for the week of August 28
Buy your textbooks ASAP. The reading assignment is as follows:
By Wednesday, August 30:
· Read the Preface to Thinking Things Through (henceforth, “TTT”), and
· Chapter 1 of TTT
· In Cahn, read the biography of Anselm on page 306,
· and then read the prologue and Chapters 2-5 of his Proslogion.
· Read the biography of Aquinas on page 329,
· and then read the complete text of “Question II” of his Summa Theologica, on page 339.
· Finally, read the biography of Spinoza on page 414,
· and look over the first two pages of The Ethics. (Focus on the form of the arguments; the details are close to incomprehensible.)
On Wednesday, September 6, turn in answers to the homework assignment below at the beginning of class. The annotations at the end of each question are an indication of the kind of answer we expect, in terms of length: S = short, one or two sentences; M = medium, a paragraph or so; L = long, two or three paragraphs.
You are encouraged to discuss the readings and homework assignments with your peers. However, you must be alone when you write up the answers you turn in; collaboration at this stage is not allowed.
Your homework will be graded not only in terms of its correctness, but also in terms of qualities like clarity and concision. Neatness counts.
1. TTT, study question 1 on page 15 (S)
2. TTT, study question 4 on page 16 (M)
3. On the one hand, Anselm argues that God cannot be thought not to exist. On the other hand, a fool may claim that God does not exist, and so, apparently, think it. How does Anselm resolve this difficulty? (M)
4. TTT, study question 2 on page 18 (L)
5. TTT, study question 2 on page 21 (M)
6. On what grounds does Aquinas reject Anselm’s ontological argument? Explain his distinction between the two ways that something can be self-evident in itself. (M)
7. TTT, study question 1 on page 30 (M)
8. TTT, study question 4 on page 30 (M)
9. Prove that the set of real numbers between 0 and 1 has a larger cardinality than the set of natural numbers. (L) (Hint: Use a diagonal argument, and the fact that any real number between 0 and 1 has an infinite decimal expansion, 0.a1a2a3a4.... For example, 1/2 = 0.500000... and 1/3 = 0.333333.....)
1. TTT, study questions 2, 3, and 5 on pages 15-16.
2. TTT, study questions 1 and 3 on page 18
3. TTT, study questions 1 and 3 on page 21
4. TTT, study questions 2 and 3 on page 30
5. Prove that the cardinality of the set of functions from the natural numbers to the natural numbers is larger than the cardinality of the set of natural numbers. (See page 29 of TTT.)
6. TTT, review questions on page 31