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New Courses S'23

PHIL 1K Intro:  Pursuits of Wisdom in Ancient Philosophy
Professor Grace Ledbetter

 In the Greek and Roman traditions, philosophy is a complete way of life, not solely an intellectual discipline. In this course we will examine how Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Stoics, Epicureans, and Skeptics conceive of philosophy as a method for discovering what a meaningful, happy, and purposeful life is for human beings. Students will develop skills of formulating and analyzing arguments, reading and interpreting philosophical texts, and defending their own philosophical positions.

This intro level course counts as a prerequisite for intermediate level PHIL courses.

PHIL 1N Intro:  Subjects and Selves
Professor Sabeen Ahmed

What does it mean to be a subject? What is the relationship between subjectivity and subjection? How do we become subjects and, in turn, how do we come to understand (our)selves? According to French philosopher Michel Foucault, the question of the subject has underpinned Western social and political thought since the sixteenth century, such that analyzing power requires that we approach the “subject” not as a fixed being, but as a site of struggle and contestation. This course takes up precisely this question by examining how different philosophical traditions—including but not limited to critical theory, phenomenology, feminist studies, and postcolonial thought—have grappled with making sense of the self and its place in our fraught and ever-changing world.

This intro level course counts as a prerequisite for intermediate level PHIL courses.

PHIL 47 Utopias
Professor Peter Baumann

“A map of the world that does not include Utopia is not worth even glancing at”, Oscar Wilde once said. The first part of the course is dedicated to reading and discussing some classical utopias by authors like Plato, Al-Farabi, T’ao Ch’ien, More, Campanella, Bacon, Cavendish, deFoigny, Voltaire, Mercier, Diderot, Li Ju-Chen, Fourier, Owen, Saint-Simon, Cabet, Kropotkin, Bellamy, Morris, Du Bois, Callenbach and others. The second part of the course is dedicated to a discussion of different views on the nature and value of utopias. This includes contributions by authors like Horkheimer, Popper, Berlin, Dahrendorf, Bloch, Nozick, and Suits.

First- and second-year students must complete one introductory level PHIL course before enrolling in this intermediate course.