In Class Discussion 1: Epictetus and Epicurus

Discussion of Nosedive (Season 3; Episode 1 of Black Mirror)

1. General comments/impressions.

2. (a) What would Epicurus say about why Lacie is unhappy?

    (b) What would Epictetus say ”  ” ‘ ” ”  ?

    (c) Whose assessment do you agree with more? Why?

3. Why do you think people care so much about what other’s think about them? Are they mistaken to do so? Defend your answer.

4. In the truck, the driver asks Lacie how it felt to get angry when she was at the airport. 

(a) What’s she getting at?

(b) What would Epictetus say?

(c) What is the significance of the last scene?

(d) What are your thoughts about the expression of reactive emotions towards others and how that fits into the conception of a good life? 

5. Paul Woodruff says in The Ajax Dilemma, “if you want to know a community’s values, look at what they reward”.

(a) Look at your community (BGSU). Which students are most admired on campus? Which are best supported financially? What inferences can you draw regarding BGSU values? Is there a difference between the stated values of BGSU and the ones that are rewarded?

(b) Same as above for USA.

(c) Are sorts of values that are most rewarded in America the ones that provide the best opportunity for a good (i.e, happy/tranquil) life? Why or why not.