Boethius Consolation of Philosophy.  

A reflection paper covering the early books in Boethius Consolation of Philosophy.

I want this reflection paper to be over Lady Philosophy’s diagnosis on the prisoner.

Below are the instructions and meaning of a reflection paper.

Reflection papers are meant to provide you a place to express your own thoughts and opinions on what we are covering in class.  I evaluate the reflection papers more on how you support your position or pursue your inquiry than I do on the content of your thought.  Suggested length of reflection papers is one typed page. 

Usually the reflection paper is on a topic of your choosing related to the class.  It can be over the readings or something that we have discussed in class.  The reflection papers are designed to allow you to reflect on what you are learning in class.  I want you to give your evaluation on what we cover and ask yourself is what I am learning true or good or beautiful (or false or wicked or ugly).  Explain the reasons why you think something is true or good or beautiful.

III. What does Boethius know and what has he forgotten? (Book 1, Prose 6) Lady Philosophy presents herself as a nurse concerned to restore the prisoner to health. Like any good nurse she will diagnose his illness. It is a philosophical diagnosis based upon what the prisoner knows and what he has forgotten. At one point she describes what he has forgotten as chinks in his armor. The defense against his doing badly is the truth—so in one sense her medicine and treatment will the truth. She will administer this in two forms. One form is poetry (or music) this is gentle medicine. As the book progresses she will go to stronger medicine after he has recovered a bit—the stronger medicine are arguments. As the book goes along the poems become shorter and shorter and the prose sections become longer and longer. The entire books begins with a poem and ends with prose, modeling the progress of cure. The diagnosis that Lady Philosophy gives takes the form of a catechism. A catechism is a strange choice of genre to be in a literary work. A catechism is a Christian form of teaching used to prepare initiates (catechumens) for baptism and to make sure that the candidates for baptism understand Christian teaching and doctrine. Typically these catechisms take the form of question and answer. Below are excerpts from a modern catechism the Baltimore catechism. LESSON FIRST: On the End of Man. Q. 126. What do we mean by the “end of man”? A. By the “end of man” we mean the purpose for which he was created: namely, to know, love, and serve God. Q. 127. How do you know that man was created for God alone? A. I know that man was created for God alone because everything in the world was created for something more perfect than itself: but there is nothing in the world more perfect than man; therefore, he was created for something outside this world, and since he was not created for the Angels, he must have been created for God.

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