This essay assignment is divided into multiple prompts split apart, with different parts each. I will list them below accordingly. I would presume that each prompt/questions should take around a page each, but that could change depending on the particular prompt. The necessary sources are all provided below as well (two sources are short YouTube videos prompt number 3). The necessary YouTube links for prompt number 3 are: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=30HeJvE9KCg and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X-9MKD3rlgg . Please use the appropriate sources for each prompt. The sources attached should be ordered in relation to each prompt. Thanks and let me know if you have any questions along the way. Please: NO COPYING AND PASTING FROM SLIDES (or internet), thanks. The prompts are listed below:
1. Compare and contrast Smith and Ravachol on the following question: what is the relation between human nature, economics, and morality in each of these thinkers?
In your account of Smith, consider the following: what is the division of labor? What benefits did he think this would bring and how would it bring them? How did he believe the division of labor within capitalism relates to or impacted (used, transformed, etc) human nature? Does he think capitalism harness human nature or distorts it? What is the relation between capitalism and morality (how does it impact humans morally, for example, through progress, transformation, or other means etc)? How would this system impact the poor (be specific)?
In your account of Ravachol: How does he believe the system of capitalism has impacted the poor? How does he think the economic system of his society (capitalism) relates to human nature (i.e. does it transforms it, distorts it, bring out its worst parts, suppress it, etc)? How does he believe capitalism relates to human morality (that is, what is affirmed, denied, valued, rejected, and there consistency or contradiction in this morality, etc).? What, in your opinion, is being “defended” in the Forbidden Defense Speech?
Feel free to compare them on other grounds that might have been left out from above. Do try your best to note anything that might be similar between these two. If you don’t find anything (and that’s fine) why do you think that is?
2. According to Schiebinger, how did “middle class notions of gender” get worked into and manifested in:
1) morality (or moral values)
2) the division of labor in economics
3) the concept of the mammal (i.e. how did they get naturalized, including how the mammal related to the Homo sapiens)?
4) what are the racial and colonial dimensions of this division of labor, according to Lugones?
As you answer this question, remember to explain and define what Schiebinger means by middle class notions of gender (why middle class? what gender?).
3. Marx and Capitalism:
PART 1: In your own words, define and describe the following three concepts: Alienation, Commodity Fetishism, Reserve/Standing Army of Labor.
PART 2: Which of these concepts contains or is related to Marx’s concept of human nature? Explain .
PART 3: Briefly explain how each of these concepts challenges is used to challenge capitalism”s claims about itself or the good things that other philosophers (like Smith) hoped it would achieve.
4. Consider our Darwin, Spencer, and Malthus.
Part 1: What are the two terms (or rather, phrases) that Darwin borrowed from this these economists?
Part 2: What did these phrases mean in their original contexts? Explain.
Part 3: How did Darwin use them or what did he mean by them (that is, how did they relate to his theory of evolution), and how did that differ from their original meaning?
Part 4: Explain how common misunderstandings of these terms in Darwin are related to the idea of “naturalization”? That is, what kinds of ideas, beliefs, practices, economics etc have been naturalized through as a result of these misunderstandings (i.e. explain what naturalization is and how it works here, the relation between biology and capitalism).
5. Explain the relation between capitalism, colonialism, and speciesism, presented in the Dawson text?
This is an open ended question, so you have some flexibility and creativity. But your answer needs to be thorough, with philosophical depth, and demonstrate clear understanding. Make sure you explain the key concepts and contradictions from the chapter in your answer. Here are some questions to get you started, if need be: How does capitalism justify specific actions toward fellow animals, earth, or fellow humans? How does this relate to the human/animal binary (who is on what side of that binary)? And so on.
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