Monday, January 9, 2012

The New Semester is Starting

I'll be introducing my first course for the winter semester in under two hours. Here's the reading list for the course:
  • Plato, The Republic, Books IV and X
  • Aristotle, Politics, Book I
  • Descartes, Discourse on Method, Part I, and Meditations I, II, IV and (briefly) VI
  • Spinoza, Theological-Political Treatise (selections)
  • Mary Wollstonecraft, A Vindication of the Rights of Woman (selections)
  • Marx, The Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts ("Alienated Labor" and "Private Property and Communism")
  • W.E.B. Du Bois, The Souls of Black Folk, chapters 1 and 3
  • Simone de Beauvoir, The Ethics of Ambiguity (as much as we can read in two weeks)
Compared to previous iterations of the course, I've switched from the first few books of Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics to the Politics, and added Wollstonecraft and Du Bois (who I've previously taught in the course "Fundamental Questions"). In addition, I decided to change things up with Beauvoir. Instead of teaching Sartre's "Existentialism is a Humanism" followed by the introduction to The Second Sex, we will be sorting out The Ethics of Ambiguity--why absurdity and ambiguity are not the same thing.

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