Dr. Thomson/Lit. (2nd Quarter)

  1. From Plato Six Pack:  “Apology,” pp. 18-38.  All students MUST read this piece BEFORE CLASS, and prepare an essay of 300-400 words on the following topic:  “Identify in Plato’s text three arguments which Socrates advances to defend himself against Meletos.  Which one do you find most persuasive, and why?”   -- NOTE:  This work purports to present the full language of Socrates’ self-defense before a jury of ~500 fellow-Athenians in 399 BC.  He was accused of blasphemy and of corrupting the youth of Athens.  This trial was one of the most famous in history.
  2. From Plato Six Pack:  “The Allegory of the Cave,” pp. 113-139. – NOTE:  This piece (actually Book VII of Plato’s The Republic) has provided  a very durable image for centuries of philosophic thought on the nature of reality.
  3. From Lewis, Mere Christianity, pp. viii-xx and 3-150.  Essay topic will be assigned in previous class. – NOTE:  The Oxford don Clive Staples Lewis, also widely remembered as the author of the children’s classic series, The Chronicles of Narnia, is regarded as the greatest defender of Christianity in the 20th Century.
  4. From Lewis, Mere Christianity, pp.  151-227.  Specific discussion topics to be assigned.
  5. Solzhenitsyn, One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich, entire volume.  Essay topic will be assigned in the previous class.  – NOTE:  This work, initially published in 1962 in the literary journal Novy Mir as a result of Khrushchev’s “Thaw”, laid bare before the Soviet peoples and the world the harsh realities of the GULag. Solzhenitsyn would be awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1970.
  6. Further discussion of the above piece; individual assignments.  Last class of the second quarter.