VI. THE RELIGIOUS SWEEP OF THE PROJECT: SPINOZA AND PASCAL
A. Required Readings:
Spinoza, The Ethics [ARIEW: 129-180]
Pascal, The Wager [ARIEW: 94-96]
Secondary Literature: read one of the following
Etienne Gilson and Thomas Langan, Modern Philosophy: Descartes to Kant (New York: Random House, 1963), pp. 127-144; 108-126
Frederick Copleston, S.J., A History of Philosophy, Vol IV (New York: Image, 1963), pp. 205-263; 153-173.
James Collins, History of European Philosophy (Milwaukee: Bruce, 1954) pp. 199-251.
B. Writing Assignment:
Write a 3 page reflection paper on the following theme:
Reflect upon Alexis de Tocqueville's saying that anyone who wishes to defend human dignity and greatness must fight against pantheism. ("What Causes Democratic Nations to Incline Toward Pantheism," Democracy in America, Volume 2, part 1, chap 7)
How does Pascal provide the modern man a way back to God in light of modern science and modern sensibility? (You must acquire a complete edition of the Pensees, or the Kreeft edition listed below - in addition to wager read on diversion and two infinities)
C. Supplemental Readings:
Richard Kennington. "Analytic and Synthetic Methods in Spinoza's Ethics." In The Philosophy of Baruch Spinoza, ed. Richard Kennington. Washington, D. C.: Catholic University of America, 1980.
Lewis White Beck. "Spinoza" Six Secular Philosophers. New York: Harper, 1960. pp. 27-41.
Stanley Rosen, "Benedict Spinoza" in History of Political Philosophy, eds. Leo Strauss and Joseph Cropsey, 3rd ed. Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press, 1987. pp. 456-475.
Romano Guardini. Pascal for Our Time. Translated by Brian Thompson. New York: Herder and Herder. 1966.
Peter Kreeft..Christianity for Modern Pagans: Pascal's Pensees Edited, Outlined and Explained. San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 1993.