Courses / Philosophy / 3 units / PHIL 39S: The Good Life: An Introduction to Ethics

The Good Life: An Introduction to Ethics

3 units
June 26 - August 19, 2017
Section 1   T, TH  10:30AM - 11:50AM

The basic question of ethics is ‘How should I live?’ In this course we’ll study the conceptions of the good human life proposed by philosophers from Ancient Greece to the present day, including Aristotle, Epicurus, the Stoics, J.S. Mill and Simone de Beauvoir. Among the questions we’ll be asking are, ‘Is moral virtue necessary for personal happiness?’ ‘Is the good life just the most pleasant life?’ ‘What does it mean to live an authentic life?’ ‘Can we know how happy we are?’ We’ll begin by considering the different answers ancient philosophers gave to these questions, then see how they are transformed in the modern world by utilitarians, liberals, existentialists and their opponents. Students will learn how to engage with historical and contemporary ethical texts, and will practice the distinctive analytical skills characteristic of philosophical writing.




Syllabus 2017