Week 8: Alchemy and Witchcraft

Please write a few comments on these readings by Tuesday night.  Read over what your peers have written and respond if the spirit moves you.  Pay attention to what is Aristotelian, what is atomic or corpuscularian, what is a hybrid, and what is neither.  Also notice any references to religion.  I highly recommend listening to the In Our Time episode on alchemy that is available on the Syllabus.  It is an excellent overview and filled with little interesting tidbits.

Also say something about the readings for Wednesday on witchcraft….


Stay dry and out of harms way.

Back to Syllabus

Week 6: Lucretius and Plutarch’s Vegetarianism

Please comment on the readings.  Please read the comments of your fellow students and comment on their comments.  Please post you comments by Tuesday night.

Here are a couple of questions to get you started… How is Lucretius different from Aristotle and Ibn Tufayl?  What are the ramifications of Lucretius’ theory?  How do the senses work?  What are the senses sensing?  How does vision work?  Can you make an apologist-style argument for Lucretius’ theory of vision?  How to determine gender of child?  Contraception?  Beer-goggles?  Oh my!


How do Plutarch’s reasons for not eating meat differ from modern arguments?  Is he convincing?  Notice his description of the early world… notice the terms he uses to describe the sky, stars, sun, etc.  How does his early world differ from your image of an early world?  Notice the preparations he describes!  Notice his comparison to other lusty desires.  Notice his pseudo-Occupy-W.S.-style argument.

Back to Syllabus