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For everyone’s health and safety, Summer Session will not host students on campus for residential programs this summer. Many of our courses will be taught remotely online so that you can still explore your intellectual interests, gain insight into college life, and be a part of our distinctive learning community. We hope you will join us online this summer! Our Summer Session team is here to help via email at


The Good Life

Program(s): Immersion

Canceled for Summer 2020

What makes for a good life and how, if at all, can we know that someone's life--whether ours or another's--is or was a good one? Are there standards for determining whether a life is or was good, or is the answer to the question entirely up for grabs? To get at these questions, we'll read selections from three classical philosophers--Plato, Lucretius, and Epictetus--and one late antique/early medieval figure, Augustine of Hippo. We will then move on to two modern authors--Mill and Nietzsche--who saw themselves as challenging much of the answers given by earlier thinkers. In addition, you will learn to recognize some of your own unrecognized biases and gain some comfort in subjecting those biases to considered, searching reflection; become a more careful reader and interpreter of complex texts; and improve your ability to write essays that display rigorous analysis in clear and direct prose.

Course Considerations

This course is an excellent introduction to the kind of close reading, interpretive, discussion, and writing skills that undergraduates learn in the College at the University of Chicago.

Writing Intensive
Discussion Intensive

Course Overview

Current Grade / Education Level

9th Grade
10th Grade
11th Grade



Start Date

June 22

End Date

July 09

Class Details

Primary Instructor

David Lyons

Academic Interest

Humanities (e.g., arts, philosophy)

Class Specifics

Course Code

SOSC 25305 94

Class Day(s)

Mon Tues Wed Thurs Fri

Class Duration


3:00 PM


Session I

Course Length

3 weeks