Notes for discussion of  Kurt Vonnegut's "More Stately Mansions" (in Welcome to the Monkey House)

Break up into small groups. Delegate one or more members of your group to prepare a summary of your group's discussion.

For 1 - Instructor explains de Beauvoir's discussion of "the home" in The Second Sex , Goffmann's theory of  the front, and (as time permits) ties this in with Becker's views in The Birth and Death of  Meaning and The Denial of Death.

1. Do you know anyone who identifies his or her self with the way their home looks, or some other set of appearances.  How? Why do you think they do this?

For 2- Instructor describes appearance/reality distinction, phenomenalism, Goodman's views in Structure of Appearance and Ways of Worldmaking.
2.  What is more important to most people?  The way things  are, or the way they seem to be?

For 3 - Instructor reviews standard distinction between "face" and "guilt" cultures.

3.  In the culture(s)/subculture(s) in which you spend important amounts of time, what is more important - "face" or "guilt"?  Why do you think so?

Michael Kagan, Le Moyne College 
Nov. 28, 2005,  last updated Nov. 30, 2005.