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Living a Good Life

PHIL 210
Spring 2025
Section: 01   02   03   04  
Crosslisting: CEAS 253, COL 210
Course Cluster and Certificates: Social, Cultural, and Critical Theory Certificate

For many philosophers, Eastern and Western, philosophy has been more than an effort to answer fundamental theoretical questions. It has been an activity aimed at changing one's orientation to the world and, thus, how one lives one's life. We will explore Chinese, Greco-Roman, and contemporary versions of the idea that philosophy should be seen as a way of living a good life. How does philosophical reasoning interact with lived practice? How do views about metaphysics or psychology lead to ethical commitments? Despite their differences, Confucians, Daoists, Aristotelians, and Stoics all agreed that philosophy should aim at making us better people. Can such an idea still get traction in today's world?

This course will typically have a large-group lecture each Monday, smaller breakout sections with the instructors on Wednesdays in which the texts and ideas will be discussed, supplemented by smaller weekly student-led dialogue sessions on Fridays. For details about the structure of the course and a syllabus of class meetings, along with the locations of plenary lecture sessions, breakout sessions, and dialogue sessions, please see this year's course website and past versions of the course at the following link: https://livingagoodlife.com.

Students who would like to explore the ancient Chinese and Greek texts on which the course draws are encouraged to enroll in either of two, optional 0.50-credit classes that are associated with our course: PHIL151 Living a Good Life: Chinese Lab; and PHIL152 Living a Good Life: Greek Lab. These courses will expose students with no prior background to the Classical Chinese and Greek languages. See their separate entries in WesMaps for more information.
Credit: 1 Gen Ed Area Dept: SBS PHIL
Course Format: Lecture / DiscussionGrading Mode: Credit/Unsatisfactory
Level: UGRD Prerequisites: None
Fulfills a Major Requirement for: (CEAS-MN)(CEAS)(CSCT)(HRAD-MN)(PHIL)(PHIL-Social Jus)
Past Enrollment Probability: 75% - 89%

Last Updated on JUL-24-2024
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