The Dennes Room

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 relation to the idea of social justice. The course begins with some major Western texts on the subject such as Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics and his Politics and John Rawls’ Theory of Justice and then turns to theories from early China (in many cases using translations generated by Michael Nylan). The comparison of the two traditions will bring out the same base-line presumptions, but as those presumptions have played out in very different socio-political circumstances. And this is bound to challenge some of the standard assumptions of Western thinking about the ideas of justice and the common good. A final component of the course will be to look at some real-time, real-life situations in which questions about the common good and about social justice and injustice are particularly pertinent.

This seminar will be taught synchronously, via remote instruction. It will meet regularly during the scheduled class times, and students will need to attend those meetings to succeed in the class.