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.
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.
Current Grade / Education Level