I could tell that my 8:00 class is a pious group today; almost half of them missed class, no doubt for All Saints’ Day services. And of the ones that did show up, half of them had their heads bowed in prayer for most of the class. Or at least they had their eyes closed.
11:00 was a better session, probably because those students could sleep in a bit after some hard core trick-or-treating. We dug into the Boethius text and into more general questions of freedom, fate, and property. Fortune and property are two of those things that pretty much determine how one does politics. Decisions about whether material objects are proper to one person, to a community, to the human race, to God, or more likely to a mixture of those things, wind up turning into medieval economic theory, capitalism, socialism, communism, and just about any other economic system that one can dream up. And the question of fortune is one that drives every kind of politics. I could tell that both groups (the ones who stayed awake among both groups, that is) were thinking some good thoughts about these things, and I look forward to a good set of papers. This paper always gets me excited, I admit–most of the attempts look pretty much like beginners’ attempts at philosophy, but one has to start somewhere, and I’m glad to be one of those starting points.