Philosophy 290-5

Spring 2021

Number Title Instructor Days/time Room
290-5 Graduate Seminar: Politics and the Common Good Sluga/Nylan W 12-2 TBA

The seminar examines the concept of the common good in classical and modern contexts, both Western and non-Western, and its related ideas such as those of community, individualism, and social justice. The comparison of the two traditions is meant to bring out the same base-line presumptions, but to show also how those presumptions have played out in very different socio-political circumstances.

Mar 17 & 31: Michael Nylan: Individualism in Chinese thinking

Competition and the disruptive role money: Sima Qian, Shiji, chap. 129, which is the subject of Nylan’s “Assets Accumulating: Sima Qian’s perspective on moneymaking, virtue, and history,” in Views from Within, Views from Beyond: Approaches to the Shiji as an Early Work of Historiography, eds. Olga Lomova and Hans van Ess (2015), 131-69 (also on reserve).

Henry Rosemont, Against Individualism, chap. 6 (“Towards and Ethics of Roles” only up to p. 98 (subsection, “Moral Epistemology); Herbert Fingarette, Confucius: the Secular as Sacred, chap. 1. Recommended, Rosemont, Against Individualism, chap. 3 (“The Idea of the Individual Self and Self-Identity,” pp. 33-56; chap. 4 (“Normative Dimensions of Belief in an Individual Self”); Nylan also wrote on this topic, in “Confucian Piety and Individualism,” Journal of the American Oriental Society 116 (Jan.–March, 1996), 1-27 (all pdfs on reserve).