<%@LANGUAGE="JAVASCRIPT" CODEPAGE="65001"%> Discussion4

Agenda for Discussion, Wednesday, February 6, 2008

I am requesting that two of you present essays on the following questions about Gentile's philosophy.

1.  Molly ("Doctrine of Fascism"):  What is Gentile's conception of the Individual and how does it relate to politics?
2.  Rich ("Reform of Education"):  What is Gentile's theory about education and how does it relate to politics?

For everyone, please come prepared to discuss the following questions (and in the following order):
1.  How do (would) Kant and Gentile differ in responding to the question "What is Enlightenment?"
2.  What are Kant's and Gentile's conceptions of freedom and how do they differ?
3.  What are Kant's and Gentile's arguments about progress and what do they have to do with morality?
4.  When you put your answers to all three of the preceding questions together, what do they have  to do with the concept of the Individual?
5.  When you put the same answers together, what do they have to do with politics?

Make sure you bring BOTH the Kant and Gentile readings to class.

Here are some important issues I want to emphasize:

My pedagogical goal in this course is not to provide you with answers but rather to provide you with the awareness and tools to pose good questions, which will in turn enable you to seek answers by yourselves.  This is a necessarily crescive process.  Once we have read 3 or 4 of our philosophers, you will begin to intuit quickly how the three focuses of this seminar--epistemology, morality, agency--fit naturally together to shape politics.

On Wednesday, I will also give you a short writing assignment to determine where all of you stand in terms of your understanding of the material.  This will not be graded, unless you want me to.

Please read Gentile's writings, especially "Education," with great care.  They are not as easy as they seem.  For a pleasant challenge, read the chapter on The Fundamental Antinomy of Education several times.