Flourishing: Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics (PHI2136.02)

Catherine McKeen

Virtue is a habit. To be ethical is to choose the mean between extremes. Happiness is not a goal, but a state. In popular culture, Aristotle’s ethical views are often represented in slogan form. In this seven-week course, we will interrogate and unpack the meanings of and ideas behind these slogans. We will carefully investigate the theory embodied in Aristotle’s central ethical work, Nicomachean Ethics. Throughout, we will consider such questions as: What is human flourishing and what constitutes a flourishing life? How does virtue (ethical character) fit into such a life? How are friends or family important to my life’s going well? What is it to voluntarily choose a course of action? What am I responsible for? How does my conduct contribute or detract from justice in the world? How might we educate for ethical development? In addition to closely reading Nicomachean Ethics, other readings may include philosophical responses to Aristotle’s ethics. Students should expect to write analytical essays and contribute productively to class conversations.

Learning Outcomes:
• Develop skills in close reading, textual analysis, and critical interpretation
• Engage thoughtfully with philosophical questions and philosophical views
• Develop your ideas in writing using appropriate evidence and support

Delivery Method: Fully in-person
Course Level: 2000-level
Credits: 2
M/Th 1:40PM - 3:30PM (2nd seven weeks)
Maximum Enrollment: 15
Course Frequency: One time only

Categories: 2000 , All courses , Fully In-Person , Philosophy , Second Seven Week , Two Credit