PHILOS 1 Week 9 Adolf Eichmann and Marx’s False Consciousness Discussion


1. Reading

What is due?

Read the assigned text (the extracts from Arendt’s “Eichmann in Jerusalem”) and underline its most important parts. Choose one small portion of the text, between 2 and 8 lines approximately (it’s ok if it’s slightly above or below that), that in your view is the most significant one, the core of the paper where the author makes her major point. It must be just one quote, not multiple quotes combined together. Copy and paste it in the submission. Then write a comment on it, explaining its meaning in your own words. Your comment (not including the quote) must be between 150 and 400 words.


This assignment is meant to assess your capacity to understand a reading and identify its major point, as well as your capacity to explain it in your own words. This is an important skill when it comes to writing a paper, especially – but not only – in philosophy. Therefore, this assignment is also an exercise that helps you prepare for the final paper.


In your submission, you are expected to choose one (no more than one) significant passage, the passage that in your opinion encapsulates the “take home message” of the reading. Note however that there is not only one correct answer to this prompt: different students will obviously choose different passages, and this is perfectly fine. What is important, is that the lines you choose are not completely marginal, and that you are able to explain the meaning of the author’s claim using your own words, instead of simply repeating the author’s own expressions. Your submission must show that you reflected autonomously on the subject.


Read the whole paper and underline (or highlight) it first, as you would do for any text that you need to study. You do not need to understand every detail of it, but you do need to understand the main message that the author is delivering. Then, look at the text again and “slim down” the parts you have underlined, until you get to the point where you cannot really delete any of the underlined parts without losing the meaning of the reading. Now choose, among the remaining underlined parts, the one that in your view best summarizes the major claim. This is the quote that you are going to comment.


Like in the previous “Defend a position” assignment, the word limit is 150 to 400 words (instead of 150 to 300 as it was in the summaries), and the grading schema for word count is as follows:

number of words <100 100-139 140-149 150-400 401-410 411-450 >450
points -2 points -1 point -0.5 points Great job! Ok, excused -1 point -2 points


Understanding assignment – Underline and comment

Criteria Ratings Pts

This criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomeUnderstandingThe portion of the text that you choose to comment is not marginal. Your submissions shows that you understood its meaning and its importance.

8 pts

This criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomeAutonomyYou explain the author’s point using your own words. Your submission shows your autonomous reflection on the subject.

8 pts

This criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomeWriting and logisticsYour submission is written clearly. Its length and format respect the instructions. Spelling, punctuation, and grammar are correct.

4 pts

Total Points: 20


Hi, welcome to this week discussion!

What is due?

Please choose one topic (see below) and post at least one reflection and two comments to your peers’ reflections.


This assignment is meant to assess your capacity to understand and reflect autonomously on the contents that you studied, and your capacity to engage with different opinions and views in a respectful and fruitful way, collaborating with your peers for an inclusive learning environment.


Please write:

1) One post on the chosen prompt, 100 to 200 words

2) At least two comments on your peers’ posts, 50 to 100 words each. One of the comments can be your reply to a comment you received. Comments can be on any topic, not necessarily the prompt you have chosen.

Please be sure that your posts are on topic, and your comments are respectful and constructive. See the rubric for details.

IMPORTANT: This is a group discussion; be sure that you post in your group, not in the general discussion. Only if you post in your group your submission will be graded.


1) Do you think that Marx’s concept of “false consciousness” helps understand some phenomena of today’s world? Explain what and why (or explain why not).

2) According to Arendt, Eichmann claimed that “what he had done was a crime only in retrospect”. What does this mean? What does it tell us?

3) The guest video claims that race does not exist but that nevertheless it has consequences (this also connects to what you studied in week 5). What does it mean? Do you agree? Why?

4) Share your thoughts on any of the additional resources and how it relates to the topics of this week


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