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Philosophy

Our philosophy offerings represent the scholarly rigor on which the University's reputation was built. These classes grapple with the “big questions” that resonate through the ages: What is truth? What is virtue? What is morality? Join us to discuss and take part in the engaging and lively debate and challenge yourself along the way.

Click a course title to read the course description and register for the course.

Courses

Philosophy Freud on the Human Condition
03/25/2017 to 06/3/2017

BASC 80123 | Freud on the Human Condition

Although Freud has been primarily known for his theories of individual psychology, Freud himself never saw his work in such narrow terms. Rather, Freud constantly strove to develop a comprehensive theory of the human condition by using his psychology to explain fundamental features of human evolution, history, and modern social life. This course will explore key elements of Freud’s worldview — which often equated children, neurotics, “primitives”, and proto-humans — through close reading and discussion of a number of works that put Freud’s psychological theories in a larger context. Texts include: An Autobiographical Study, An Outline of Psychoanalysis, Totem and Taboo, Moses and Monotheism, The Future of an Illusion, and Civilization and its Discontents.

Please read An Autobiographical Study before the first class.

No class Apr 29.

Registered students will receive an email with instructions for joining the class in advance of course start date.

Prerequisite(s):
none
Instructor:
Adam Rose

Adam Rose

Adam Rose

Mr. Rose has taught in the Basic Program since 1993, and is a former Staff Chair of the program. He is primarily interested in the ways texts affect human life. He is the recipient of the 2007 Graham School of Continuing Liberal and Professional Studies Excellence in Teaching Award.

15 PD/CPDU
Course Code: BASC 80123
Section: 17S7
Location: Online
Dates:
Mar 25 to Jun 03
Tuition: $200.00
Days/Times: Sat
9:30 AM–11:30 AM



Online Registration Close Date:
March 17, 2017
Online registration closes at 11:59 PM the day before the posted close date.

Philosophy CANCELED: The Significance of Education in John Stuart Mill’s Ethical and Political Thought
03/29/2017 to 05/31/2017

BASC 70073 | CANCELED: The Significance of Education in John Stuart Mill’s Ethical and Political Thought

This course covers four of Mill’s most important works: On Liberty, Utilitarianism, The Subjection of Women, and The Autobiography. While of each of these works as has its own focus—political philosophy, ethics, social feminism—one thing that unites them all is a conviction of the necessity of education for the moral and democratic life. Through a close reading of these works, we will investigate the various ways that education supports the moral and democratic life as well as the nature of that education and how it might be instituted.

Prerequisite(s):
none
Instructor:
Joshua Daniel

Joshua Daniel

Joshua Daniel

Joshua Daniel graduated from the University of Chicago Divinity School in 2013. Since then he has taught religious studies and philosophy courses at various Chicago-area colleges and universities. His area of scholarly interest is philosophical and religious ethics.

30 PD/CPDU
Course Code: BASC 70073
Section: 17S1
Location: Gleacher Center
Dates:
Mar 29 to May 31
Tuition: $430.00
Days/Times: Wed
6:00 PM–9:15 PM



Online Registration Close Date:
March 16, 2017
Online registration closes at 11:59 PM the day before the posted close date.

Philosophy Church and State: Exploring Kant’s Religion Within the Limits of Reason Alone
03/29/2017 to 05/31/2017

BASC 80223 | Church and State: Exploring Kant’s Religion Within the Limits of Reason Alone

The role of religion in society, particularly the authority of religion and the dangers of fanatacism, was perhaps the foundational issue for the European Enlightenment. Kant’s work Religion within the Limits of Reason Alone attempts to grapple with this issue. Dealing specifically with Christianity, Kant here delves into questions of original sin and radical evil, grace, faith, free will, miracles, and revelation, arguing for a radical reinterpretation of core theological doctrines and a similarly radical restructuring of the institution of the church.

Registered students will receive an email with instructions for joining the class in advance of course start date.

Prerequisite(s):
none
Instructor:
Clare Pearson

Clare Pearson

Clare Pearson

Clare Pearson did graduate work with the University’s Committee on Social Thought, and pursues interdisciplinary work centering especially on ethical questions and experiences. She chaired the Basic Program from 2004-2008 and co-designed and chaired the Asian Classics Program from 2006-2009. Ms. Pearson received the 2013 Graham School Excellence in Teaching Award.

15 PD/CPDU
Course Code: BASC 80223
Section: 17S7
Location: Online
Dates:
Mar 29 to May 31
Tuition: $200.00
Days/Times: Wed
6:00 PM–7:30 PM



Online Registration Close Date:
March 22, 2017
Online registration closes at 11:59 PM the day before the posted close date.

Philosophy The Liberal Arts in the Twenty-First Century
05/1/2017 to 05/22/2017

HUAS 10030 | The Liberal Arts in the Twenty-First Century

Join Fred W. Beuttler, PhD, Associate Dean of Liberal Arts Programs at the University of Chicago Graham School, for an introductory class on the history and future of the liberal arts.

What is the purpose and contemporary relevance of the liberal arts? Are there things that every educated person should know? This short introductory class will examine the tools for the production, application, and dissemination of knowledge, looking at institutions of liberal learning such as the library, the university, the “republic of letters,” academic disciplines, the laboratory, and the Internet. We will also look at the various cultures of students, teachers, professors, and researchers, all to understand what a liberal artist should know.

If participants wish to continue, the class fee will serve as the application fee to UChicago’s Master of Liberal Arts degree program.

Prerequisite(s):
none
Instructor:
Fred W. Beuttler

Fred W. Beuttler

Fred W. Beuttler

is the Associate Dean for Liberal Arts Programs at the Graham School. He received his Ph.D. in History from the University of Chicago in 1995. Prior to coming to Graham in June, 2015, he was Director of General Education and taught history at Carroll University in Wisconsin. From 2005 to 2010, he was the Deputy Historian of the U.S. House of Representatives, in Washington, DC, and from 1998 to 2005, he was the Associate University Historian of the University of Illinois at Chicago.

8 PD/CPDU
Course Code: HUAS 10030
Section: 17S1
Location: Gleacher Center
Dates:
May 01 to May 22
Tuition: $150.00
Days/Times: Mon
6:30 PM–8:30 PM



Unlimited slots available

Online Registration Close Date:
April 28, 2017
Online registration closes at 11:59 PM the day before the posted close date.

Philosophy The Zhuangzi: An Advanced Introduction to China’s Strangest Classic
06/20/2017 to 08/15/2017

BASC 70054 | The Zhuangzi: An Advanced Introduction to China’s Strangest Classic

The Zhuangzi is a foundational text for East Asian philosophical, religious, and literary traditions. It systematically challenges and re-frames many of our most treasured beliefs about what matters, what we can know, and what we are supposed to be doing. “Skepticism”, “relativism”, “mysticism”, and “pragmatism” are only a few of the “isms” that modern scholars have discerned in this text— which teems with ambiguous narratives, oddball characters, visionary poetry, and hard-headed conceptual analysis. (8 weeks)

No class July 4.

Prerequisite(s):
none
Instructor:
Stephen C. Walker

Stephen C. Walker

Stephen C. Walker

Stephen C. Walker, a PhD candidate at the University of Chicago Divinity School, studies philosophy and the history of philosophy across multiple traditions. His principal research focuses on classical Chinese thought.

24 PD/CPDU
Course Code: BASC 70054
Section: 17U1
Location: Gleacher Center
Dates:
Jun 20 to Aug 15
Tuition: $350.00
Days/Times: Tue
10:00 AM–1:15 PM



Unlimited slots available

Online Registration Close Date:
June 19, 2017
Online registration closes at 11:59 PM the day before the posted close date.

Philosophy Wittgenstein’s On Certainty
06/22/2017 to 07/13/2017

BASC 70104 | Wittgenstein’s On Certainty

We will do a close reading of what is generally considered Wittgenstein’s most accessible and engaging text, one which represents an entirely new mode of inquiry into long-standing problems of skepticism, faith, and the conditions of human life. Written as a response to G. E. Moore’s attempted refutation of skepticism (“I know this is my hand”), Wittgenstein attempts here to illuminate the underlying grammatical and logical conditions of the general epistemological claims—not only through analysis, but through pointed queries, imaginative constructions, and strikingly brilliant apercus. (“If the true is what is grounded, then the ground is not true, nor yet false.”)

The class should appeal to anyone who has ever wondered how it is that we know what we think we know, what it means to doubt what we know, and—most intriguingly—how and to what extent we can conceive the bases of human judgment. (No background or previous familiarity required.) (4 weeks)

Prerequisite(s):
none
Instructor:
Charles Elder

Charles Elder

Charles Elder

Mr. Elder holds a PhD from the Divinity School at the University of Chicago.  His particular interests are philosophy, social and cultural theory, and issues of modernity.

12 PD/CPDU
Course Code: BASC 70104
Section: 17U1
Location: Gleacher Center
Dates:
Jun 22 to Jul 13
Tuition: $190.00
Days/Times: Thu
10:00 AM–1:15 PM



Unlimited slots available

Online Registration Close Date:
June 22, 2017
Online registration closes at 11:59 PM the day before the posted close date.