Courses: Happiness, Virtue, and the Good Life - Fall 2007 (PHILH107A01)

Fall 2007

Enrollment limited to 35 students.
Fall 2007 Description: This course will focus on the role of morals and politics in accounts of the “good life.” We’ll begin by looking at what several philosophers have to say about the best form of government and at how they try to justify their theories relative to an account of human nature. Our first reading will be from Plato (circa 424-348 BCE): we’ll study his conception of the link between rationality and morality as well as his understanding of what political order might best allow reason to govern human affairs. Then we’ll turn to the starkly anti-Platonic thought of Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679) and the critical reflections on Hobbes provided by Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778). We’ll end by taking up two thinkers who might be seen as attempting to reclaim some aspect of Plato’s views, albeit in a thoroughly modern context and in radically different ways. They are Immanuel Kant (1724-1804) and Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900).

Syllabus: View course syllabus

Fulfills: HU III


Philosophy (Web site)

Taught By

Ravi Sharma (Profile)


Haverford, Hall 007

Meeting Times

TTh 11:30-1:00