College Bulletin 2022-2023 
    May 18, 2024  
College Bulletin 2022-2023 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

POLS 117. Aristotle: Ethics and Politics (TH)

Aristotle has a good claim to being the most impressive intellectual ever: his works in metaphysics, epistemology, logic, aesthetics, rhetoric, ethics, politics, physics, biology, zoology and more dominated intellectual life in much of the world for almost two thousand years and they have also inspired some of the most profound philosophical reflections in modernity right up to the present day. He is a difficult writer but one who has rewarded close attention across the ages. This honors seminar offers a close reading of Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics and Politics, texts that were intended to be read as a pair, alongside contemporary attempts to evaluate and inherit his thought by philosophers such as Alasdair MacIntyre, Martha Nussbaum and Philippa Foot, as well as modern critics such as Thomas Hobbes, David Hume and John Rawls. Topics for discussion will include the meaning of happiness, virtue, justice, wisdom, friendship, the rule of law and the common good, evaluation of different regime types such as democracy, oligarchy, tyranny and aristocracy, and how it is possible to learn from thinkers whose prejudices we sometimes find disturbing.
Social Sciences
Catalog chapter: Political Science
Department website:

Access the class schedule to search for sections.