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The McKelvy House Scholars invite the campus to join a dinner discussion Sunday evening on themes related to A Clockwork Orange.

Dinner will begin 6 p.m. at McKelvy House, 200 High Street; RSVP by Saturday to scopelln or doremusb. Led by philosophy major Nicholas Scopelliti ’06 (Dunmore, Pa.), the discussion will start at 6:30 p.m. and requires no reservations.

Written by Anthony Burgess, the book A Clockwork Orange was adapted into a famous and controversial movie by Stanley Kubrick.

Scopelliti’s description of topics he plans to raise:

  • Power: Most if not all of the characters in A Clockwork Orange have ravenous pursuits of power built into their characters. I would like to discuss many of the characters’ motives in their pursuits of power.
  • Corruption: Corruption is another facet of the movie. It would seem that corruption is a sort of byproduct of the hunger for power. It is also found at every level in the hierarchy from Alex and his Droogs to the Minister of the Interior.
  • From here I would like to have a discussion of the use of punishment. Ought punishment simply be a sort of restitution for a “wrong” doing or ought it be incorporated into a rehabilitation for the individual?
  • Is rehabilitation possible?
  • Certainly we see that Alex is unrepentant for his “sins” when the hospital psychiatrist asks him to fill in what the other person would say in a given situation.
  • Is it right for the government to take away Alex’s ability to reason and act on his own behalf? (Politically, socially, morally?)
  • Many philosophers say that something is immoral if and only if that something is acted upon. They claim that thoughts [cannot be evaluated]. Only an action has moral worth. If this is the case, can we now claim that Alex is a moral human being? He can no longer commit any act of violence, yet his desires, on the contrary, are no more moral than the acts he committed as an adolescent.
  • Finally, I would like to know each of your personal feelings about Alex. Mainly I want to know if you felt pity for him or if like Joe, the boarder living in Alex’s room, you see no excuse for Alex’s indiscretions and believe that he got all that was coming to him.

Since 1962, the McKelvy House Scholars program has brought together Lafayette students with a wide range of majors and interests to reside in a historic off-campus house and share in intellectual and social activities. Weekly dinner discussions that engage the students in debate and exchange of ideas are the hallmark of the program. Most members also contribute to the annual McKelvy Papers, written on a topic of each person’s choice. McKelvy Scholars participate in activities together such as field trips to plays, concerts, and exhibits, and sponsor events for the campus as well.

Previous discussions:
Sept. 8 – Materialism, satisfaction, and poverty
Sept. 5 — Obesity in America

April 25 — Anti-foundationalist critique of philosophy
April 18 – Dark humor
April 11 — Cults
April 4 — Link between ethical behavior and intelligence

March 28 — Five Images of Man

March 7 — Idealized body forms

Feb. 22 — Countercultures

Feb. 15 — Eternity

Feb. 8 — Bisexuality

Dec. 7 — Anger toward computers and technology

Nov. 9 — “Unnecessary” crimes

Nov. 2 — Genetic alteration

Oct. 26 — Social construction of gender

Oct. 19 — Greed as an economic force
Sept. 28 — Value

Categorized in: Academic News