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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Benjamin V. Hole
PHIL 340
Seattle Campus

History of Ancient Ethics

Development of moral thought from Socrates through the Stoics. Particular emphasis on the ethical writings of Plato and Aristotle.

Class description

This course is a critical survey of Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics –one of the most important and most provocative philosophical works to come down to us from the ancient world, and one of the three or four great masterpieces of western philosophy. Aristotle was the first to ask some of the most central questions in the history of ethical theory, and his works are still hugely influential in the development of present-day virtue ethical theory. We will examine the Ethics in intensive detail, accompanied by secondary literature. It is thus an ideal course for an upper-division philosophy student interested in ancient philosophy and/or ethical theory. This course is suitable for non-majors, but at least one previous course in philosophy is very highly recommended (especially courses in ancient philosophy and ethical theory).

COURSE OBJECTIVES: (1) Close textual analysis, and (2) analysis of topics in virtue ethical theory.

PRIMARY TEXT: The Nicomachean Ethics, Aristotle, David Ross, translator, and Lesley Brown, ed.

Student learning goals

General method of instruction

Recommended preparation

This course is suitable for non-majors, but at least one previous course in philosophy is very highly recommended (especially courses in ethical theory and ancient philosophy).

Class assignments and grading


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Benjamin V. Hole
Date: 05/28/2012