Monday, February 15 Lecture Notes

Hey guys. Today we discussed The Ethical Assassin for the whole class. We discussed Melford, the assassin in the novel, and his definition of ideology. We spent a good portion of the beginning of the class talking about what is happening in the story. We began with how Lem left the trailer park to go to a carry-out to find the redneck in the pickup truck hitting on the store clerk. Lem's boss Bobby is introduced and Lem goes with him in his car to meet other encyclopedia salesmen. He finds Chitra talking to the assassin who has shown up to the meeting with all these sales people. Melford had seen that Lem returned to the trailer park even after Melford threatened to frame him if he returned there. Lem went back to seal the business deal with Bobby to Bastard and Karen, but Melford had obviously seen him. After Melford and Lem return to the scene of the crime to get rid of the checkbook that proves that Lem was there, Jim Doe, the creepy cop who attempted to violate the reporter, was at the scene of the crime too with another woman, who we come to find out is Karen's mother.

Ideology is what we discussed later in the class. Ideology has many different meanings. In the book, ideology is related to Karl Marx's theory. Marx developed ideology as a way of saying communism is better than capitalism.

We talked about the "is" and "ought" idea. "Is" meaning descriptive, and "ought" meaning prescriptive or normative. Melford claims that ideology which is normative (ought) is descriptive (is). (Hopefully this makes sense). Laws are an example of normative claims. There are certain ideas and things we just know from being active in society.

We talked about examples that we as adults who are social beings just know to be expected in culture and society. Like why can both men and women wear jeans, but men can not wear purses? It is just accepted that men do not carry handbags, and we tend to look at men differently who do wear purses. In conclusion, we have universalized masculinity based on female characteristics.

I think this is the wrong day!

March 15, 2010

We reviewed the first part of the day. Bentham and utilitarianism

Utilitarianism dilemmas in The Ethical Assassin

Liss brings up the issue of "disposal of shit" using a pig farm as an example. This is concept is similar to a city or more precise a sky scraper. In the book Jim Doe uses this to cover the smell of his meth lab.

Don't remember how we got on this topic- poverty isnt necessarily have no food. It is malnutrition, not having the right food.

Most of the class we discussed the book which would be better talked about in the reading notes.

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