Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Smith - Wealth of Nations Presentation

Things to consider tomorrow:

What are the factors of production?

What does a division of labor do for a society?

How does a division of labor help and hurt society?

Why was money created?

Was the creation of money good for society? If no, how can it be improved?

How does labor relate to stock (capital)?

How does one's amount of stock held relate to his profit from it?

What is the relationship between the two types of capital?

Monday, February 24, 2014

Declaration of the Rights of Women

As Professor Vaught shared in class, the purpose of feminism should not be to achieve equality, but in actuality, inequality from men. I agree with this thought because I see the point of feminism as a movement for women to fight for rights that will position women above the status quo, and a truly successful feminist movement will have women above men in certain rights. Thus, I find The Declaration of the Rights of Women somewhat flawed because Gouges essentially is seeking a revolution where women will will attain rights and liberties in order to be equal to men. Furthermore, in the postscript, Gouges states that "[she] leave it to men to attain glory for dealing with this matter..." This statement confused me because it gave off the vibe that even though she is passionately trying to stir the hearts of women, she mentions that it is the men's action and support women need to gain more rights in society. Not sure, if I misread that portion but it did make me question Gouges.

Declaration 1789

As we talked about in class, "The Law is the expression of the general will".  This reminds me of a democracy like the one we have in this country.  In order for a law to be put into action, people as a whole have to vote for it.  It is the people's choice for what becomes a law or not but in other forms of government this is not always the case.  Although an age requirement is the only way to distinct if a human is mentally capable of making a rational decision (voting), I dislike the way our system works.  Some humans mature faster than others and it is possible for an educated 15 year old to make a very rational, unbiased decisions.  "No one may be disturbed on account of his opinions"(Article 10). If someone has an opinion that is well thought out, I believe it should be respected child or man.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

A contrary view

I disagree with Olympre De Gouges rights for women. Her Article I says " Woman is born free and lives equal to man in her rights..." Her statement is wrong. Women are not born equal to men. Women are linked to encumbrance, breast nurturance, and irrationality. Men are wagers of war and can't nurture children.  Women don't have property their husbands do.  Olympre is obviously wrong and biased. She mentions woman first before man in each Article. Women are too emotional and irrational to make laws. Women don't need liberation because there are subject to Men. Eve sinned first so she must be subject to Adam. Men have rights but Women only have certain rights.

Declarations/Rousseau & Man's End

Reading through the Declaration of Human and Civic Rights, I found myself often drawing back to Rousseau. For example, the first article states that men are free and equal and social distinctions may be based only on the common good – though Rousseau in this case would find this impossible, as inequality is inherent in the social contract of civil society; rather than assuring equality, it instead solidifies inequalities. Article 4, too, reminded me of Rousseau, in that it states that every citizen is obliged – one of Rousseau’s main arguments that entry into civil society assures inequality: the poor are obliged to protect the property of the wealthy.

In solidifying these inequalities among men (with social contract), we seem to doom ourselves – at least so it seems from Rousseau’s work. While we may enter society to escape the state of war, our social contract itself, wrought with agreed-upon inequality, maintains the roots of the state of war. Looking at society in this way, it seems that Rousseau foresees a cycle of war-society-war and so on. Does Rousseau see the human population as doomed? Would he believe that eventually man would destroy himself, through the cycle of destruction and corruption of society and the subsequent rise of the state of war?

Response to Jordan on Declarations

To answer Jordan Scott's last question: I do think that women were not considered smart enough to know that they were committing a crime because in De Gouges' seventh article, she mentions that women should not be exempt from any punishment just as men are, so she is arguing that women have the same knowledge of crimes that men do, and for that reason, women should be held accountable to the same extent. This means that the other declaration assumed that women were unequal regarding to crimes. In addition, De Gouges mentions in article thirteen that women should be expected to contribute to public force and taxation as much as men insofar as they have the same amount of wealth as men do. This assumes that women have an unequal position in society, so the laws could not be directly pertinent to men and women. So, it is possible that just as there was an inequality in wealth, there was an considered inequality pertaining to the mental capacity of the two sexes. So, just as women were not wealthy enough to pay the same in taxes, they were probably not smart enough to be punished for crimes.


     Agreeing with Angelica, I too noticed that the target audiences for the two declarations are completely different.  I noticed that the Declaration of Human and Civic Rights tends to not rely so much on the full force of law as it pertains to man, but on the freedoms and the protection from the harshness of laws.  On the surface, it seems like the articles are written the way they are to prevent the abuse of law, but in comparison to the Declaration of the Rights of Women, the meaning changes. Even the title, Declaration of Human and Civic Rights, seems to indicate that women aren't considered human, or at least, not on the same level as men because there is no mention made to women or any general overarching term that would encompass both sexes.
     In Declaration of Human and Civic Rights, the focus is more on what the law can't do to men whereas in Declaration of the Rights of Women, Olympe De Gouges, talks about the equal footing that both sexes have and how the law serves both in protecting the individual and maintaining the common interest of the community.  De Gouges says what most findings report in the sex and gender field: men and women are born biologically different, but based on that difference, inequalities are formed by opinion and entrenched in society through tradition.
Understanding the basis of both declarations, I still have a few questions. In article 5 of the Declaration of Human and Civic Rights it states: "The Law has the right to forbid only those actions that are injurious to society. Nothing that is not forbidden by Law may be hindered, and no one may be compelled to do what the Law does not ordain;" my question is does that mean that any crime is permissible if that seems to fall through a crack in the system due to syntax or just not considering it? Also, in the Declaration of the Rights of Women, women are seen as "the sex that is as superior in beauty as it is in courage during the sufferings of maternity." Does this pertain only to maternity or are women seen as above men in other ways?

Feminism in Declaration of the Rights of Woman, 1791

It is inspiring to read the “Declaration of the Rights of Woman” (1791) alongside the “Declaration of Human and Civic Rights” (1789), because it shows women fighting back against extreme sexism and oppression.  The original declaration completely overlooks women and gives them no rights.  Every article refers to men, and the words “women” or “female” are never used.  The women’s declaration is amazing to read, because it is essentially women equalizing themselves to men.  De Gouges takes what the men wrote in the original declaration, and edits all the articles to essentially say the same thing, but include women.  It is true feminism, because the women are not trying to put themselves above men or look for any special treatment (seen especially in articles 7 and 9); they just want to be considered equals.  De Gouges’ words are in no way saying that women should rule over men.  Some people believe that feminism is women fighting for power over men, when actually it is women fighting for equality with men.  De Gouges is emphasizing the importance of equality in this declaration.  She is saying that women are capable of holding social status and actively participating in government and public life.

Rousseau Reflections

"One would see the leaders fomenting whatever can weaken men united together by disuniting them; whatever can give society an air of apparent concord while sowing the seeds of real division; whatever can inspire defiance and hatred in the various classes through the opposition of their rights and interests, and can as a consequence strengthen the power that contains them all" (Blue Book 89).

I wanted to present this quote to promote discussion on some of Rousseau's briefly mentioned ideas that  we didn't have time to focus on in class because we were more focused on his big ideas in the essay. When I read this section, I immediately circled it and wrote in the margins: "Britain with India's Hindus and Muslims." I sat in on a class early this semester that discussed the roots of India's revolution. Before class we had read Gandhi's Critique on Civilization (1908), where he discusses (I'm simplifying this, but it's very interesting to read) how he essentially blames railroads and technology as the downfall of India because they allowed man to travel farther than his feet naturally could take him--leading him to communities different than his own and to cause race and religious tension. (I actually didn't remember this until I started writing this blog, what I was going to bring up was...) While (Wikipedia tells me) Britain was not the first to build railroads in India, they were responsible for expanding it. In class, Professor Moss Roberts discussed how one way the British raised and maintained their political power in India was by pushing the Muslim and Hindu communities toward conflict. So rather than working together to push out the British, they were pre-occupied with land and religious tension.

While my first thought went to that seemingly far away history lesson, it seems to be this foreign politics tactic has been reused again and again, existent even today--in our own government.

Did any other particular "truths" pop out to you guys in Rousseau's text that are prevalent to our history?

Inequality in Civilization (2 Declarations)

Our topic for this section is, "Is inequality incompatible with civilization?" Reading the "Declaration of Human and Civil Rights" makes the answer to that question a definite no. If this is a guideline on how society and government should be conducted, then that means inequality is inherent in society and government. "Human" is in the title, but "men" is used in its place throughout the document. This blatant exclusion of women is something Olympe De Gouges directly addresses in her "Declaration of the Rights of Woman". Not only is inequality made compatible with civilization in the former document; the inequality isn't even mentioned. It's automatically assumed that women don't qualify as "all citizens" because they are never mentioned and are therefore not free to claim these rights. This imbalance between men and women reminds me of the imbalance that immediately forms out of private property (and thus civil society) that Rousseau talks about, an inequality that cannot exist outside of society. It seems that inequality is not only compatible with civilization but also automatic and unavoidable.

On the Two Declarations, Angelica Paquette

Concerning the two declarations of rights, I have found that they contrast not only in the obvious focus on sex, but also in aspects such as punishments for crimes and taxing. The basic rights described in each are liberty, property, security and the resistance to oppression, but the ways these rights are protected and enforced are very different. De Gouges' Declaration of the Rights of Woman highlights strict enforcement and punishment for both sexes. She describes this as obeying "rigorous law" in article VII. On the other hand, the Declaration of Human and Civic Rights takes a more cautionary side when describing the enforcement of the law and punishment for offenses against it. Article 8 says punishments must be strictly necessary and specifically dictated by law. This is a sharp distinction from De Gouge's more authoritative view of the punishment for offending the law.

The difference between these two declarations contrasts from typical gender roles. The rights drafted for the National Assembly try to avoid the abuse of power while De Gouge's declaration of woman's rights is less sympathetic for offenses against the law. I have interpreted this as a result of De Gouge trying to put women on the same level of men so much so that some of the rights of government established are harsher than that of the Declaration of Human and Civic Rights. Would you agree with me in this aspect? Or would you say there's another reason why De Gouge's declaration highlights stricter punishment?


Thoughts on Smith

While reading Smith, I could not help but compare his ideas about the division of labor with Rousseau and Kant's ideas. First off, in Book I Chapter I, Smith defines a "lazy" man as someone who changes his professional tasks quite frequently, and therefore as someone who chooses not to master a particular job (which would result in a higher quality performance with a higher production rate) (Smith 4). While Smith views laziness as an individual's lack of ambition to master a task, Rousseau views laziness as a natural, positive characteristic that keeps an individual at peace; Rousseau would rather an individual neither bounce from task to task nor commit to and perfect a single one. In my opinion, I feel that Kant would disregard Smith's definition of laziness, for if man were to dedicate himself to one task and ignore his temptation to divert his energy, society would lack competition, and therefore would not progress. Kant, unlike Smith, argues that it is essential for man to explore his interests and pursue his ideas by competing with the interests and ideas of those around him. Smith's idea of progression is a little different-- he argues that society will progress once man hones in on a certain, specialized task, and discovers "easier and readier methods of performing" (Smith 4) that task. Both Kant and Smith would agree that the success of individual accomplishments eventually benefits the wealth of society as a whole.

Liberalism & Capitalism - Jordan Scott

It's interesting to me that the introduction of the Declaration of Human and Civic Rights ends on the idea that above all, what they hope to end up with is a group of happy people. "The demand of the citizens may always be directed towards the maintenance of the Constitution and the happiness of all." More importantly than having a better government, well-run society compared to other countries, they just want our nation to be filled with happy people. I find this hard to believe. Maybe I've just been watching too much House of Cards, but I think in most societies, the people in politics want to be happy before the rest of the country is happy. Is there any society in which politics/government act in the public's favor before their parties favor?

Article 6 brings up an especially interesting point that I think people today forget about. The law is the expression of the general will. Today, it seems like most people are trying to undermine, outsmart, and outright dislike the laws that we have put into place. Of course, we agree that when someone murders someone, that should not be allowed. But then situations like OJ Simpson happen, and we don't even trust that the law is doing a good job. Where is the disconnect between the people make the laws, and the laws are an enemy of the people?

I'm sure Article 11 has come up a lot recently, with the idea that people have the right to publish and write what they want, unless it causes harm to the country. The Edward Snowden debacle is sure to toe this line.

Wow, Olympe de Gouges is my hero. Why have I never heard her name before? This is as big a travesty as the fact that she was executed. In her preamble, she mentions the protection of the Constitution, and people's happiness, but she also adds in the idea of "the right to good morals". It is completely immoral that women were left out of the first Declaration, when as she points out, women have all the same faculties as men, and should be treated as human beings and not animals, which is basically what they're implying by not including women. What other reasons are there for Gouges to add the idea of morality as a right?

I also appreciate the fact that she doesn't just write this Declaration for women. She is showing that it should be a declaration for man AND women, and she includes men just as often as she does women. That is true equality. She also makes a clear point to say the law shouldn't go easy on women. The law should be blind to sex. Why wasn't law already blind to sex? Women weren't smart enough to realize they were committing a crime?


Saturday, February 22, 2014

Final Exam Date

The final exam will take place on May 14th at 2 p.m.

That is two days after our last class meeting.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Last minute reminders for first essay assignment

1. Make sure your essay discusses the relevant portions from Rousseau, in the second part. 

2. If your essay does not address the topic, you will receive an F for the assignment, without opportunity to rewrite. Make sure it addresses the assignment.

3. Remember to cite all sources consulted, at the end of your essay. No separate bibliography page is necessary. You are expected to find whatever bibliographic information has not been provided (BobCat or Google). 

4. Check spelling and grammar. Excessive errors will lower an A to an A-.

5. Submit the essays to me via email, by 11:59 p.m.

6. Feel free to email me before then, if you have questions, but after 10 it is unlikely you will receive a response. 

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Changes in Course Schedule, Presentation Schedule, etc.

Because we were forced to miss a class last week, we have been behind one day on the course schedule.  I have found us a way to fix that schedule through pushing back all meetings and cutting out the one extra course meeting scheduled on Fanon and Mamdani (hitherto scheduled for May 7th).  Please consult the revised syllabus, either on this blog or Google Drive, to be clear on when readings are due.

Essay assignments have not changed between versions of the syllabus.

I was also forced to change the dates of all of the presentations so that they would correspond to the revise course schedule. I decided to make changes assuming individuals were concerned with topics, rather than dates.  Therefore, the dates that some of you requested may have changed.  Please consult the revised presentation schedule, either on this blog or Google Drive, to be clear when your presentation is due.

If you would like to make a change, please see me immediately, in consideration of the spaces remaining.  I would also encourage individuals to approach other students to see if they might be interested in switching dates, if necessary.  I'm sorry for this inconvenience, which I would genuinely preferred to have avoided.

Last thing: you'll find that the PDF files of Smith's Inquiry into the Wealth of Nations, which is located on Google Drive, are quite large and may cause problems.  I would recommend reading the Kindle version, which is free.  If you consult the Amazon list on this blog, you will find a direct link.

Second Half of Rousseau’s Second Part Discussion Questions and Summary

In the second half of Rousseau's second part, he discusses the origin of the political society. The three stages, the establishment of law and property, the institution of a magistrate and the transition from legitimate power to arbitrary power, show how society corrupts man. Government is considered imperfect and temporary at best, and ultimately we revert to a second corrupted state of nature.

  1. What binds those who sign the contract for a political society?
  2. What is Rousseau’s justification for the inevitable failure of legitimate government?
  3. Compare and contrast the two states of nature. Why do you think Rousseau chose to call the second state a “state of nature”?
  4. Is Rousseau’s description of the transformation from legitimate authority to arbitrary authority similar to what is occurring in modern day political institutions?
  5. Why does Rousseau insist that the original political institution was voluntary?
  6. What is the “blind ambition” that Rousseau mentions?
  7. If we seek to protect our life and liberty, why does Rousseau mention people’s instinct to submit themselves?
  8. How does political inequality transfer to private inequality?

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Main points in Rousseau Part 2 (first half)

Characteristics of the savage man.
At what point does man begin to use reason? Foresight? Are they similar enough to be grouped together?
What introduced esteem? Love?
How did inequality come about in the first place?
Consequences of inequality?
Who or what actually started the civil society? (not in the sense of creating property)
Was "most happy" man really the end game? (is civil society preferable?)

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Rousseau Entry!

After speaking about the lack of misery that the savage man has, Rousseau states, "In instinct alone, man had everything he needed in order to live in the state of nature; in a cultivated reason, he has only what he needs to live in society" (Rousseau 34 in white book). It seems here that reason is a curse to the pursuit of happiness. A savage man cannot possibly be miserable if he is at peace and at good health, but a civilized man is miserable because he has reason and the ability to question his existence. Also, Rousseau believes that reason is deemed almost useless in time of need. Cleverness seems more useful in the natural environment but is that an innate instinct in savage man?

To delve into Angelica's point a little bit, I do not believe that he aimed this towards a Christian audience or it is very Christian because on page 26 (white book), he states "savage man… will therefore begin with purely animal functions." Christians would not believe that this is the beginning of mankind because Adam and Eve are the parents of humanity and they were made more or less with reason like modern humans. Also, there were no humans before Adam so I believe it would be a difficult argument to say that Adam = developed man because there was no man before him to develop from.

-Fiorentin Nacaj


In regards to Angelica’s question of whether Rousseau was just trying to appeal to the masses since Christianity was the predominant religion of the time or was he a Christian himself, I detected a sense of sarcasm or maybe mockery.  I was confused as to the nature of his intent.  At first, I felt that he tried to appeal to the lords of Geneva in his letter, by vaguely starting out by saying he was lucky to be born into his time period, but going on to say all the different environments he would’ve like to exist in.
I guess Angelica’s question prompted me to remember my own question that I grappled with while I read the preface and part one.
 I also was confused as to whether Rousseau was against all knowledge, because he cites as the source of why we can't know the nature of man because we have accumulated knowledge.

Locke vs. Rousseau

Locke and Rousseau think that civil society comes into place because of property, but it is interesting that they do not agree on the the idea that property should or should not exist. Locke believes that ownership, hence property, is the purpose for man's existence through work, but Rousseau seems to say that property was simply invented because someone put his name on something and called it his. Rousseau believes that "the fruits of the earth belong to all and the earth to no one" (44). It seems that Rousseau says that simply stating this idea would have "spared" many wars. In addition, Locke and Rousseau think that nature provided man with all that man needed, but Locke believes that reason led man to make his property, and Rousseau believes that instinct led man to "make use of [the products of the earth]" (44-45).

So, Rousseau and Locke do not have the same idea as to what property is, but which idea sounds more like what we think property is? I think that we use both ideas of property today because people always attach their name to something they put work into, but it can also be very easy for people to attach their name onto something that they did not work for. Are Locke and Rousseau both right although they do not agree on this point? I think so. But, if we believe that both of these types of properties exist, what is the true definition of how one attains a piece of property? Is it simply putting your name on something? Does it require work? Is it something else?

Also, is Rousseau right? Would wars be spared if we did not have an idea of property? If we did not have property, forty people could try to eat the same apple, and they would end up fighting for that apple, and wouldn't a war start because of the lack of ownership that apple has?

Thoughts on Rousseau

The questions I am choosing to ponder while reading Rousseau include:

Does human being in the state of nature have reason? Why does human being in the state of nature not need language? And finally (because of course we all know I am extremely concerned with this subject) Can human being in the state of nature love others?

Rousseau thinks that the state of nature is freedom. He thinks that modern society disrupted this natural, perfect state. In his ideology, humans don't have reason and that's why they don't have conflict in the state of nature. They simply exist with each other. Once modern society comes along, that's when you get the greed and fear stuff going on. In the natural state, man will only fight for self-preservation.

Why don't they need language? Because they don't have reason. Is this a chicken or the egg type situation? I'm not sure. Did they not have reason and therefore they didn't have language or vice versa? We know that they felt pity for others, but not love...which brings me to my next point.

If Rousseau is comparing humans in the natural state to animals of today, why does he say they never loved?! I know for sure that animals love. And not just because they are domesticated. Lions in packs and other animals have self-preservation for themselves (duh) and love-preservation for others like their cubs and such (new word). We know Rousseau says that man in the natural state feels pity. How far off is love from pity, really? Eventually, these emotions get deeper and we are left with 1) competition 2) self-comparison with others 3) hatred 4) urge for power which all lead us to 'civil society' --- exactly like the one we so humbly live in today.

The role of the divine in Rousseau

In the first part of Rousseau's discourse we talked about the role of the divine in the state of nature and in society. He refers to the "divine will" and the creation of Adam throughout the text and seems to use God as a supporting element to his claims without giving the divine a clear role. Professor Vaught posed an idea that the God that Rousseau describes is one who created nature for man and kind of sat back to watch what we did. If society is so corrupt, according to Rousseau, wouldn't the divine prefer man to stay in the state of nature? Would you say the state of nature is better than modern society? Or perhaps it is just a necessary obstacle?

Also, does anyone think Rousseau was strictly Christian or simply appealing to Christian beliefs because that was the predominant religion at the time? His vague incorporation of the divine makes me wonder if the latter was true.


Thoughts and questions on Locke and the idea of property in its representational form (money)

[Obligatory okay so,] With Locke we have all established that it is the utilization of nature/natural materials that transforms things into possessions; or as Locke might have preferred, property. We also saw that the loophole in all of this, or way to possess more than you could possibly use, was through money, as precious metals and bills do not spoil (spoiling being the key method of determining whether or not something was wasted). My question, then, is:

Is it wrong, in the Lockean way, to accumulate massive amounts of money?

Or in other terms, is it wrong to focus so much on accumulating massive amounts of money that you disadvantage others? It is not so much the actual act of saving money that I am concerned with, but with the consequences of doing so.

Or maybe, was Locke worried about the morals of it all in the first place? Or did he only care about whether or not someone had acquired something naturally/through trading and as long as money does not spoil, it would be fine?

I remember someone in class saying that having "too much" does not really happen since money can be passed down after death.

But yeah if anyone had any thoughts, that'd be cool


Monday, February 10, 2014

Key Topics in Rousseau Discourse on Inequality (Preface; Part 1)

What characterizes man in his natural state?
Pity and Self-preservation exist prior to reason.
Do animals partake in Natural Right/Law?
Development of man v. Development of animal
Passions as the source of human growth and development
Good v. Evil in Savage Man

Is crime a result of law?

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Reading questions: Rousseau's Discourse on the Origin of Inequality (the first part)

  1. What's the import of the Letter to the Republic of Geneva? How does it relate to the issues concerned in the Discourse proper?
  2. Why is it difficult to grasp the original of human nature?  Is it even possible?
  3. Why do we need to know what the human being was in the state of nature in order to grasp "natural right" (40)?
  4. Is Rousseau's question after the original of human nature a problem for us, given our dramatic advances in scientific and technical knowledge?
  5. Why are natural and moral inequality not the same for Rousseau? What would it mean for a concept of right if they were?
  6. What are the four main characteristics of human being in the state of nature?
  7. How are perfectibility and freedom related to one another?
  8. Does human being in the state of nature have reason?
  9. Why does human being in the state of nature not need language?
  10. One of the issues that we discussed in class last week concerned love? Can human being in the state of nature love others?

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Presentation Points on Kant

What role does nature play on the actions of human beings?
Human beings make progress as a whole, not as individuals.
Reason allowing men to create by moving away from instinct, which is what separates them from animals.
Kant's idea of transforming resources, which connects to Locke's idea of property.
Antagonism being a paradox that allows society to form and allows human beings to get closer to nature's end.
Antagonism existing between societies.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Jordan Scott Introduction

Hi! My name is Jordan Scott. I'm a sophomore in LSP moving to Gallatin to study journalism, film and fashion. I'm a huge movie and television buff (Downton Abbey and The Mindy Project are currently ruling my life, and I have just finished all three parts of the Godfather). I currently intern at Cosmopolitan Magazine in the features department. The American Red Cross is my passion and I believe one of the greatest organizations our world has to offer. I am the secretary of the Red Cross Club here at NYU.

Recently I traveled to Abu Dhabi for a Global Issues Network Conference. In three days, my group and I had to create a sustainable action plan to alleviate poverty in the Daravi slum in Mumbai. The conference was absolutely incredible, and I feel we truly did come up with a plan that is implementable. More than anything, I had my eyes opened to other cultures and ways of living, as I was the only American in the entire conference. I made friends from 12 different countries, and they were all smart, talented and seriously inventive people that I think I'll be friends with for life. I'm sure we will meet up again soon in India to really bring our plan into action.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Sam Thornton Introduction

Hello, my name is Sam Thornton. I am a sophomore in Liberal Studies, but I am going in to Gallatin next semester. I plan to concentrate on music, but I still need to decide on other interests to include into my concentration.

For me, I encounter intellectual experiences all the time. College has greatly increased the number of instances, but I have always learned a lot from those around me. Specifically, I remember learning about the negative aspects of the music industry from my cousin. He was in the indie-pop rock band "Portugal. The Man" until internal conflicts caused him to leave. Money changed the way the members thought about the music, and certain members wanted more money than other members claiming rights to the profit. This taught me about how money can seriously effect people even if they weren't expecting the issue to break friendships and relationships. I am scared to continue into the music industry; however, if I am faced with the issue of money, I hope I won't let it affect me or people I care about.

Reading questions on Kant's "Idea for a Universal History ..."

Some of these questions are not explicitly answered in the text.

  1. Why can we not perceive a rational purpose in the actions of human beings?
  2. How would a purpose in nature govern human actions?
  3. How is antagonism a natural purpose for Kant? 
  4. Is there a difference between a natural purpose and a natural instrument?
  5. Does Locke think that antagonism, or the state of war, is a natural purpose?
  6. Give your own examples of both aspects of man's unsocial sociability.
  7. What constitutes a just civil constitution for Kant?
  8. Why is human being an animal that needs a master?
  9. How are states and individuals like one another, according to Kant? 
  10. What contemporary international body is like the organization of states that Kant describes (hint: it's not the US)?
  11. Does Kant also believe private property plays a important role in history (like Locke)?
  12. In what sense does Kant think that humans are rational beings?