Introduction to Philosophy

Answer TWO (2) of the followin” rel=”nofollow”>ing prompts in” rel=”nofollow”>in essay form: One from section A (p.1-2) and one from section B (p.2-3).
Section A

(1) Interpret, explain” rel=”nofollow”>in, and evaluate, Heidegger’s conception of Gestell [Technological Enframin” rel=”nofollow”>ing] in” rel=”nofollow”>in “The Question Concernin” rel=”nofollow”>ing Technology”. What is enframin” rel=”nofollow”>ing? How does enframin” rel=”nofollow”>ing reveal the world to us? What characteristics does enframin” rel=”nofollow”>ing have? What does Heidegger mean by “standin” rel=”nofollow”>ing-reserve”? How does modern technology differ from pre-modern technology accordin” rel=”nofollow”>ing to Heidegger? What is “the danger” contain” rel=”nofollow”>ined within” rel=”nofollow”>in enframin” rel=”nofollow”>ing which Heidegger fears? What is “the savin” rel=”nofollow”>ing power”? Do you thin” rel=”nofollow”>ink that Heidegger is right in” rel=”nofollow”>in the way that he characterizes art and artists? How would you characterize the dangers of modern technology? How does your understandin” rel=”nofollow”>ing of the dangers of technology compare with Heidegger’s?

(2) Interpret, analyze and explain” rel=”nofollow”>in Marx’s concept of alienation in” rel=”nofollow”>in “Estranged Labor”. What is alienation? What are the workers alienated from? What are the four aspects of estranged labor? What is human nature – our “species-bein” rel=”nofollow”>ing” – accordin” rel=”nofollow”>ing to Marx and how is it transformed by estranged labor? How does Marx’s analysis of estranged labor fit in” rel=”nofollow”>into his overall critique of free market capitalism? Do you fin” rel=”nofollow”>ind Marx’s analysis of estranged labor convin” rel=”nofollow”>incin” rel=”nofollow”>ing? By Marx’s defin” rel=”nofollow”>inition, are all jobs alienatin” rel=”nofollow”>ing in” rel=”nofollow”>in some respect or only certain” rel=”nofollow”>in jobs or only certain” rel=”nofollow”>in aspects of certain” rel=”nofollow”>in jobs? In “Estranged Labor”, Marx primarily discusses the alienation of the proletariat, but he also suggests that the bourgeoisie are alienated (in” rel=”nofollow”>in a different way) by the economic system of capitalism. How might the rich and powerful be alienated? (Use historical and/or contemporary examples.) Why does Marx thin” rel=”nofollow”>ink that only a revolution followed by socialism will put an end to alienated labor? Is he right about this? If not, then how might we put an end to alienated labor?

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(4) Interpret and explain” rel=”nofollow”>in Marx’s concept of human nature as it is presented in” rel=”nofollow”>in the essay on “Estranged Labor” (and elsewhere in” rel=”nofollow”>in his texts: see the notes). What is human nature accordin” rel=”nofollow”>ing to Marx? How does Marx’s conception of human nature differ from other concepts we have looked at this semester? How does alienation in” rel=”nofollow”>in contemporary capitalist society make it impossible to fulfill our natural potential?

(5) Explain” rel=”nofollow”>in Beauvoir’s concept of alterity – “otherness” – in” rel=”nofollow”>in The Second Sex. What does Beauvoir mean when she refers to women as “the Other” and “the second sex”? In The Second Sex Beauvoir says that in” rel=”nofollow”>in patriarchal Western societies men are “subjects” who are able to achieve transcendence, while women have become “the Other” or “the second sex” and are confin” rel=”nofollow”>ined to immanence (p.27). Why are men “subjects” and women “objects” accordin” rel=”nofollow”>ing to Beauvoir? What does she mean by this? How does this happen? How does Beauvoir defin” rel=”nofollow”>ine human freedom? (Optional: Apply Beauvoir’s conception of alterity to current socio-political issues. How does the concept of alterity help us to understand discrimin” rel=”nofollow”>ination and oppression? Do you thin” rel=”nofollow”>ink that Beauvoir’s concepts are still applicable today?)

Section B

(1) Explain” rel=”nofollow”>in and evaluate Butler’s theory of “gender performativity” as it is presented in” rel=”nofollow”>in “Performative Acts and Gender Constitution”. What does Butler mean by “gender performativity”? What does it mean to “perform” gender, and how does this differ from playin” rel=”nofollow”>ing a role? What does Butler mean when she suggests that “what is called gender identity is a performative accomplishment compelled by social sanction and taboo” (p.270)? How does Butler’s account of gender differ from traditional, essentialist accounts of gender? How is Butler’s theory of gender related to Beauvoir’s claim “one is not born, but rather becomes, a woman”?

(2) Explain” rel=”nofollow”>in Marcuse’s conception of “one-dimensionality” as expressed in” rel=”nofollow”>in “The New Forms of Control” from One Dimensional Man. How, accordin” rel=”nofollow”>ing to Marcuse, are in” rel=”nofollow”>individuals actually controlled in” rel=”nofollow”>in supposedly free, Western democracies? Why have we not used modern technology to satisfy the vital needs of the global population? What are “false needs” and why are they repressive? How do false needs keep us chain” rel=”nofollow”>ined to society and reproduce the capitalist ideology of perpetual consumption? What is mimesis and how does this compare to real critical thin” rel=”nofollow”>inkin” rel=”nofollow”>ing? How is thought bein” rel=”nofollow”>ing leveled down by technological rationality? How does Marcuse concept of “technological rationality” compare to Heidegger’s notion of technological “enframin” rel=”nofollow”>ing”?

(3) Interpret and explain” rel=”nofollow”>in Adorno and Horkheimer’s analysis of “the culture in” rel=”nofollow”>industry” in” rel=”nofollow”>in The Dialectic of Enlightenment. What is “the culture in” rel=”nofollow”>industry” accordin” rel=”nofollow”>ing to Adorno and Horkheimer? What is the sociopolitical function of the culture in” rel=”nofollow”>industry? How does the culture in” rel=”nofollow”>industry homogenize in” rel=”nofollow”>individuals and reproduce the status quo ideology of capitalist busin” rel=”nofollow”>iness? What is mimesis and how does this compare to real critical thin” rel=”nofollow”>inkin” rel=”nofollow”>ing? Be sure to explain” rel=”nofollow”>in the concepts of standardization, universalization, and pseudo-in” rel=”nofollow”>individuality as these are essential to their account. (Optional: Use Adorno and Horkheimer’s concepts to critique any aspect of 21st Century popular culture and show how it is a form of social control – i.e. how it reproduces the ideology of consumer capitalism.)
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(4) Interpret and explain” rel=”nofollow”>in West’s notion of “white supremacy” in” rel=”nofollow”>in “A Genealogy of Modern Racism” from Prophesy Deliverance! What is a “genealogy” in” rel=”nofollow”>in West’s sense of the term? What is “white supremacy” and where does it origin” rel=”nofollow”>inate? What role do modern science, Cartesian epistemology, and Ancient Greek ideals concernin” rel=”nofollow”>ing beauty play in” rel=”nofollow”>in establishin” rel=”nofollow”>ing the modern discourse which makes “white supremacy” possible? What is the “normative gaze” and how does this relate to modern conceptualizations of “race”? Why is providin” rel=”nofollow”>ing a genealogy of “white supremacy” important to West? What does he want us to change about the way that we (as a society) perceive black people as a “race”?

(5) Explain” rel=”nofollow”>in and evaluate Appiah’s argument that racialist conceptions of “race” are illusory as it is presented in” rel=”nofollow”>in “Illusions of Race” from In My Father’s House. What, accordin” rel=”nofollow”>ing to Appiah, is wrong with Du Bois’ essentialist (and by extension all essentialist conceptions) of “race”? What is racialism and how does it differ from racism? Why is race not a meanin” rel=”nofollow”>ingful, significant, or important category in” rel=”nofollow”>in biology accordin” rel=”nofollow”>ing to Appiah? Why is race not a useful way to categorize in” rel=”nofollow”>individuals? How are racial categorizations harmful to the in” rel=”nofollow”>individuals who are categorized this way? (Be sure to mention the analogy Appiah draws between library book and racial classification). Do you thin” rel=”nofollow”>ink that Appiah is (morally and in” rel=”nofollow”>intellectually) right to deflate the concept of race to merely the most min” rel=”nofollow”>inimal biological conception possible or is race somethin” rel=”nofollow”>ing more than he thin” rel=”nofollow”>inks it is? If so, what to you thin” rel=”nofollow”>ink it is?

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