Courses: Happiness, Virtue, and the Good Life (PHILH107A01)
Fall 2007 Description: This course will focus on the role of morals and politics in accounts of the good life. Well 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): well 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 well 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). Well end by taking up two thinkers who might be seen as attempting to reclaim some aspect of Platos 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 Limit:35
Haverford, Chase 101