Beauty (PHI4111.01)

Catherine McKeen

The purpose of education is to bring us to love beauty. This, at least, according to Socrates in Plato’s Republic (403c5-6). The Greek word Plato uses for ‘love,’ here is ‘erotika,’ that is: erotics: passionate, intense desire such as one has for a lover. It is this kind of love that Plato insists we should have for the beautiful (the fine, to kalon). What does it mean to erotically love beauty (or Beauty)? What value does beauty have? Is it all in the eye of the beholder or could beauty be a transcendent ideal? Is beauty significantly connected to truth? To goodness? How is artistic value related to the beautiful? This course will explore these questions in the context of ancient Greek philosophy and its receptions. Likely readings will include works by Plato (Symposium, Phaedrus, Lysis), Aristotle (Poetics, Nicomachean Ethics), Plotinus (On Beauty), as well as more recent philosophical considerations.


Learning Outcomes:
• Develop skills in close reading, textual analysis, and critical interpretation
• Engage thoughtfully with philosophical questions and philosophical views
• Deepen and complicate understanding of Greek antiquity and its receptions
• Develop your ideas in writing using appropriate evidence and support



Delivery Method: Fully in-person
Prerequisites: At least one philosophy course or prior permission of the instructor, email: cmckeen@bennington.edu
Course Level: 4000-level
Credits: 4
T/F 2:10PM - 4:00PM (Full-term)
Maximum Enrollment: 15
Course Frequency: One time only

Categories: 4000 , All courses , Four Credit , Fully In-Person , Philosophy
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