Classical Texts Discussions Questions

We will discuss twelve classical texts in political philosophy as excerpted in our Political Philosophy: The Essential Texts textbook.

These texts will make up the possible essay questions on the two course exams. please write responses to the provided questions on a

separate piece of paper (responsesMUST BE TYPED). I will collect these responses after each case study lectures. Late submissions WILL

NOT BE ACCEPTED unless as a result of an excused absence (college-sanctioned activities, like an athletics or debate competitions,

doctor’s appointments, mandatory work-shifts or job interviews – you must provide a note from your coach, doctor, employer, etc.).

Completion of these questions will comprise your 20% participation grade for the course.Responses for each question must be at least two

sentences long; you are welcome (but not required) to write more. The more you write, the better prepared you will be for the exam essay


Classical Text # 10 Environment
Rachel Carson “Silent Spring” (1962)

1. Carson begins Silent Spring with a chapter titled “A Fable for Tomorrow” which tells the story of “a town in the heart of America

where all life seemed to live in harmony with its surroundings.” What happens to the town? What is Carson’s point?

2. Carson argues since the 1940s, humans have started using chemicals to kill insects, weeds, and rodents, calling them “pesticides”

and “insecticides.” Why does she argue that these chemicals should rather be called “biocides”?

3. What are the harmful effects of DDT and why are they difficult to prevent?

4. In addition to DDT, Carson argues that the use of chemicals generally threatens nature’s ecosystems, including human’s own

internal ecosystems. What chemical-caused threats to our health does Carson describe?

5. What is Carson’s alternative to the use of chemicals?