Time and Meaning

Dec 11: What’s a piece of literature or other artwork that we didn’t read for this class, but that has some relation to its themes and that might be interesting to read if I teach the class again?

Dec 6: What future do you envisage for the human race in 10,000 years time? (Or in 1,000 years time? Or in 10,000 years time? Pick just one time period.)

Nov 29: Where in time would you most like to travel? Why?

Nov 15: Choose one of the following: a historical period; your life; the life of someone you know (or a fictional character). Describe a point at which things could have gone one of two or more ways for your subject, with quite different results.

Nov 8: Several different artifacts (jewelry, weapons, books) play roles in The Man in the High Castle. Choose one, and briefly explain its significance.

Nov 1: What's up with the centipede?

Oct 25: Answer the following two questions (briefly!):

  1. What is one important belief held by many people that Nietzsche denies?
  2. Is it always good to know the truth? If your answer is no, give an example of a situation in which it is better not to know the truth.

Oct 18: What cultural icon, artifact, or other product would you most like to see survive a nuclear apocalypse (assume that humanity itself also survives)? Had this thing survived the apocalypse that predates the events of A Canticle for Leibowitz, how might things in one part of the book (you choose which) have gone differently?

Oct 11: Name some work of art – it could be a novel, a play, a piece of music, a TV show, a computer game, whatever – that turns in some way on the premise that things have gotten worse than they used to be. The work of art might show the decline, or it might just presume that it has taken place. Write a few sentences justifying your choice.

Sep 27: If the future is in some sense already fixed, should that affect the way we live our lives? Should any facts about the nature of the future affect the way we live our lives?

Sep 20: Specify one (substantial) thing that Augustine says about time. Do you agree or disagree? Briefly, why?

Sep 13: In Arcadia, who is the serpent in the garden?