Great Books II   Spring 2014

Consolation of Philosophy


All fortune is good fortune to the man who bears it with equanimity.


February 10

 February 13 February 17

Books I & II

Books III & IV Books IV & V
  1. What is Boethius' problem?
  2. What is Lady Philosophy's diagnosis?
  3. How does Fortune work?
  4. What are the laws of Fortune? of free will?
  5. Is Fortune "just"?
  6. Is tragedy part of Fortune?
  7. How are we to be happy?
  8. What does it mean to "possess" something?


Read through p. 103

Bring a Bluebook for an in class writing exercise.

Bring your own discussion questions on Boethius.

  1. According to Boethius, does Satan possess will? power?

  2. What core assumptions lie beneath Boethius' claim that the wicked are unhappy when they unjustly go scot free?

  3. Draw a picture to depict the relationship between fate & providence.

  4. How can divine providence, i.e. foreknowledge,  preserve free will? What is the key to his argument?

  5. Make a list: Without free will, we get __?

  6. What does Boethius mean when he says: "every object of knowledge is known not as a result of its own nature, but of the nature of those who comprehend it" (132)