Consolation of Philosophy reflection paper

A reflection paper covering the early books in Boethius’ Consolation of Philosophy.  As usual you have freedom to pick your topic, however I would like you to reflect on and evaluate what we are covering in the Consolation of Philosophy.

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.

I have attached an outline of book 2 and 3 of Boethius Consolation of philosophy. Use the attachment and additional resources strictly about books 2 and 3. Thank you!

**Sources not required**

Outline Book 2 and 3 Consolation of Philosophy !1Boethius Book 2 What can we expect from fortune? I. Immanuel Kant once said that there were three great questions which must be answered in life: “What can we know? What is my duty? And For what can I hope?”II. The Consolation of Philosophy addresses the question through the figure of Lady Fortune. A. What can we expect of fortune? 1. In the dialogue–the prisoner expects better of fortune than he gets. He expects to be rewarded for good actions. 2. In his anger he blames fortune and calls her unfair, she has taken from him something that is justly due to him–that is something that is his. (Keep in mind Epictetus’ conception as what is rightly “our own.”) a. The definition of “ones own” –that which cannot be taken away from a person by nature. 3. Lady Philosophy says that what we can expect from Lady Fortune is change. 4. There is also a sense in which Fortune is a teacher. Misfortune teaches what is truly “our own.” a. Lady Philosophy says that what we can rightly expect from fortune is for her to change. b. The change from good fortune to bad is instructive for those who learn– it teaches the lesson of what is truly ones own (e.g. ones virtue, the image of God within oneself and perhaps ones virtuous friends are all that are rightly ones own). B. Can we expect happiness of fortune? 1. We cannot expect happiness from fortune if we place happiness in things external to ourselves. For these in the end will all be taken away. C. Lady Philosophy describes this book as rhetoric to calm the wildness of the prisoner’s thoughts until he is ready for stronger medicine. She does this by: 1. Speaking on behalf of fortune. 2. Having the prisoner remember what good gifts he still possesses. a. A virtuous family still intact belongs to the prisoner. b. The prisoner still has life. 3. Responding to the prisoner’s complaint that the memory of past goods is more painful. 4. Reminding the prisoner about the nature of true happiness. a. General features of happiness. 1) “Anxiety is the necessary condition of human happiness since happiness is never completely achieved and never permanently kept” (p. 28). 2) “Nothing is miserable unless you think it so” (p.29). This is a stoic perspective that maintains that all grief can be stopped if things are seen from the proper perspective (i.e. from the perspective of nature.) b. Two general arguments about the nature of happiness. 1) Happiness cannot depend upon things which are uncertain because

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