Haverford College
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Description:

The course will provide a detailed overview of some major themes in the philosophy of Aristotle (384-322 BCE). We’ll focus primarily on topics in Aristotle’s metaphysics, philosophy of science, “psychology” (theory of the soul), ethics, and politics. In studying Aristotle’s views in these areas, we’ll be particularly concerned to explore some of the central devices of Aristotelian thought – for instance, the notion of substance, the Aristotelian conception of adequate explanation, and the distinction between potentiality and actuality. We’ll also look at some of Aristotle’s criticisms of his predecessors (especially Plato), and we’ll consider how those criticisms function in the elaboration of Aristotle’s own doctrines.



Additional information/Expanded description:

Philosophy 212: Aristotle

Instructor: Ravi Sharma





Description:

The course will provide a detailed overview of some major themes in the philosophy of Aristotle (384-322 BCE). We’ll focus primarily on topics in Aristotle’s metaphysics, philosophy of science, “psychology” (theory of the soul), ethics, and politics. In studying Aristotle’s views in these areas, we’ll be particularly concerned to explore some of the central devices of Aristotelian thought – for instance, the notion of substance, the Aristotelian conception of adequate explanation, and the distinction between potentiality and actuality. We’ll also look at some of Aristotle’s criticisms of his predecessors (especially Plato), and we’ll consider how those criticisms function in the elaboration of Aristotle’s own doctrines.





Required Text:

•Aristotle, Selections, eds. Fine and Irwin



Weekly Assignments:

Week 1: Introduction

Weeks 2-3: Categories, On Interpretation

Weeks 4-5: Physics I and II, Metaphysics I

Weeks 6-8: Posterior Analytics, Metaphysics (selections)

Weeks 9-10: On the Soul

Weeks 11-13: Nicomachean Ethics

Week 14: Politics



Course Requirements:

Weekly short (1 page) writing assignments, two short (4-5 page) papers, midterm and final take-home essay exams



Prerequisite: One 100-level course in Philosophy or permission of instructor