Philosophy | Selected topics in the History of Ethics
P541 | 3223 | Eisenberg
Note: The topic listed in the Schedule of Classes is wrong.
This is to be a survey course of some of the greatest classics in normative ethical theory from Plato to Nietzsche. I shall to focusing primarily on the questions of the nature of individual well-being, the place which (theoretical or practical) concern
for such well-being should have in moral theory, and the relation between individual and societal good. More particularly, I shall be discussing, both exegetically and critically, the treatment of those issues in a variety of classic texts. The authors
to be considered include Plato, Aristotle, Epicurus, Epictetus, Kant, Mill, and Nietzsche. Some attempt will be made to trace parallelisms and developments - for example, between ancient and modern hedonism (Epicurus vs. Mill), or ancient and modern doct
rines of self-realization (Plato-Aristotle vs. Nietzsche).
There will be a mid-semester paper as well as a final paper and final exam.
Students interested in doing especially in-depth readings in, for example, some one of the philosophers to be considered in the course, or in working with me on texts by some other classic moral philosopher not included in the aforementioned lit should le
t me know soon.