HUMA 11500/03/05      Philosophical Perspectives on the Humanities      Autumn 2007

Gates Blake 321                                                                                             Prof. David Vessey
Section 03: 12:00-1:20                                                                                    Office Hours: TTh
Section 04: 3:00-4:20                                                                                      10:30-11:30; 1:45-2:45


Homer (tr. Fagles), The Iliad (Penguin)
Sophocles (tr. Heaney) The Burial at Thebes (Antigone) (Farrar, Straus, Giroux)
Sophocles (tr. Heaney), The Cure at Troy (Philoctetes) (Farrar, Straus, Giroux)
West, Thomas, ed., Four Texts on Socrates (Cornell)
Plato (tr. Woodruff and Nehamas), Symposium (Hackett)
Aristotle (tr. Irwin), Nicomachean Ethics, 2nd. Ed. (Hackett)
And a handout of Book IV of Augustine's Confessions

Course Description:

In this class we will look closely at some main philosophical themes in Greek literature and philosophy, with special focus on the development of the conception of friendship and the moral issues connected to our duties to friends. The class will be run predominantly as a discussion, so students are expected to come to class having finished and digested the readings and being prepared to discuss. As part of the preparation for the class discussion, students will be divided into 4 groups; each group must post 2-3 questions they would like to discuss in class to the class Chalk site by midnight the night before class. Since discussion is the focus of the class, and discussions cannot be made up if missed, attendance and participation are central parts of the final grade.

In addition there will be three five-page papers spaced throughout the term. The assignment for the papers will be handed out the Tuesday the week prior to the papers being due. The papers must be typed, double spaced in twelve point Times/Times New Roman with 1" margins. Two copies should be delivered to Prof. Vessey's office by the time due, always a Wednesday at 4:00. They will not be accepted late unless prior arrangements have been made. A typo policy applies to all graded written work: the paper grade will be lowered one grade (for example from a B+ to a B) for every four typos; typos include spelling errors, grammatical errors, improper use of gendered pronouns, and failure to properly cite quotations. Failure to properly cite quotations is different from plagiarism. Plagiarism is a sign that the student has so lost track of his or her proper role as a student that there's no point in him or her continuing in the class (much less in college) at this point in his or her life. Finally there will be three writing workshops run by your writing tutor. Attendance at these is required as developing writing skills is a central goal of the class. If you have disabilities that require special accommodation speak to Prof. Vessey as soon as possible at the start of the term.


Attendance and Participation in Discussions              25%

Three Five Page papers (approx. 1500 words)         25% each

1. Tue Sept 25             Introductions

2. Thurs. Sept 27         Homer Iliad 1, 2 (through 572), 3

3. Tue. Oct 2               Homer  Iliad 6, 9, 11, 12,

4. Thurs. Oct 4             Homer Iliad 16, 18, 19

5. Tue. Oct 9               Homer  Iliad 20, 21, 22

Wed Oct. 10    4:00     First Paper Due

6. Thurs. Oct 11           Homer  Iliad 23, 24

7. Tue. Oct 16              Sophocles Antigone

8. Thurs. Oct 19           Sophocles Philoctetus

9. Tue. Oct 23              Plato    Apology

10. Thurs. Oct 25        Plato    Euthyphro

11. Tue Oct. 30            Plato    Crito

Wed. Oct 314:00         Second Paper Due

12. Thurs. Nov. 1        Plato Symposium

13. Tue Nov. 6             Plato Symposium

14. Thurs. Nov. 8        Aristotle Nicomachean Ethics Bk I

15. Tue Nov 13           Aristotle Nicomachean Ethics Bk II; IV:4-9

16. Thurs. Nov 15       Aristotle Nicomachean Ethics Bk VIII

17. Tue. Nov. 20         Aristotle Nicomachean Ethics Bk IX

Wed. Nov. 21 4:00     Third Paper Due

18. Tue. Nov. 27         Evaluations, Augustine Confessions, Bk. IV (Handout)