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Lecture 2

POLS 1000 Lecture Notes - Lecture 2: Milan Kundera, Gustave Flaubert, Jerusalem Prize


Department
Political Science
Course Code
POLS 1000
Professor
Martin Breaugh
Lecture
2

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POLS 1000 Week 3 Sept 20th
Critical thinking:
The term critical does not refer to the quality of the conclusion whether it is a good or
bad conclusion
Being critical refers to a thinking process that aims to evaluate it does not refer to the
negative conclusion this evaluation is based on a thinking process
Critical though is a thinking process that rest upon an analysis of a variety of factors:
history, logic, observation, context, coherence and relevance.
This thinking process known as critical thinking is a skill and it can only be learned
through pratie. It’s ot atural ut rather soethig you a lear ad sharpe.
Stupidity and abstraction:
Literature and politics permits one to go beyond our mortal nature. By engaging in
politics people allows people to leave their presence. By acting in such a way both Lit
and politics both cheat death of its most lasting and painful consequence, to be
forgotten.
Milan Kundera introduces the distinction between ignorance and stupidity
Jorges Borges introduces the importance for abstraction for thought
Kundera Jerusalem Prize winner: In his speech talks about contribution of certain
novelist in particular Gustave Flaubert he wrote a dictionary of received ideas. In this
dictionary he collects clichés and fixed ideas of his time that were thought to be
intelligent ideas.
Flauberts time is 19th century France. 19th century in France is reign of the bourgeois.
The French revolution will allow the bourgeoisie to replace the aristocracy as the ruling
class. The bourgeoisie with the help of the urban poor will manage to strip the
aristocracy of its power. All of the 19th century will represent the consultation of the
new found power of the bourgeoisie. It will take 125 years to end the French revolution.
The foundation of the ever expanding merchant class will become the foundations of
the new institutions of the modern world. The merchant will be the guiding social force
of oder tie; they will lead the way. Beause it’s the guidig fore of odernity we
have to recognize that bourgeois reality remains out reality. As a guiding social force
the bourgeois will expand this end to different facets of contemporary life.
By the end of 19th century in France, the bourgeoisie had replaced the aristocracy
completely. They bring a new set of values.
Bourgeois values: all these values will replace aristocratic values.
1. Merit (working for it)
2. Work (The source of all value, allocate social prestige and wealth)
3. Reason (common sense)
4. Progress
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