2022 Stanford Summer Session Courses

The Philosophy of Inaction

This course considers arguments against action for some or all people in some or all times and places. Is it always better to do something rather than nothing? Is it economically possible or desirable for our contemporary global society to do and produce less? Why should you get out of bed in the morning? Where do our normative standards and moral elevation of productivity come from? What are the best justifications for staying busy and active, and what are the gaps in these justifications? Does thinking count as action? What counts as "overthinking"? Why have sages and religious traditions embraced living as simply as possible? To answer these questions we will construe philosophy broadly, sampling arguments from across the world and across history, beginning with how inaction is framed in Ancient Greek philosophy.

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Estimated Tuition

: $0
Students who take Summer Session courses are awarded Stanford credit. Course costs are set by the university, based on number of units.
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