General Course Information:
- Read the General Course Policies.
- Read the Technology Policies.
- Read the Assignment Overview and Grading Policies.
[6/1] What is the Good Life and How Do We Pursue It?
Readings and assignments should be completed before the relevant class meeting.
- Read Selections from Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics on Goodness, Habit, and Friendship.
- Watch the Introduction to the Apology Assignment.
- Read the Directions for the Apology Assignment.
- ASSIGNMENT: Submit your Identity Inventory. (Link to form in first assignment email.)
- Read the Directions for Submitting Assignments on WordPress.
- ASSIGNMENT: Personal Narrative Pre-Write for Dialogue Group Due 6pm on 6/6.
- Read “ What Google Learned from its Quest to Build the Perfect Team.” (NY Times)
[6/6] Claim: You Should Doubt Most/All of Your Beliefs.
- Read Doubt Everything (Descartes) Interactive Digital Text (The interactive texts work best in Chrome. Click the shield in the URL bar to allow videos.)
- Read “Are We Living in a Computer Simulation?” (New Scientist).
- Read “The Science of Snobbery”(The Atlantic).
- ASSIGNMENT: 4 Questions on Doubt.
- Read Directions for Sustained Dialogue Assignment.
- Read An Aristotelian Analysis of Trolling (Prof. Rachel Barney… channeling Aristotle).
[6/8] Claim: You Should Trust Common Sense.
- Read Thomas Reid on the Epistemology of Common Sense.
- Read ``The Sugar Conspiracy” (The Guardian).
- ASSIGNMENT: 4 Questions on Common Sense.
- Read Directions for Writing Op-Ed Assignments.
- ASSIGNMENT: Pre-Write for Op-Ed 1 (Due 6/13 at 4pm).
[6/13] Claim: God Exists and It Can be Demonstrated.
- Read God Exists (Aquinas) Interactive Digital Text.
- Read Anselm’s Ontological Argument.
- Watch the Causal Dependence Thought Experiment.
- Read “Facebook Revives Debate Over Whether Monotheists Worship Same God” (NY Times).
- ASSIGNMENT: 4 Questions on Natural Theology.
- ASSIGNMENT: Op-Ed 1 Due at Midnight on June 14th.
[6/15] Claim: There is No God and It Can Be Demonstrated.
- Read David Hume’s Book X of “Dialogues on Natural Religion”.
- Read the Book of Job, chapter 1 and chapter 2.
- Watch The Problem of Evil and Catholic Social Teaching (Interview with Fr. Paul Kollman).
- Read about The New London School Explosion.
- ASSIGNMENT: 4 Questions on Evil.
- ASSIGNMENT: Comments on Op-Eds.
[6/20] Claim: Faith is Valuable (Regardless of Whether it is Demonstrable).
- Read William James’s “The Will to Believe”.
- Watch the Doxastic Voluntarism Thought Experiment.
- Read “Secular But Feeling a Call to Divinity School” (NY Times).
- Read “When Some Turn to Church, Others Go to Crossfit” (NY Times).
- ASSIGNMENT: 4 Questions on the Value of Faith.
- ASSIGNMENT: Read and Analyze this Op-Ed for Writing Workshop
[6/22] Claim: Organized Religion is Irrational or Immoral.
- Read Friedrich Nietzsche’s Selections from The Genealogy of Morals (password required).
- Read “The Evolution of Shaming” (The Atlantic).
- Read Selections from Under the Banner of Heaven (Jon Krakauer).(password required).
- Read ``University of Miami Establishes Chair for Study of Atheism.” (NY Times).
- ASSIGNMENT: 4 Questions on the (Ir)rationality of Organized Religion
[6/27] Claim: You Shouldn’t Impose Your Moral Views on Other Cultures.
- Read Martha Nussbaum’s “Judging Other Cultures”
- Listen to This American Life: Who Do We Think We Are? Act One.
- Read Isaiah Berlin Closing Section from “Two Concepts of Liberty”.
- Read “How to Defeat Religious Violence” (WSJ).
- Read “She Was Asked to Switch Seats. Now She’s Charging El Al with Sexism” (NY Times)
- ASSIGNMENT: 4 Questions on Toleration and Pluralism.
- ASSIGNMENT: Op-Ed 2 is due at Midnight on 6/28. POST DRAFT FOR WRITING WORKSHOP BY 4pm on 6/27.
[6/29] Claim: You Should Do Everything You Can to Alleviate Suffering.
- Read Chapter 2 of Mill’s Utilitarianism
- Watch the Demandingness of Morality Thought Experiment.
- Read “Join Wall Street. Save the World.” (Washington Post)
- Read “The Way to Produce a Person” (NY Times)
- ASSIGNMENT: 4 Questions on Utilitarianism and Altruism.
- ASSIGNMENT: Write Comments on Op-Eds.
[7/4] NO CLASS–Independence Day
[7/6] Claim: You Should Show Absolute Respect for Freedom and Autonomy.
- Read the Act from Duty (Kant) Interactive Digital Text.
- Watch Rationality and Local Government (Interview with Mayor Peter Buttigieg).
- Read “Do We Have a Duty to Look After Ourselves?” (Irish Times).
- Read “Rawls on Wall Street.” (NY Times).
- Read “Morality; The Good Lie” (NY Times).
- ASSIGNMENT: 4 Questions on Deontological Ethics.
[7/11] Claim: You Should Try to Develop Virtue and Improve Your Community.
- Read Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics Book 2 (password required)
- Watch Virtue Ethics and Juvenile Justice (Iview with Dr. Alesha Sercozynski)
- Read “What was Volkswagen Thinking?” (The Atlantic).
- Read “Mother Teresa on Poverty and the Poor”. (password required)
- ASSIGNMENT: 4 Questions on Virtue Ethics.
- ASSIGNMENT: Convincing Argument Pre-Write Due 4pm on 7/11 (moved back from 7/6).
[7/13] Claim: You Should Pursue a Life of Moral Perfection.
- Read the Why Be Good (Plato) Interactive Digital Text.
- Watch the Ring of Gyges Thought Experiment.
- Read Susan Wolf’s “Moral Saints” (password required).
- ASSIGNMENT: 4 Questions on Morality and Happiness.
- ASSIGNMENT: Op-Ed 3 is due at Midnight on 7/14.
[7/18] Claim: You Should Pursue a Life of Action and Activism.
- Read Hannah Arendt’s Selections from The Human Condition.
- Read “Aims and Purposes of Catholic Worker” and “Security” (Dorothy Day).
- Read “The Movement Mentality” (NY Times).
- Read “The Big Uneasy: The New Activism of Liberal Arts Colleges” (The New Yorker)
- Watch The Vita Activa and Social Justice Movements (Interview with Dr. Margaret Pfeil)
- ASSIGNMENT: 4 Questions on the Life of Action.
- ASSIGNMENT: Rough Draft of Apology for Peer Review Due by 6pm on July 20th.
- ASSIGNMENT: Comments on Op-Eds. (We’ll be doing comment grades this weekend)
[7/20] Claim: You Should Pursue a Life of Contemplation.
- Read Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics 10.7.
- Watch Fr. John Jenkins Introduction to Aquinas.
- Read St. Thomas Aquinas’s Summa 2-2, 179, 180, and 181.
- Watch The Contemplative Life in Aristotle, Aquinas and at Notre Dame (Interview with Fr. John Jenkins).
- Read “Don’t Send Your Kid to the Ivy League” (New Republic).
- ASSIGNMENT: 4 Questions on the Life of Contemplation.
- ASSIGNMENT: Review of Peer’s Apology Draft Due by 6pm on July 25th.
[7/25] Claim: Your Life Has No Meaning
- Read Leo Tolstoy’s Selections from the Confessions.
- Read Ecclesiastes Chapters chap 1, chap 2, and chap 3.
- Watch Life in an Atomic Age.
- ASSIGNMENT: 4 Questions on Nihilism
- ASSIGNMENT: Final Draft of Apology (and Excerpted Presentation Copy) Due July 27th at 4pm.
[7/27] Summer 2016 Statements of the Good Life