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1000-1100 Words

This class as a whole has developed four main models of materialism--atomic, corporeal, economic and linguistic. Still, even within these four categories, there has been considerable fluidity about what might count as a "materialist" mode of thinking, writing. The prompt for this paper is to select two passages from two texts we've covered so far (these can be supplemented by a few other quotes from the same texts, but the bulk of the essay should be on the main passages selected) and develop a comparison and contrast of two different models of materialism. You should take up not just the broad categories of materialism (i.e atomic, corporeal etc.), but the specific way the writer develops his version of materialism, how it stakes out its own area of concern, and how it contrasts with others.

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Satire, Travel, Objectivity & Materialism
To jump right into this critical juxtaposition of some aspects of the treatment of materialism in Erasmus’ In Praise of Folly and Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels, let’s start with consideration of the passage of Folly that will set this discussion’s tone and agenda. It is the passage beginning with the line, “In the mean while observe what a cheap purchase of happiness is made by the strength of fancy…” (Erasmus, 1876, n.p.) Erasmus here makes a seemingly prosaic point regarding the power of “fancy”—the power of desire and need—to alter perception so powerfully as to make it possible for “real” satisfaction and happiness to be had in response to items or quality that may not in fact be, objectively, proportional to such contented reaction...

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