Spring 2009 Wisdom Course Study Questions

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We'll use this page for major course study questions. They will be organized by class date and topic. Please add your notes and answers to specific study questions.

Jan 20: Greek/Hellenistic Wisdom 1

1. Contrast the model of wisdom in Socrates and Achilles. What might Plato be trying to say in drawing the comparison?:Socrates’ model of wisdom is a platonic model which is bases knowledge through logos; logos de-emphasizes emotions and focuses on rationality. In addition, Socrates thought in a dualistic manner and said that the body impedes the soul from obtaining true knowledge. Achilles on the other hand had a Homeric model of wisdom where he thought that true knowledge came from actions and emotions (mythos). It seems that Plato draws a comparison between Socrates and Achilles in the Santilli reading to demonstrate that despite being opposites, both Homeric wisdom and platonic wisdom can coexist and at times even integrate together to form a more complete model of wisdom.

2. What is Socratic wisdom?

Socratic wisdom: knowing and accepting that there are things we do not know. You have to get rid of your pretenses to knowledge and understand that there are limitations. This will lead to humility.

The problem with Socrates is that his constant questioning and attempt at revealing others’ ignorance annoyed people. It’s one thing to know that you don’t know everything, but it’s another to humiliate others. Inquiry should be collaborative and joyful. His destructive questioning left him at odds with his community, making him, in some ways, a failure, a disconnect. (Anna)


Socratic wisdom can be easily summed up as knowing that/what you don’t know. This idea of wisdom calls for a person to purge his or her pretense of knowledge.

This hemlock laden slope is rather sticky. The type of questioning is referred to as Elenchus which is the critical questioning of another person and their area subject matter expertise.

The real question becomes not are their limits to this form of wisdom but what are the limits?

~Atlas~

3. How does Plato use myth to depict the state of the soul in wisdom, and in the pursuit of wisdom?:Plato’s philosophy marks the beginning of organizing thought in a more structured manner. This is the contrast between Homeric wisdom and Platonic wisdom; Homeric wisdom is embedded in action, like Achilles. Platonic wisdom emphasizes rationality and logos. Logos vs. Mythos – mythos is observed more as an emotional state (most obvious in children) while, Logos is like when older children and adults assume roles from the outside world which are systematic and reasoned. For Plato, mental functioning is no longer identified with the organic and the mythic – the senses, with action, with poeticized accounts of reality. Rather it resides in our ability to step back from the purely sensory. The artistic, the poetic, and the mythic, he claims, deal not with the truthful eternal nature of things, but rather with their phenomenal appearance. The mind hence is completely stripped of its mythos roots.


4. What is Labouvie-Vief's criticism of Platonic thought and how does she see wisdom as "integrated thought"? Specifically, how does she use evidence from developmental psychology to support her position?:Labouvie-Vief's criticism of Platonic thought, as it pertains to wisdom, is based in Plato's dualism. Plato's view of disembodiment ignores some of Labouvie-Vief's fundamental attributes of wisdom for example; Platonic thought would place little importance upon subjective and psychological dimensions of life. Plato made the assumption that a person can think independently of the influence of their own subjective experience. Plato’s separation of mythos and logos and overall denial of the importance of mythos denies the roots of the human experience. This mechanization of thought to the extent that there can be thought without thinkers was viewed as a fundamental flaw. While Piaget (formal cognitive developmental theorist) acknowledged that mythos is the root from which logos is formed, Piaget like Plato devalues mythos in later forms of development. On the other hand, Perry (post formal cognitive development) explained the shift to logos as a lack of development of meta-language to connect logos and mythos, suggesting that intelligence and wisdom are associated with the mature reconnection or development of logos and mythos used interdependently. According to Labouvie-Vief, “the mature individual, in turn, realizes that the subjective and communal are a necessary part of one’s endeavors to be objective” (72). (Kelsey Chartrand)

Jan 27: Greek/Hellenistic Wisdom 2

1. What is Aristotle's view of the end or telos toward which humans are directed and the function of human being? How are these related?

Reality is thoroughly purposeful. It is the domain in which we exist; therefore, we should capitalize on the on our life’s objective and be the best in what endeavors/function we choose that we can be. The active part of our soul is on accordance with rational principals, exercised with virtue “excellence” we will find happiness.

~Atlas ~


2. What is virtue for Aristotle? How does his view of virtue help make our function known?

The virtuous action consists of the mean between two extremes: excess and deficiency. In any given situation, one can be said to act in a brave manner (which would be the virtuous choice), in a rash manner (the extreme of excess) or cowardly (the extreme of deficiency). Thus not only is the mean not easily determined, but it also varies with each individual: a nurse will not be expected to be brave in the same way a fireman would be. Thus it is important for individuals to find the mean that suits them best. Finding the mean path of action for each event is not an exact science – that is why Aristotle insists that a repeated practice is essential to leading a virtuous life; one cannot be called virtuous based on a single action. In fact, to be called virtuous a person should possess all virtues. Moreover, the goal of all things and of all actions is happiness and the good. Thus by avoiding all extremes, virtue’s aim is to achieve the good. A person with a good character will possess all virtues and will therefore act virtuously. This also means that there will be happiness and enjoyment in the choice of the virtuous action: though it may not be the case from the beginning, proper training will allow for enjoyment. For example, a stingy person will learn, after enough experiences, to enjoy generous acts. (Sarah DeMasi)


3. What is the role of habituation in Aristotle's theory of virtue? Is this sort of self-training possible or desirable?

Aristotle’s theory of virtue states that if you practice virtue you will be virtuous. Therefore, if you practice being virtuous you will become virtuous. Unless you make an effort to be virtuous you will not succeed. You must motivate yourself and make a habit of being virtuous. It is something that must be self taught and is not known strait from birth. This sort of self-training is possible if there is motivation to become virtuous. This type of training is desirable because no one can tell someone else to be virtuous the individual must decide for themselves that they indeed want to be virtuous.

3. What is the difference between calling something "adaptive" and calling it an "adaptation"?

Adaptive: is a conscious choice to overcome and advance in an environment

Adaptation: is a biological change that comes from:

1. Variation a) phenotype b) genotype

2. Heritability

3. Selection pressure


~Atlas ~

4. What is a meme?

A meme is not the passing on of genes to future generations, but instead, is the passing on of thoughts, actions, and works. Cultural selection differs from genetic selection, which passes on the best and most fit physical traits, in the sense that wise, creative, and intelligent behavior will be noted, appreciated and preserved by the community. Wise, creative, and intelligent people will be remembered. (Anna)

Meme act as cultural “genes” in a society. Meme’s react to selection pressure’s much like genes do in nature. Memes such as bell bottom pants that arrived on the social settings in the late 1950 and died out in the mid 70’s is a classic example of a social meme. We saw this meme come back for a short time in the mid 90 as “flare” pants. Strong memes stay around and mutate into something tailored to the society where as weak memes die out. There are endless ketch phrases and styles that provide decent examples.

~Atlas ~


5. How does Csiksentmihalyi see wisdom as a cognitive process, a virtue, and as a personal good?


Wisdom is a combination of these three dimensions: as a cognitive process, as a guide to action, and as an intrinsic reward.

Cognitive Process: Wisdom refers to attempts at understanding the world in a disinterested way, seeking the ultimate consequences of events as well as ultimate causes while preserving the integration of knowledge. Wisdom is the approach of choice to issues that may have long-term effects on the world.

As a cognitive process wisdom looks at the universe in a holistic manner, trying to understand the ultimate consequences of events.

“Cognitive processes move beyond a fragmented and impassive relativity, toward a more “universal” or metasystemic awareness of interrelated systems. Attributes such as reflectivity or the capacity for self-examination are seen as providing the needed impetus to escape from relativistic intellectualization.” page 31

Virtue: Wisdom is a virtue because by relating in a disinterested way the broadest spectrum of knowledge, it provides the most compelling guide to action. Even though we do not universally agree upon a divine order to things, we must believe that we can improve life by understanding how to order our actions better in ways that will bring us closer in harmony with the laws that constrain the physical universe.

Wisdom is necessary in making important decisions. A wise person forms a more complex or concrete and abstract perspective on some problem and thus attains the possibility of seeing the wisest course of action. It follows three dimensions of analysis: pays attention to interpersonal meanings, instrumental action, and issues of autonomy and responsibility. Wisdom in virtue considers the overall cause and effect on both the short-term and long-term levels.

Personal Good: Wisdom is a personal good, an intrinsically rewarding experience that provides some of the highest enjoyment and happiness available.

Wisdom is intrinsically rewarding based on the fact that the reflective dimension of wisdom belongs to a class of autonomy or growth-oriented behaviors that do not provide a direct and immediate benefit for the individual in any technical or practical way. It is enjoyable and it feels good. For example, a flow experience (getting completely wrapped up in a challenging, ordered, and goal-directed task) is felt to be holistic, ethically compelling, and intrinsically motivating. Wisdom is a supreme joy in its own right. (Anna)


Csiksentmihalyi see wisdom as a cognitive process .In that cognitive process Csiksentmihalyi sees that wise person as some one who can formulate ideas through past experiences developing from them. Wisdom is a cognitive process that brings happiness and joy through the discipline of self-reflection overcoming personal limitations. Wisdom is gained through personal growth and development which is attained through reflective experience.

Four main points that he brought in his writings are:


1. a person recognizes the relativity of various formal systems through life experiences and is able to assume contradictory points of view

2. A person acknowledges the interrelatedness of all experience and the inevitability of change and transformation through time.

3. A person adopts a more reflective and integrative approach to thinking (dialectical)

4. a person makes choices with a commitment to a certain course of action


http://books.google.com/books?id=YuBKWJDdmiEC&pg=PA25&lpg=PA25&dq=evolutionary+hermeneutics&source=bl&ots=qZIMxj0HnG&sig=9pUUrf2CUfiKe6h39LrIqFCIbxo&hl=en&ei=WmysSYnBK5nMsAOuvvDOBA&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=3&ct=result#PPA41,M1


~Atlas ~

Feb 3: Greek/Hellenistic Wisdom 3

1. Explain the rationale behind Baltes 5-criteria rubric for identifying wisdom? How does this project relate to understanding the nature of wisdom?


Dual Process:

1. Mechanics-Basic Information Processing
-content free
-universal, biological
-genetic differences
2. Pragmatics-Factual and Procedural
-content rich
-cultural dependent
-experience based differences

Life span developmental system

Expert system (1&2)

1. Factual knowledge: general specific knowledge about conditions of life and its variations

2. Rich procedural knowledge: general and specific knowledge about strategies of judgment and advice concerning matters of life

3. Life Span Contextualism: knowledge about the contexts of life and their temporal (developmental) relationships

4. Relativism: knowledge about differences in values, goals, and priorities

5. Uncertainty: knowledge about the relative indeterminancy and unpredictability of life and ways to manage it (Anna)


Wisdom is a developed factual and procedural knowledge with judgments, cultivated with the daily pragmatics of life. Wisdom is developed in the human mind with in the context it is observed/experienced. This leads to the progression of contextual intelligence which I linked to the theory of experiential knowledge. Given Baltes' theory that wisdom is a matter of adaptive cognition given a personal set of experiential knowledge, he comes up with the conclusion that wisdom is not empirical. He concludes that humans develop their skills (sort of like bow-staff skills) through active cognition, or simply put active reflection on past life experiences of learned/observed knowledge

~Atlas~


2. What is the difference between the 1st person (individual or communal) perspective and the 3rd person (objective) perspective for the experience or study of wisdom?

First Person: Experience; involves looking forward and an emotional commitment; you have to answer the question for yourself-What should I do?

Third Person: Objective; involves looking back (in retrospect, I would have...); a collective, accessible, working concept of wisdom; it's an abstract thought about what it means to be wise and often presents a common concept; you ask what might a wise person have done in this situation? (Anna)


1st person knowledge: Experiential knowledge – Leading question: What would it be wise for me to do?

3rd person knowledge: Objective knowledge - leading question: How is wisdom perceived in a populous of people?


Often Objective knowledge conclusions come up with three types of knowledge

1. Propositional l- T/F social theoretical

2. Know how – Practical knowledge

3. Knowledge by acquaintance – interpersonal knowledge


~Atlas~

3. How can wisdom be seen as a "meta-heuristic"? How does this fit, potentially, with a "meme" perspective in evolutionary thought?

I think the question is asking how Heuristic “or short cut methods/Rules of thumb” have been transmitted through memes. This is most evident in some wise pithy sayings. Such as: “a penny saved is a penny earned:”, “The grass is always greener on the other side”Or my peronal favorite “the wear sun scren song”

~Atlas~

4. What is SOC? How might that concept be brought into the discussion of the nature of wisdom? What is S.O.C?

S.O.C. –

Selection = choosing goals that optimize our well being by “selecting” a desirable end state.

Optimization = strive to achieve our goals constantly refining our process to attain out desire end state.

Compensation = is learning ways to adjust our abilities to reach our desired end state.


How might that concept be brought into the discussion of the nature of wisdom?

“is the study of how people develop successful and avoid negative outcomes.”

~Paul Baltes~

This seems to be a type of practical wisdom that enables a person to over come their deficiencies or disabilities with learned behavior or tricks. An example of this that relatively easy to relate to is found in Space Cowboys, I thank it was Donald Sutherland’s character that was having problems reading the eye chart. So he quickly memorized it and recited it off to the doctor to pass the sight portion of his flight physical. People as animals find ways to succeed in their lives some times this requires adaptation early on in life, other time it becomes a compensation for a disability. I think that most of the wisdom characteristics we see comes out of the compensation portion SOC, after all age and deceit will always trump youth and strength.

~Jordan

5. What data do we have addressing the question of the "age of onset" of wisdom?

Kancilia

???-Atlas-???

6. How does Aristotle distinguish sophia from "practical wisdom" (prudence) in Book 6 of Nicomachean Ethics and Metaphysics? What are the reasons for focusing on wisdom as sophia? Are there disadvantages of privleging sophia over practical wisdom?

Sophia is theoretical knowledge of the causes of all things “ultimate knowledge” Practical wisdom is virtue in craft – or knowledge through experienced i.e. master woodworker or stone smith. The reasons of focusing on the “higher sophistic knowledge is that in Aristotle’s theory of knowledge the ultimate reason behind something which is a higher good because it dictates is function in the world

~Atlas~

Feb 10: Greek/Hellenistic Wisdom 4

1. Be prepared to reconstruct the philosophical worldview of the Stoic, including views on theology, ontology, determinism and choice, the hegemonikon, and their model of growth and development (enlightenment).

Theology and Ontology: Pantheism: belief that God is everything; the belief that God and the material world are one and the same thing and that God is present in everything

Corporeality: belief that everything is made of corporal or physical matter; relating to or involving the physical body rather than the mind or spirit

Theos is a rational order in things. Humans express theos because we have reason; to stoics humans are partially divine

Active versus Passive matter: Humans are considered active, while rocks are considered passive

Emotions are a judgment or a choice.

Determinism and Choice: Everything happens by necessity and it is compatible with choice. Stoics believe a trained response is better. By training our emotions and responses to situations we can make better choices. It involves changing our disposition. Stoics believe we are embedded in reality, not separated from it, and that our choices come from theos, or reason. For Stoics, happiness consists not in pleasure or in individual interest but in the demands of the good, which are dictated by reason and transcend the individual. Happiness, that is, the moral good, is accessible to all, within human life.

Hegemonic The hegemonic is the “ruling principle” or authority. This is what guides you through life. Stoics believe the ruling principle is under your control and it comes into interaction with a reality that is not under your control. We must adjust our responses to our understanding of reality. A stoic extremist believes such principles involving achievement of virtue, character, will, integrity, and moral order are all worth dying for. (Anna)


Stoic World View

“The world is rational as a whole”

God is not a personal creator but a force, a force of order and disorder (creation /destruction of all things) –God controls the overlaying time cycle that destroys and regenerates everything.


Theology & Ontology

• Pantheism theos –active stuff

• Corporatists (monists)

• Theos  rational order in things -(2 parts) active and passive

Active- plants animals and people

Passive- Rocks earth and water

Determinism & Choice

Everything happens (with human choice) out of necessity  “Compatibilization”


*Stoic extremism*

Importance of the ruling principal: “Hegemonikn”

Hegemonikn: Virtue, Honor and Integrity

Everything under your control comes into interaction with that which is not under your control.


Stoic hierarchy

Reason / Intellect

Appetite / emotion

Regulatory functions


Stoic model of growth and development

To make progress you must adjust your emotional responses to your understanding of reality.

~Atlas~


2. Why do Stoics make such a sharp distinction between things "up to us" and things that are not up to us?

Things “up to us” are in our control and we must have excellent “hegemonikin” in dealing with these things. The things “up to us” interact with things “not up to us” making our actions influence the world in which we inhabit. Stoics knowing that everything happens out of necessity believe that we must continuously adjust our emotional responses to understand reality. The world is what it is; we can only have improvement dealing with our understanding of reality in a way which exemplifies virtue, honor and integrity.

~Atlas~


3. Give several examples of how Stoics would associate "making progress" with adjusting one's emotional responses to one's understanding of reality. How is this supposed to work in practice?

Example of adjusting one's emotional response to a situation:

You have been married for years and you love your wife. You know that death is inevitable. Your wife dies. Rather than mourning for years, instead, grieve for a moment, but be prepared to move on with your life. If you are able to continue your routine, and are able to adjust your response to her death then you are "making progress." (Anna)

The world is not fair and 20% of class will do 80% of the work! - I think that I see some logic in this style of reasoning!

~Atlas~


4. Does the Stoic sage realize some greater wisdom and well-being through the kind of training this school advocates?

The greater wisdom would be understanding that everything happens for a reason, and that if we adjust our emotional responses to situations we'll be more prepared to deal with them when they arise. This means any situation, good or bad. We're better off if we know that some things are under our control and some things are not. It's a matter of balancing our emotions when these things interact. Looking at life this way, though there will be surprises, we won't strike out against those curve balls. We'll just deal with them and move on. (Anna)

Well being and wisdom – No the stoic realizes that he has only developed an intellectual model for good conduct and unfortunate events that happen in this world. The stoic realizes that everything happens for a reason even though he might not understand the reasons. This is not a call to inaction or indifference in life, because that would still be a choice and be failing to practice good “hegemonikn” with things under our control, and would be scrutinized as carelessness for society/community.

~Atlas~

5. Is the Stoic a "man of stone" or can one use discipline to reduce "suffering from emotion" while maintaining and enhancing positive emotions such as satisfaction and joy?


I believe hat the stoic uses understanding of the world to reduce his emotional pain. The stoic realizes that this is part of the natural stoic hierarchy. However the stoic also knows that he should have comfort in his reasoning that this is how the world works. The stoic Realizes positive emotions but that is not his desired end state. He values reason and intellect above emotional responses.

Examples: people/ pets die, relationships end, trust is abused...

~Atlas~

Feb 17: Greek/Hellenistic Wisdom 5

1. How is the Epicurean strategy for achieving sagehood similar to and different from the Stoic?

Epicurus: materialist, a philosophical hedonism that believes that pleasure is the greatest good.

Like the stoics epicureans believe that God does not care about you, and death is final. Unlike the stoics that believe their actions influenced the world the epicurics thought that you have very little influence on the world and what goes on, so you might as well have a much fun and pleasure as you possible can while you are here.

Epicurus are the equivalent john Belushi in animal house where as stoics are like Eric “Otter” Stratton trying to focus their energy in to productive means that have an impact on others around them.

~Atlas~


2. Identify Epicurus' analysis of desire and pleasure. How does virtue play a role in the pursuit of pleasure for Epicurus?

Virtue is necessary for happiness and happiness is equal to pleasure. Pleasure is the greatest good!

Epicurean thought there were natural desires and unnatural desirers. Some desires were necessary and unnecessary desires. A necessary desire is like water; where as the unnecessary desires that would substitute for could be wine. Now there are no bad pleasures but not all pleasures are choice worthy. This is where virtue comes into the Epicurean model of wisdom. There are two fundamental ways to go wrong with pleasure. 1. Is confusing necessary with unnecessary pleasures. 2. Is the hedonic habituation to there pleasures (adapt our self to ever increasing amount of pleasure.)

It would be good to note the two styles of pleasures mentioned in the epicurean ideas

1. Kinetic: pleasure of motion and body (ex. drinking water-movement from thirst to sated)

2. Katastematic: pleasure of the mind and state of being (ex. tranquility, joy, friendship)

~Atlas~ and Anna


3. Based on our class inquiry, are there distinct or identifiable "pragmatic domains" within which we practice wisdom? Is there a stable set of attributes that describe the wise handling of a wide variety of situations?

This is up to you but a good starting point would be

1. Factual knowledge

2. Procedural knowledge

3. Life experience

4. Relativism

5. Uncertainty

~Atlas~

Feb 24: Yoga/Samkya Wisdom 1

1. Describe the general historical practice and development of yoga and be prepared to describe the similarities and differences among major schools of Yoga.

Yoga: is most frequently interpreted as the "union" of the individual self with the supreme Self

Many schools differ in how the individual self is alienated from the Supreme self, and they differ on how to bring the two back together. (This refers to Pre-Classical and Post-Classical Schools, NOT Patanjali's Classical Schools)

Patanjali: refers to coming in "contact" with one's "chosen deity"

defines yoga as "the restriction of the whirls of consciousness"--yoga is the focusing of attention to whatever object is being contemplated to the exclusion of all others
Quieting of the mind and body to achieve Witness-Consciousness, or "superconsciousness"

One thing all schools of yoga tradition have in common is that they are concerned with a state of being, or consciousness, that is truly foundational. (Anna)

2. Who were the "crazy adepts"?

Crazy wisdom is a tradition in Tibet, a unique mode of teaching, which avails itself of seemingly irreligious or unspirtitual means in order to awaken the conventional ego-personality from its spiritual slumber. Crazy wisdom methods are designed to shock, but the goal of it is to show the ordinary person the "madness" of his or her pedestrian existence (which is rooted in illusion). The tradition revolves around the word avadhuta, or "cast off." This means they abandon all the cares and concerns of an ordinary man. They disregard conventional expectations, norms, and obligations. Its goal is to disrupt the order of the world. They challenge the limitations of the unenlightened invividuals and confront them with naked truth-that life is mad and unpredictable.

Most famous adept: Tibet's folk hero Milarepa, yogin and poet

His crazy wisdom: lived the life of a wandering renouncer, but he is known to have initiated several of his female devotees into esoteric sexuality (they don't mix!)

(Anna)

3. Describe some of the specific paths of Classical, Hatha, Janana, Bhakti, and Karma yoga.

Hatha: most commonly associated with western traditional yoga classes--focuses on the body

emphasis: enlightenment is a whole body event; we tend to the body because it is a source of knowledge; need a strong physical body to be prepared for enlightenment
by improving the body an individual will experience more joy/excitement, more energy
tends to both spiritual and physical dimensions

Janana: knowledge of insight; gnosis-theoretical view, through enlightenment we become God

For Principle Means:
1. Discernment between the transient and the permanent--the constant practice of seeing the world for what it is
2. Reunciation of the enjoyment of the fruit of one's actions
3. The Six Accomplishments
Tranquility, Sense-Restraint, Cessation, Endurance, Mental Collectedness, and Faith
4. The urge toward liberation: the cultivation of the spiritual impulse

Bakhti: "devotion" most like the worship model in the Christian faith; the emotional force of the human being is purified and channeled toward the Divine

emphasis:chanting, textual reading, intense yearning for God's presence, God is love; there are different levels of devotion leading to sagehood

Kharma: belief that the moral effects of our actions have consequences that go on into the future, beyond what we'd imagine--they carry on at a cosmic level (theory of causality)

heightens the intensity of how you act! (Anna)

4. How might a classical yogic practitioner articulate a rationale for the diverse practices ("spiritual technolgies") found in that yoga?

Mar 3: Yoga/Samkya Wisdom 2

1. What are the Kleshas and Brahmaviharas?

2. What is the nature of discipline? Will it make us joyless?

3. How does recent cognitive pscyhology attempt to explain religious belief? How might that approach be applied to wisdom?

Mar 17: Yoga/Samkya Wisdom 3

1. Write a concise but detailed paragraph defining yoga and it's fundamental methods and rationale.

2. How are Yoga and Buddhism related?

3. Present and critically assess the Yoga Sutra's analysis of the obstacles to tranquility and the forces of corruption. To what extent is it plausible to think of these as impediments to both wisdom and enlightenment?

4. How the 3 Gunas help you figure out how to move toward the observer standpoint.

5. How are the Yamas and Niyamas related to the 3 gunas and involtion?

Mar 24: Yoga/Samkya Wisdom 4

1. What is "embodied consciousness" according to Fahri? How do "stillness" and concerns from daily life enter yoga practice, according to Dr. Geithner?

2. What are the stress and relaxation responses and how does holistic health model of Yoga relate to these physiological responses?

3. Does the achievement of yogic calm and the Observer standpoint ultimately connect you to a social reality or isolate you from it? How so?

Mar 31: Judeo-Christian Wisdom 1

1. Make a general comparison of Greek, Hellenistic, and Yogic thought, using the theses discussed in class as examples.

2. How do Books I and II of Proverbs differ? What kind of advice does each book give?

3. How do Proverbs function from a rhetorical and verbal perspective. How do proverbs differ from other forms of advice and from general laws?

Apr 7: Judeo-Christian Wisdom 2

1. What is mystical theology?

2. What is the overall strategy of the Spiritual Exercises?

3. What is the role of the First Week and the Examen prayer in achieving the overall effect of the Spiritual Exercises?

Apr 14: Judeo-Christian Wisdom 3

1. What are some of the obstacles to introspection, according to Wilson?

2. How does Wilson think we can use narrative to overcome some of the barriers to self-knowledge?

3. How does narrative play a role in the Spiritual Exercises?


Apr 28: Final Class