04:30 PM to 07:10 PM T
Section Information for Spring 2021
PHIL 721 - DL1: Advanced Seminar in Philosophy: Ancient Philosophy (selected works of Aristotle) — 04:30 PM to 07:10 PM T – Online
Instructor: Dr. R. Cherubin
This course will study two works of Aristotle, namely the Nicomachean Ethics and Politics. Taken together, they offer an account of humanity as always simultaneously natural and social, creative and rational, animal and political, emotional and theoretical, cooperative and competitive.
The Nicomachean Ethics and the Politics are parts of the same project: the search for understanding of the nature, potential, and promise of human communities, with respect to how to lead a human life in the best possible ways, whatever those turn out to be. Aristotle frames this project within the wider question of the nature of human good and how it might be pursued.
We will consider Aristotle’s explorations of these questions in their historical context, and also with regard to contemporary applications.
Recent scholarship is bringing to the forefront some important problems within the very fabric of the Nicomachean Ethics and Politics, problems that challenge not only Aristotle’s arguments but our approaches to reading them. For example:
What are we to make of these apparent discrepancies? Are they real fundamental discrepancies, or can seemingly opposed aspects be reconciled? Do they affect the other parts and features of these (and other) works of Aristotle, so that their flaws and exclusions vitiate the substance of Aristotle’s proposals? Can the other proposals instead be considered in isolation? Must these texts be treated as historical relics fatally flawed by prejudices and areas of ignorance? Or are there other ways we can learn from these texts?
For students in the Ethics and Public Affairs concentration (ETPA), this course can be used to fulfill 3 credits of the history of philosophy requirement (substituting for PHIL 603); or it can be used as an elective.
For students in the Traditional and Contemporary Philosophy focus (TC), this course can be used to fulfill the ancient philosophy requirement or the seminar requirement or both; or it can be used as an elective.
PHIL 721 DL1 is a distance education section.
Enrollment is limited to Graduate or Non-Degree level students.
Students in a Non-Degree Undergraduate degree may not enroll.