Moral Philosophy: Plato and Aristotle
This class will examine the two best books ever written on moral theory: Plato’s Republic and Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics. Although these classics have had an enormous historical influence on western culture, we will examine them as living contributions to an ongoing search for an understanding of morality. As we explore the theories of morality they articulate and defend, we will consider such questions as: What is the nature of virtue? What reason do people have to be virtuous? How do people become virtuous or vicious? What are people responsible for, and why?
Geoffrey Sayre-McCord is the Morehead-Cain Alumni Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He has published extensively on moral theory, epistemology, and modern philosophy, and has edited Essays on Moral Realism, Hume: Moral Philosophy, and Philosophy, Politics, and Economics (with Jonathan Anamaly, Geoff Brennan, and Michael Munger). Sayre-McCord is the Director of UNC’s Philosophy, Politics, and Economics Program and a Professorial Fellow in Philosophy at the University of Edinburgh. This year he is the Laurance S. Rockefeller Visiting Professor for Distinguished Teaching at Princeton University.