Splash at Northwestern: Winter Splash February 26th, 2023

NU Splash Biography

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CHRISTOPHER NATOLI, UChicago second-year

College: University of Chicago

Major: Statistics, Mathematics

Year of Graduation: 2015

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Past Classes

  (Clicking a class title will bring you to the course's section of the corresponding course catalog)

M277: Thinking About Infinity in Splash 2014 (Apr. 06, 2014)
Can you have something bigger than infinity? Do all things of infinite size have the same size? Are there more real numbers than integers? In this class we'll use mathematical rigor to give solid answers to these seemingly nonsensical questions.

H214: Introduction to Marx's Das Kapital in Splash 2013 (Apr. 06, 2013)
Capitalism is often blamed for the recent financial collapse, the greed that pervades modern American culture, and the destruction of culture abroad. But when did this criticism of the market system originate? In the mid-nineteenth century, with the famous philosopher of communism, Karl Marx. Das Kapital is Marx's (giant) critique of industrial capitalism, explaining how the capitalist exploits the laborers and forces them into cruel inhumane conditions. In this class, we will follow Marx's argument in Capital, Volume I from his labor theory of value all the way up to his dark conclusion: the workers must rise up, for they have nothing to lose but their chains.

H148: The Philosophy of Death: Why is Death Bad? (Or is it?) in Splash 2012 (Mar. 31, 2012)
It almost goes without saying that death is bad. After all, homocide, genocide, infanticide, and suicide are considered some of the worst actions one can commit. But is the assumption that death is bad really justified? In this class, we will discuss and challenge this intuition. We will scrutinize in particular the deprivation account---the argument that death is bad because it deprives us of things that are good---among other reasons for believing that death is bad. We will also touch on related topics in the philosophy of death as they arise, such as immortality, fearing death, the nature of personal identity, and the morality of suicide. (Note that we will be assuming for most of this class an atheist perspective on death, i.e., there is no afterlife and no reincarnation, although these topics may be discussed if they arise.)

S183: God DOES Play Dice: Some Philosophical Consquences of Quantum Mechanics in Splash 2012 (Mar. 31, 2012)
Can a cat be simultaneously dead AND alive? Can particles communicate faster than the speed of light? Is there reason to believe in parallel universes? Quantum mechanics has raised these questions and more, suggesting that nature is more bizarre and unintuitive than we ever imagined. After a quick, layman introduction to some ideas in quantum mechanics and a discussion of the famous EPR paradox, this class will explore some of the many strange and wondrous implications of quantum mechanics that may at first seem more science fiction than fact! (Note that although I will try to be as precise as possible in my explanations, this class will be very non-technical and non-mathy.)