessimist”

d. Counter-Enlightenment philosopher

i. Movement against Age of Enlightenment

e. Anti-rationalist and anti-humanist

i. Humans base their decisions more on emotions than on  


1. Emotions = instincts, urges, impulses  subconscious


2. Kant is wrong that reason is the only thing that  

defines human beings

ii. Against the fact that human beings elevate themselves so  


1. Schopenhauer says humans aren’t that special

2. Most of what makes up our personality is irrational

f. Radical atheist

g. Influence on Friedrich Nietzsche and Existentialist Philosophy i. Nietzsche influenced by Schopenhauer, but disagreed on  

certain parts

h. Parents

i. Father died when he was a boy – 1805

1. Father died under mysterious circumstances

2. Got Arthur thinking of suffering and philosophy  

ii. *Mother became a famous novelist and cultural figure and  friend of Goethe 

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November 29, 2016 - Discussion 

I. Arthur Schopenhauer 

a. Radical Atheist

i. Viewed organized religion as a masked illusion

1. People create these religions as a security blanket

2. Rejected Christianity across the board

ii. For him, religion is for weak people

iii. Religion is a faction created by our minds and imagination iv. One of the first European thinkers to read spiritual texts b. But influenced by Buddhism & Hinduism 

i. The physical world is merely “appearance”, not reality  

(Maya) ~ [Hinduism]

1. The most you know what’s physical is what your  

senses tell you

1) Similar to Plato’s World of Ideas

2. What is really real for the Hindus?

1) The World of Brahman = ultimate spiritual  


ii. Recognition that life is suffering ~ [Buddhism: 4 Noble  


1. Need to realize life will bring you frustration, sorrow

2. “The day you’re born you start dying”

3. What causes suffering?

1) Broken relationships

2) Loss of loved ones

4. In reality, bad things happen to good people – have  

to be prepared for things that could go wrong

iii. Suffering teaches us to turn away from life (detachment --  

stoic) ~ [Buddhism: 4 Noble Truths; Epictetus]

1. You should try to detach yourself emotionally from  

most of reality, not just things you can’t control

2. Don’t expect the best out of everything, you will only

get hurt in the end

iv. Need for emotional detachment, especially from our  

desires ~ [Buddhism: 4 Noble Truths]

c. Believed life is inherently irrational 

i. Importance of emotions, passions, instincts, etc.

1. Emphasis on psychology and the subconscious 

(influence on Nietzsche and Freud)

1) Subconscious works full-time throughout day –  

responsible for moods, emotions

II. The World as Will and Representation (1818)

a. The world is a manifestation or representation of a universal  metaphysical energy force (“the Will to Live” that is blind,  irrational, chaotic, etc. (infinite desire/starving)

i. “the Will to Live” = the will to survive; it’s the energy force  

that animates you and makes you aware

ii. energy force – acts according to instinct

III. Other Points of Discussion

a. Mother = Johanna Schopenhauer 

i. Wrote travel books and novels  

ii. Became famous at the time

1. Arthur didn’t become well-known till after his death

iii. Story that Arthur was jealous of Johanna

iv. After father’s death, mother moved from Hamburg to  

Weimar with two kids

v. Arthur and mother had very rocky relationship

b. Johann Wolfgang Goethe (1749-1822)

i. Was good friends with mom and son

ii. When Arthur met him, Arthur decided to become a  

philosopher like Goethe

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December 1, 2016 - Discussion 

I. “The Way of Salvation”, Schopenhauer

a. SEE SCHOPENHAUER STUDY GUIDE FOR MORE INFORMATION b. He has a very pessimistic view of life

c. Says that Mill are Aristotle are wrong

i. We can’t base our life on the goal of happiness

d. The more thoughtful people are, the more worried they are and  

disappointed they become

e. How to overcome this mistake?

i. You should suffer early, so you don’t expect greater  

happiness later on

1. You have to suffer to know the truth and be wise

ii. What kind of attitude should you have while dealing with  

the suffering?

1. Don’t trouble yourself with things you can’t control

2. BUT, detach yourself from everything

iii. The Will to Live is what tells us to keep going even when  

there is so much suffering

f. What gives life its drama? – Two opposite forces

i. Fate – reality

ii. Desire for happiness

g. Why is that the earlier we suffer, the better off we are?

i. Teaches them to detach themselves from early on

II. Other Points of Discussion – Schopenhauer 

a. Goal of life = serenity that is produced by detaching yourself  

from everything  life-denial 

b. Final end/goal is actually death

i. Death is the ultimate detachment from life

c. Model of detachment 

i. Aesthetic contemplation 

1. The best thing you can do is go to a museum and  

just stare at art

2. Something that puts you in a meditative or  

contemplative mood

ii. Schopenhauer says to be more of a passive spectator or a  

couch potato

d. Schopenhauer’s version of the Golden Mean

i. If you suffer, you’re living a good life

III. “What is Noble”, Nietzsche 

a. In what ways does he agree with Schopenhauer?

i. Life is filled with suffering

ii. Life is often irrational and chaotic

b. The Will to Power  opposing to Schopenhauer’s “Will to Live” i. Personal and psychological power

1. It has to be your inner power

ii. Grow, become better and stronger, but as a stronger  


1. “What doesn’t kill me makes me stronger”

iii. Example: a plant growing, animals who fight each other to  

protect themselves, etc.

1. Do it to survive and be better

2. Self-enhancement

iv. Don’t follow others

c. What’s the difference b/w Will to Power and Will to Live? i. Life-denial (Schopenhauer) vs. life-affirmation (Nietzsche)  1. Say yes to life, don’t say no

d. Nietzsche thinks Schopenhauer is a nihilist

i. Someone who says no to everything

ii. You’ve only got one life, do the best you can

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December 5, 2016 - Lecture 

I. Nietzsche (1844-1900)

a. Background

i. Born in Germany

ii. Father = Lutheran minister

1. Raised in a very religious (Christian) household of  


iii. Lived a very lonely life

b. Believed females are actually way more powerful than men 

exert feminine mystique

i. Shouldn’t define yourself by a gender or categorize  


ii. Think of yourself as an individual first – be true to yourself  

and be unique

c. Friedrich Nietzsche later rejected organized religion, especially  


d. **Life: pattern of overcoming weaknesses**

e. Atheism

i. Reaction against the religion he was raised in

f. Most famous statement: “God is dead”

i. God is created by humans to make themselves feel more  


1. Similar to what Schopenhauer believes about God

ii. Makes you weak if you believe in God or religion

iii. There is no God, our idea of God is dying – we just go  

through the motions and aren’t passionate about things

1. Should be passionate about yourself

II. Influence of Schopenhauer on Nietzsche

a. Like Schopenhauer, Nietzsche was also an atheist and an anti

rationalist (Counter-Enlightenment)

i. What your life is made up of is more than things that are  

just rational and can’t always be explained

b. Nietzsche agreed and disagreed with Arthur Schopenhauer i. Yes – life is often irrational filled with misery and suffering 1. Nietzsche lived a lonely life, but also a very sickly  

person since he was a child

ii. *No – we should engage in life and affirm the value of  

human life

1. Life-affirmation

1) Say yes to life – grab the bull by the horns

2. Self-affirmation

1) You decided what’s right and wrong  values  


iii. Will to Live vs. Will to Power

1. Self-preservation vs. self-enhancement

2. Will to Power = associated with your psychological  


1) “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”

2) everyone strives to enhance themselves; we  

should always strike to make ourselves better  

and supreme

c. Problem of Nihilism 

i. Latin: nihil = nothing

ii. You are so emotionally detached that you believe nothing  


1. Nothing makes a difference so just let things happen

iii. Example: N views Schopenhauer as the biggest nihilist iv. N is the opposite of a nihilist, believes you should find  

value in your life but on your own terms

v. Don’t be a passive spectator, participate in the game of life 1. Immerse yourself

2. Say yes to life

3. Don’t give up your faith and value in life

vi. People in the modern age should take nihilism seriously 1. Today, they are either totally engaged or totally  


vii. You have to take your body seriously

viii. Too much detachment = nihilism  

III. “What is Noble?”, Nietzsche – comes from book “The Genealogy of  


a. Master-morality vs. Slave-morality 

i. Master-morality (beginning of pg. 3)

1. The rulers

1) Had the kind of personality that could conquer  


2. Psychological traits of masters

1) Noble, heroic, aristocratic, powerful,  

individualistic, creative, active, self-glorifying,  

life-affirming (beyond conventional society)

2) They dare to be their own individual person

3. “Will to power” = will to dominate = will to enhance  

your life

1) Psychological power, especially the principle of  


i. Do whatever it takes to improve yourself

ii. You overcome yourself by transcending  

yourself now and becoming stronger by  

overcoming your weaknesses – not afraid

to express yourself  self-expression

2) They have a lot of inner strength

4. You need freedom to be a true master

ii. Übermensch (“Superman”/ “Overman”)

1. Transcends conventional humanity

2. Supreme creative individual

3. Dare to overcome their past and weaknesses

iii. Slave-morality 

1. People who are ruled

2. Psychological traits of slaves

1) Weak, passive, subservient, conformist,  

traditionalist, resentful of masters

i. Why are they resentful towards masters?

1. A degree of jealousy – masters  

have that conquering power over  

the slaves

a. They hate their enemies  

3. “Bourgeois” culture/values

1) leads to conformism and mediocrity

4. Biggest example of slave-morality in history is  

religion, specifically Christianity

1) The worse thing that could happen is when  

everyone follows group thinking

b. Excerpt: beginning of reading -- “Every elevation…in some form  

or another”

i. Everybody has their own talents

ii. No one is the same and no one should be the same iii. People have these psychological traits in modern society  


c. Why did he start looking into these type of moralities? i. Ancient Greek and Roman principles

d. An aristocratic gov’t in place during that time

e. Genealogy = tracing back in history what people thought of  ethics

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December 6, 2016 - Discussion 

I. Conventional/Traditional Moral Distinctions (in every society/culture): a. We are shaped by our culture and the things we know that are  

good or bad are shaped by our environment

b. N says if you go back to ancient Greek and roman times, people  

either distinct themselves as

c. “Good” vs. “Bad” 

i. Masters think of others as good or bad

ii. They don’t have anyone above them, so they don’t have  

any resentment

iii. They like people like them, the ones who go above and  


iv. Don’t view their rivals or friends as threats, but more as  


v. Good = themselves; people who are anti-conformist, don’t  

define them

vi. Bad = slaves; they express a weakness the masters  

disapprove of

d. “Good” vs. “Evil” 

i. Slaves think of others as good or evil

ii. Evil = master’s b/c they are the conquers and are  


1. They are resentful towards master b/c masters can  

control them, oppose them

iii. Good = themselves; others who are weak, subservice,  

passive, conformist

e. Nietzsche wants us to be a master without resentment

f. Nietzsche is concerned more with how you are as an overall  


i. Mill – concerned with actions

ii. Plato, Aristotle, Socrates, Epictetus – concerned with  


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December 8, 2016 - Discussion 

I. “Crimes and Misdemeanors” 


b. JS Mill’s No Harm Principle

i. You have to look past the immediate situation and look  

forward to see the bigger picture

ii. Think of how it affects the society as a whole

c. Divine Command Theory – Sal and Aunt May

d. Aunt May

i. What does Aunt May say that shows she is ether a follower  of Mill’s GHP, Schopenhauer, or Nietzsche? Give  

specific things she says to Sal and her belief in the Divine  

Command Theory.

1. She calls religion “mumbo jumbo” and is an atheist 

Nietzsche and Schopenhauer

2. She says you should just let things roll off of you

3. Very pessimistic and apathetic, but not angry just  

passionate  Schopenhauer

4. Her view of history – Hitler, WWII, The Holocaust

1) She says winners write history – those who win  

are the strongest

2) History shows us strong do make up the rules  

and weak follow them

3) If they want to get away with something, then  

they can. They don’t have to sit around  

worrying about God or anything like Sal

5. Basically, you should make up your own morality and

do what you want

6. Sees more of a Will to Power in history rather than  

the Will to Live

1) Nietzsche thinks you can exploit people to get  

what you want

e. Moral structure  moral code

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