Phone: 3037, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Office (Fitzelle Hall
507, close to the sky, in the clouds, where philosophers should be)
Hours: Tu 1. 15 -2; Th. 8:3 0-10:3 0 a. m. & by appointment. TA's W I I - 12, Fitzelle 101,
Seema and Thomas.
Course Description: This course tries to combine moral theories of more than two thousand years with modem technology: (e-mail will serve as a vehicle, computers will be the mode of response -- if they should ever work.) This is only possible if we concentrate on those aspects of ancient, medieval and modem philosophy which can be related to modem problems: you'll have to provide the problems, we'll look at ancient until modem solutions. You will try to understand the foundations of philosophical thought, starting with Antigone and the Presocratics, and we will travel all the way through the history of philosophy until Rawls' and the moral justifications of social security and health care reform. To develop a deeper understanding of the philosophers in contrast, students will, in the second part of the class, work independently on philosophies of their choice, which they will afterwards contrast in a final group presentation and individual dialogue papers (5-10 pages).
Format: Some lecture, but most sessions will involve intensive class participation. If you come to sleep, drop the class! Video clips, guest lectures and readings from Dante' Inferno in comparison with Visconti's fisconti's "Dolce Vita" should allow to show that a discussion of the roots of today's morality can be entertaining and educational alle. Students are challenged to dunk for themselves, and to question their own positions. A part of the class will consist of group work, and the results of this work will be presented to the class.
Requirements: Class attendance is NOT optional. Attendance means that you contribute. You are expected to have STUDIED the material assigned BEFORE coming to class, and to do independent research in the library or via Internet. Expect to have to prepare each class carefully, by reading and written homework assignments. This is a moral commitment, and as such I'll try to keep my promises; however, given different interests of the students, this syllabus is subject to change..
Grades: at least 3 quizzes (10%, absolutely no "make-up", lowest of four quizzes dropped), one research paper (15%), cumulative Mdterm with Essays (25%), Final (test and essays) (25 %), Class Participation (in class, homework) (25 %). Extra Credit: paper on Philosophy/ethics in their hidden form: apply one moral philosopher in one of the plays of the theater department, and discussion of one of the presentations at the undergraduate philosophy conference.
Texts: Johnson, Ethics (any edition), Dante, Inferno(any edition), Sophocles, Antigone, any edition; Macchiavelli, Prince (any edition) optional: Sigwick, Ethics (any edition, optional)
each point corresponds to stages
of ethics according to Kohlberg
one week of class time; ifyou have missed B)Antigone reading of the entire play, outline of
classes, you are responsible to make up the the positions of the characters
what is "Ethics"?
"You cannot use an is for an ought",stages of ethics according to Kohlberg
B)Antigone reading of the entire play,outline of the positions of the characters
Discussion: Are law obedient
soldiers criminal, if the "served" in genocide?
D)The Soul (Aristotle, Augustine, Anselm)
Plato (Republic, Book 1), the early dialogues
A)Euthyphro, excerpts: Apology (Group 1) Crito
B)Discussion: Cave and the function of education
The unwritten Plato,
Plato on writing.
The State vs. Individual Rights
A)Trasymachus (Group 1)
B)Ring of Qyges (Group 11)
Possible Excursion: Conference on Medieval and
Ancient Philosophy, Binghamton University. Oct.
IV: Aristotle (excerpts)
Nicomachian Ethics Discussion:
A)Ethics and Politics
B) Happiness: Martha Nussbaum on modem
D)The Medieval interpretations of Aristotle
V: Epictetus: Discussion: Ethics of Nature
VI: Epicurus: Discussion: Friendship vs. Love XIII: Wittgenstein, and why
ethics are impossible (1/2week),
VII: St. Augustin
vs. Th. Aquinas
Medieval images and minds
Rawls and a Theory of Justice:
A) The Existence of Good
Augustine the last part of the course includes parallel
Avicenna readings on
B)Justification of Evil
or Lack of Perfection?
Ethics and the Problem of Evil Jainism
C) Natural Law
Discussion: Predetermination and Free Will
D)The soul (Aristotle,
VIII: DANTE, INFERNO
Film: Dolce Vita (optional)
Lecture: The Florentine School of
Neoplatonism. Ficino/Pico de la Mirandola, Commentaries of
Presentations of Paper Projects
IX: Hobbes/X: Locke
XI: Kant, the categorical imperative
Discussion: Are white lies allowed?
XII: Nietzsche/Kierkegaard: God is Dead?What is Angst?
Discussion: Film: Clockwork
XIII:Gilligan/Kohlberg: and why ethics are impossible(1/2 week)
DIALOGUE PAPERS DUE
Hinduism/BuddhismXIV: Gilligan/Kohlberg:the feminist approach
Rawls and a Theory of Justice:
the last part of the course includes parallel reading on