The topic of this course is the question, "How should I live?" This question is here stated in the singular. But as Aristotle observed, the human being is by nature a social animal. For creatures such as us, the singular question cannot be cleanly separated from one in the plural: "How should we live together?" We approach this interlocking pair of questions through examination of a long and rich tradition of philosophical reflection upon them-a tradition initiated by the ancient Greeks, transformed in the Enlightenment, and put under pressure by skeptics and critics of the 19th and 20th centuries. Readings include Plato, Aristotle, the Stoics, Hume, Kant, Wollstonecraft, Sidgwick, Nietzsche and Anscombe. Topics include happiness, purpose, virtue, fortitude, rights, obligations, sympathy, integrity and oppression.
This course fulfills an elective requirement and counts toward the concentration in Ethics and Leadership.
Jason Bridges is an Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of Chicago. His primary research and teaching areas are the philosophy of mind and the philosophy of language. He also has interests in metaphysics and epistemology, the philosophy of action, the later work of Wittgenstein, and political philosophy. His main current projects are about reasons and rationality, and epistemic and semantic contextualism.