SCTH 25010/35010 Realism: Art or Metaphysics? Besides its historical role as the first capital-letter avant-garde in painting and literature, Realism is making a return in many current artistic and, for that matter, cultural and journalistic contexts. But whether one examines its entanglement with reputed adversaries like Romanticism and Idealism, its origins in ancient and medieval metaphysics, or its strange side career as a label for amoral pragmatism in political theory and practice, the many-sidedness of realism makes pinning it down quite a challenge. Is there any common thread binding Plato and Courbet, Virginia Woolf and García Marquez, Catherine Opie and Ai Weiwei? Can there be a realism of dreams and desire, such as one might find in Freud? And is realism a revolutionary venture, or a consolidating surveillance of social types? What role do new technologies and forms of spectatorship, from oil painting to photography, the printed book to streaming media, play in its rise and evolution? Readings in art history, fiction, and philosophy will alternate with film screenings and gallery visits. No Consent Required. xART 29609/39609, xCMLT 25999/35999, xKNOW 25010/35010, A. Pope and M. Widrich (TR, 2:00pm – 4:50pm, IFK 104)

SCTH 31770 Plato’s Republic. This course is devoted to reading and discussion of Plato’s Republic and some secondary work with attention to justice in the city and the soul, war and warriors, education, theology, poetry, gender, eros, and actually existing cities. No Consent Required. xSCTH 21770, FNDL 29503, PLSC 43820/21770. N. Tarcov (MW, 1:30pm – 2:50pm, Foster 305)

SCTH 31934 The Iliad as a Whole. After a review of the textual history of the Iliad and a consideration of the probable conditions of its composition, a close reading of the text will explore the interrelations of the story on a collective level—military and political—with the personal stories of the leading characters.  x SCTH 31934, FNDL 27006, CLAS 31923/21923, CLCV 23923. J. Redfield (TTH, 9:30-10:50, Foster 505)

SCTH 35712 Showing and Saying in the History of Philosophy. Wittgenstein describes the theory of what cannot be said by means of propositions but is only shown as ‘the cardinal problem of philosophy.’ We shall ask how can the notion of showing, which is not familiar from tradition, can be regarded as the cardinal concern of philosophy. We shall discuss traditional accounts of philosophical understanding (e.g., Plato’s theory of form of the Good, Aristotle’s account of the Nous of simples, Absolute Idealism) in light of ‘the theory of what cannot be said but shown.’ PQ Background in philosophy and logic for Undergraduates. xSCTH 25712, PHIL 25712/35712, I. Kimhi (W, 3:00p - 5:50p, Foster 505)

SCTH 50000 Euripides, Bacchae: Madness, Contagion, Responsibility, Shame, and Guilt. Careful study of one, slightly mutilated, Euripidean tragedy and its intellectual descendants, including the medieval mystery-play Khristos paskhōn; Nietzsche’s Birth of Tragedy and Ecce Homo ; E. R. Dodds, The Greeks and the Irrational; Georges Devereux, “The Psychotherapy Scene in Euripides’s Bacchae"; Bernard Williams, Shame and Necessity; translations by Wole Soyinka, C. K. Williams, and Anne Carson. Familiarity with ancient Greek advisable but not required. Consent required for undergrads. xSCTH 25000, Greek 47123, xKNOW 50000/25000, H. Saussy (TTH, 11:00a - 12:20p, Foster 305)

51002 (PHIL 51002) Neo-Aristotelian Practical Philosophy. Neo-Aristotelianism marks philosophical views indebted to Aristotle. In practical philosophy—ethics, political philosophy, accounts of practical reason, and so on—these views are distantly indebted to Aristotle’s views in metaphysics. The 4 crucial aspects of Aristotle’s metaphysics, for our purposes are:
I. His understanding of substances
II. His understanding of causality
III. His understanding of form and matter, and, relatedly,
IV. His understanding of powers/ potentialities, and actuality
Substances are unified, individual objects of a specific kind that can have accidental features like color and location in addition to natures or essences. The paradigmatic instances of substances for Aristotle are individual living things—plants, animals, and human beings being three examples. These things—organisms—come in specific kinds—the geranium, for example, or the honey badger. The kinds are the substantial forms of the living things that are instances of those kinds. Organisms are composite things—their matter is informed. And the matter in question only counts as matter relative to the form it can take. Organisms have characteristic powers— sight, for instance, or nutrition, or discursive reason—and these powers are actualized when exercised.
Aristotle identifies the substantial forms of living things as different kinds of souls—living things are animate things. The ‘anima’ in ‘animate’ holds the word for soul—or source of life—for Aristotle. (I)
This course is parented by Philosphy. PQ: Instructors Permission required. x SCTH 51002, J. Lear and C. Volger (M, 1:30p - 4:20p, Foster 505)

27523 Reading Kierkegaard. This will be a discussion-centered seminar that facilitates close readings some of Kierkegaard texts: The Present Age, Fear and Trembling, Sickness Unto Death, and The Lily of the Field and the Bird of the Air. Topics to be considered will include: living in clichés and self-satisfaction, despair, absolute requirements, the demands of ethical life, and becoming a human being. We shall also consider Kierkegaard's forms of writing and manners of persuasion. Students will be expected to write comments each week and to read the comments of others. Our reading each week will be determined by the pace of the group. PQ: This course is intended for majors in Philosophy and Fundamentals. All other students need the permission of the instructor. All Graduate Students need the Instructor's consent. xSCTH 37523, xPHIL 37523/27523, xFNDL 27523. J. Lear, Tuesdays 12:30 - 3:20pm

20683 What is Nature? – 20th – Century Continental Philosophy. In In this course, we follow the topic of the meaning of nature in philosophy, beginning our exploration right around the point when explicit discussion of nature becomes less prominent. We intend to develop a coherent narrative about major philosophical developments from Nietzsche through Derrida through the lens offered by this question, examining existentialism, phenomenology, and deconstruction along the way. Students should come away from this course with a grounded sense of what each term means, resulting in foundational knowledge of Continental philosophy after Nietzsche. We will take an interdisciplinary approach, as the question of nature often emerges for our authors in engagement with art, whether drama, poetry, or painting, all of which will be addressed. This course’s starting point for our reflections on nature is Nietzsche’s notion of the death of God, a theme to which we will return with all three of our main authors, Nietzsche, Heidegger, and Derrida. Recurrent themes will be: nature and eros, nature and human finitude, the human being as (un)natural, and the very viability of the concept of nature. Additional authors include Aristotle, Plato, Sappho, Sophocles, Friedrich Hölderlin, Leo Strauss, Maurice Merleau-Ponty, and Judith Butler, and discuss paintings by Paul Cézanne and Vincent van Gogh. An interesting question to pose along the way will be the relationship (or lack thereof) between the views of nature on offer to our ecological concerns today. PQ: Only Undergrads. xRLST 23503, xGRMN 23683. M. Messerschmidt, Tuesdays and Thursdays 3:30-4:50pm

35713 Wittgenstein’s Lecture on Ethics. This course will be devoted to Wittgenstein’s ‘Lecture on Ethics’ (1929.) We shall study the lecture in the context of Wittgenstein’s work on logic and the history of ethics. PQ: Background in philosophy for Undergrads. Consent requried for Undergrds. xSCTH25713, xPHIL 35713/2571. I. Kimhi, Wednesdays 11:30am-2:20pm

50307 Kant on Moral Meaning. A Kant is known mostly as a moral theorist. In that capacity, he argued that morality was a matter of pure practical rationality and that we are unconditionally obligated to a moral law, the categorical imperative. But Kant also noted that we do not experience our moral lives in those theoretical terms, and in several texts, he explored the various ways in which our moral vocation is ordinarily experienced, what it means to us, and how it comes to matter to us. In that context, he discusses such topics as conscience, virtue and the formation of character, moral education, whether human beings are radically evil, how the claims of morality fit into a human life as a whole, and the possibility of a moral community. These themes will comprise the topics of this seminar. The texts will include sections from his Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals, his Doctrine of Virtue, his Lectures on Ethics, Religion Within the Limits of Reason Alone, and essays on the problems of casuistry. PQ: Everyone needs the instructor's permission to register. xSCTH 20307, xPHIL 50307/20307. R. Pippin, Mondays and Wednesdays 3:00-4:20pm

xENGL 53103 The Uses of Fiction: Poetry and Philosophy in Early Modernity
This course attempts to unpack the ancient quarrel between poetry and philosophy by examining how each discourse draws on the power of poiesis in different ways. We will approach this topic by examining four discourses: first, formal treatments of poetry and poetics from antiquity (Plato, Aristotle) through the late Renaissance (Sidney, Tasso, Milton); second, explicitly fictional thought experiments employed by philosophers (Avicenna, Ibn Tufayl, Descartes, Locke, Condillac); third, poetry explicitly invested in the making of fictional worlds (Spenser, Milton, Cavendish); and fourth, recent scholarship on poetry’s relationship to philosophy (Stanley Rosen, Victoria Kahn, Ayesha Ramachandran, Russ Leo, Guido Mazzoni, and others), Mondays 10:30am-12:20pm

xLLSO 29073 States of Exception in American History. Although the United States is officially a constitutional democracy, it has repeatedly involved emergency powers to suspend the constitution and abridge constitutional rights. We explore the history of these 'states of exception' in American history, from the founding era to the present. Eligible for LLSO Junior Colloquium. xSCTH. 20684. J. Isaac, Wednesdays 11:30am-2:20pm

xPHIL 51711 Aristotle’s Politics. Aristotle’s Politics argues for and then elaborates the claim that human beings are by nature political animals. This claim, if it is true, has profound implications not only for our understanding of politics (e.g., of political authority), but also for our self-understanding as the individual human beings we are. We will read the text closely, giving particular attention to Aristotle’s views about what a specifically political community is, how it relates to other kinds of community, and how the political nature of human beings inflects the virtues and happiness of individuals and societies. We will try to decide whether and to what extent the Politics is illuminating, including whether it can be disentangled from his commitment to natural slavery and the subordination of women. (III). xSCTH 56702. G. R. Lear, Thursdays 9:30am-12:20pm

SCTH 30926 Wonder, Wonders, and Knowing 
“In wonder is the beginning of philosophy,” wrote Aristotle; Descartes also thought that those deficient in wonder were also deficient in knowledge. But the relationship between wonder and inquiry has always been an ambivalent one: too much wonder stupefies rather than stimulates investigation, according to Descartes; Aristotle explicitly excluded wonders as objects of inquiry from natural philosophy. Francis Bacon called wonders "broken knowledge." Since the sixteenth century, scientists and scholars have both cultivated and repudiated the passion of wonder; On the one hand, marvels (or even just anomalies) threaten to subvert the human and natural orders; on the other, the wonder they ignite  inquiry into their causes. Wonder is also a passion tinged with the numinous, and miracles have long stood for the inexplicable in religious contexts. Above all, wonders demand attention and interpretation. This seminar will explore the long, vexed relationship between wonder, knowledge, and belief in the history of philosophy, science, and religion. PQ: All students need instructor’s permission to register. xSCTH 20926, xHIST 35318/25318, xCHSS 30936, xPHIL 30926/20926, xKNOW 30926, xRLST 28926. L. Daston (TTH 9:30am–12:20pm, Foster 305). This course will be taught the first five weeks of the quarter (March 19, 2024 thru April 18, 2024)

SCTH 31223 Homer's Odyssey: Estrangement and Homecoming 
One of the two foundational epics of so-called Western Culture, the Odyssey features a wily hero whose journeys are extraordinary and whose longing for home is unbounded. The Odyssey offers a complex meditation on brotherhood, bestiality, sexuality, kinship, and power; it is the great epic of cross-cultural encounter, in all its seductive and violent aspects, as well as the great poem of marriage. An adventure in nostos (homecoming), the Odyssey shows us the pleasures and dangers of voyaging among strangers. Constantly exploring the boundaries between the civilized and the savage, the poem offers as well as a political critique of many ancient institutions, not least the family patriarchy, hospitality customs, and the band-of-brothers so central to epic ideology. And as a masterwork of narrative art, the Odyssey asks us to consider the relation of fiction to "truth." We will explore these and other matters in the Odyssey, and may make a concluding foray into contemporary re-workings of Odyssean themes and characters. PQ: Undergrads need instructor’s permission to register. xFNDL 21223, xCLAS 33616. L. Slatkin (TTH 12:30pm–1:20pm, Foster 305). This course will be taught the first five weeks of the quarter (March 19, 2024 thru April 18, 2024)

SCTH 35997  Three Comedies of Sexual Revolution
This seminar will discuss three comedies of sexual revolution from three different times and places. Aristophanes’s Assemblywomen recounts how under the leadership of the able Praxagora the women of Athens take over the Assembly and legislate a new regime in which private property is replaced by communism and sexual equity is achieved in favor of the old and unattractive at the expense of the young and attractive. Machiavelli’s Mandragola dramatizes the tricks by which young Callimaco manages with the aid of the trickster parasite Ligurio to have sex with Lucrezia, the beautiful young wife of the elderly lawyer Nicomaco, with the consent of both her and her husband, ushering in a new regime in which all are satisfied. In Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure Angelo the interim duke of Vienna institutes a repressive sexual regime in which the brothels are closed and extramarital sex is a capital crime. What might we learn about sexual relations from these diverse plays? Why are they comedies?. PQ: Undergrads need instructor’s permission to register. xSCTH 25823, xPLSC 35997/25997, xCMLT 35997/25823, xCLCV 27623, xCLAS 37623. G. Most & N. Tarcov (M 1:30PM–4:20pm, Foster 305)

35998  Herodotus                          
Interpretation of Herodotus' history, with close attention to philological, literary, and philosophical issues.PQ: Knowledge of ancient Greek is welcome but not required. Undergraduates need instructor's permission to register. xSCTH 25923, xCLCV 27723, xCLAS 37723. G. Most (W 1:30PM–4:20pm, Foster 305)

SCTH 37326 Leo Strauss' Philosophical "Autobiography"
Leo Strauss did not write an autobiography. However, he did mark out his path of thought through autobiographical reflections on the decisive challenges to which his oeuvre responded. The philosophically most demanding confrontation that Strauss presented on the question of how he became what he was is the so-called Autobiographical Preface of 1965, which he included in the American translation of his first book, “Spinoza’s Critique of Religion” (originally published in 1930). Two decades earlier, in the lecture The Living Issues of German Postwar Philosophy (1940), he made a first autobiographical attempt to publicly ascertain himself and determine his position. And in 1970 he published the concise retrospective A Giving of Accounts. The seminar will make these writings – which illuminate the significance of Nietzsche and Heidegger for Strauss and address his early engagement with revealed religion and politics, in a constellation ranging from Hermann Cohen and Franz Rosenzweig to Karl Barth and Carl Schmitt – the subject of a close reading. Selected letters to Karl Löwith, Gershom Scholem and others will be used as supplementary texts. PQ: Undergrads need instructor’s persmission to register. xSCTH 27326, xPHIL 37326/27326, xCLCV 27423, xCLASS 37423. H. Meier (MW 10:30am–1:20pm, Foster 505). This course will be taught the first five weeks of the quarter (March 18, 2024 thru April 17, 2024)

SCTH 40133 Wittgenstein and Modern Social Thought
This course explores the reception of Wittgenstein's later philosophy. In particular, it will focus on the gradual publication parts of Wittgenstein's Nachlass, and the effect of these writings on disciplines such as philosophy, sociology, political theory, psychology, history of science, and anthropology. Topics covered include: the controversial editorial practices of Wittgenstein's literary executors; the creation of various 'schools' of Wittgensteinian philosophy in Britain and the United States; the waves of Wittgenstein interpretation since World War II; and the attempt to apply Wittgenstein's thought to historical, ethnographic, and ethical inquiry. Alongside texts written by Wittgenstein himself, we will read works by such figures as John Rawls, Thomas Kuhn, Clifford Geertz, Veena Das, and Quentin Skinner. PQ: Undergrads need instructor’s permission to register. xSCTH. 20685, xHIST 42804. J. Isaac (T 1:30pm–4:20pm, Foster 505)

SCTH 49800 Reading Course: Non-Social Thought
Open only to non-Social Thought Graduate Students. Independent reading course for non-Social Thought graduate students, which are supervised by Social Thought faculty. Enter section from faculty list on web. ARR

SCTH 49900 Reading Course: Social Thought. Open only to Social Thought Graduate Students. Enter section from faculty list on web. ARR