Philosophy 43811

Third Paper -- Due Wednesday, April 27

The paper will be 6-7 pages in length, double spaced and in an 11-point or 12-point proportional font. 
The paper is due on April 27 at 11:59pm, submitted as an attachment (in .doc or .docx format) to an email sent to

Your third and last writing assignment will be to discuss what Chesterton perceives in the three books we have read to be the main opponent of Christianity, both theoretically and practically, viz., the various forms of pessimism.  There is a lot of material strewn throughout the books, and so you have a lot of leeway for creativity here.

The first half of your paper should characterize pessimism from Chesterton's perspective and explain the various forms that it has taken historically in Chesterton's estimation, from the pessimistic undertones in classical pagan mythology and philosophy and in various forms of Eastern religion, and even the incursions into Christianity itself (especially Calvinism as Chesterton understands it), and even some forms of Augustinianism.  

The second part of your paper should discuss the ways in which, according to Chesterton, Christian orthodoxy serves as a counter to pessimism.  This part of the paper can draw from many sections of the three books, and so it is up to you to try to fashion a coherent and interesting picture of  the alternative to pessimism that Christianity offers.