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Love and Emotion in Ancient Greek Philosophy
COL 267
Spring 2011 not offered
Crosslisting: PHIL 253, CCIV 267

The quarrel between reason and emotion is a longstanding one in philosophy. According to Blaise Pascal, the 17th-century mathematician and philosopher, "The heart has its reasons, of which reason knows nothing." Almost a century later, the Scottish moral philosopher David Hume would claim that reason is the slave of the passions. Both views assume an instrumental conception of reason as a mere calculating faculty. But such an approach to rationality may be questioned. This course will examine various accounts of love and emotion in the writings of Plato, Aristotle, and the Hellenistic philosophers, where we find some of the first attempts in the history of philosophy to distinguish between rational and subrational aspects of human agency. We will explore in particular the extent to which reason itself has an affective aspect for these thinkers, with its own set of concerns and values, suggesting a richer analysis of human rationality than we find in approaches to this topic in modern philosophy. Readings will focus on primary texts for the most part, along with relevant secondary literature.

Essential Capabilities: Speaking, Writing
This course will be discussion-based and will require oral reports along with three written assignments--two short (5-6 page) papers and one longer (8-10 page) final paper.
Credit: 1 Gen Ed Area Dept: HA COL
Course Format: SeminarGrading Mode: Student Option
Level: UGRD Prerequisites: None
Fulfills a Major Requirement for: (COL)

Last Updated on MAY-22-2024
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