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The John U. Nef Committee on Social Thought

Department Website: http://socialthought.uchicago.edu

Chair

  • Robert Pippin

Professors

  • Lorraine Daston
  • Wendy Doniger
  • Joel Isaac
  • Hans Joas
  • Gabriel Lear
  • Jonathan Lear
  • Jean Luc Marion
  • Heinrich Meier
  • Glenn W. Most
  • David Nirenberg
  • Thomas Pavel
  • Mark Payne
  • Robert B. Pippin
  • Andrei Pop
  • Haun Saussy
  • Laura Slatkin
  • Nathan Tarcov
  • Rosanna Warren
  • David Wellbery

Emeriti

  • Leon Kass
  • Joel Kraemer
  • Ralph Lerner
  • James M. Redfield
  • David Tracy

The John U. Nef Committee on Social Thought was established as a degree granting body in 1941 by the historian John U. Nef (1899-1988), with the assistance of the economist Frank Knight, the anthropologist Robert Redfield, and Robert M. Hutchins, then President of the University. The Committee is a group of diverse scholars sharing a common concern for the unity of the human sciences. Their premises were that the serious study of any academic topic, or of any philosophical or literary work, is best prepared for by a wide and deep acquaintance with the fundamental issues presupposed in all such studies, that students should learn about these issues by acquainting themselves with a select number of classic ancient and modern texts in an inter-disciplinary atmosphere, and should only then concentrate on a specific dissertation topic. It accepts qualified graduate students seeking to pursue their particular studies within this broader context, and aims both to teach precision of scholarship and to foster awareness of the permanent questions at the origin of all learned inquiry.

The primary themes of the Committee’s intellectual life have continued to be literature, religion, philosophy, politics, history, art and society. The Committee differs from the normal department in that it has no specific subject matter and is organized neither in terms of a single intellectual discipline nor around any specific interdisciplinary focus. It exists to bring together scholars in a variety of fields sharing a concern with basic and trans-disciplinary issues, and to enable them to work in close intellectual association with other like-minded graduate students seeking to pursue their particular studies in this broader context. Inevitably, the faculty of the Committee does not encompass within itself the full range of intellectual disciplines necessary for these studies, and the fields represented by the faculty have changed substantially during the Committee’s history. Students apply to work with the faculty who are here at any particular time and, where appropriate, with other faculty at the University of Chicago. Although it offers a variety of courses, seminars, and tutorials, it does not require specific courses. Rather, students, with the advice of Committee faculty, discover the points at which study in established disciplines can shape and strengthen their research, and they often work closely with members of other departments. Through its several lecture and seminar series, the Committee also seeks to draw on the intellectual world beyond the University.

Students admitted to the Committee work toward the Ph.D. There are three principal requirements for this degree: the fundamentals examination, the foreign language examination and the dissertation. Study for the fundamental exam centers on twelve to fifteen books, selected by the student in consultation with the faculty. Each student is free to draw from the widest range of works of imaginative literature, religious thought, philosophy, history, political thought, and social theory and ranging in date from classical times to the twentieth century. Non-Western books may also be included. Study of these fundamental works is intended to help students relate their specialized concerns to the broad themes of the Committee’s intellectual life. Some of the student’s books will be studied first in formal courses offered by faculty, though books may also be prepared through reading courses, tutorials, or independent study.

Preparation for the fundamentals examination generally occupies the first two or three years of a student’s program, together with appropriate philological, statistical, and other disciplinary training.

After successful completion of the fundamentals examination, the student writes a dissertation under faculty supervision on an important topic using appropriately specialized skills. A Committee on Social Thought dissertation is expected to combine exact scholarship with broad cultural understanding and literary merit. In lieu of an oral defense, a public lecture on an aspect of their research of general interest to the scholarly community is to be given.

As a partial guide, and to suggest the variety of possible programs, there follows a list of titles of some of the dissertations accepted by the Committee since 1994:

  • Heidegger’s Polemos: From Being to Politics
  • Nature’s Artistry: Goethe’s Science and Die Wahlverwandtschaften
  • Nietzsche’s Schopenhauer: The Peak of Modernity and the Problem of Affirmation
  • Feminism and Liberalism: The Problem of Equality
  • A Hesitant Dionysos: Nietzsche and the Revelry of Intuition
  • Conrad’s Case Against Thinking
  • Reading the Republic as Plato’s Own Apology
  • Cartesian Theodicy: Descartes Quest for Certitude
  • Plato’s Gorgias and the Power of Speech and Reason in Politics
  • World Government and the Tension between Reason and Faith in
  • Dante Alighieri’s Monarchia
  • A House Divided: The Tragedy of Agamemnon
  • Eros and Ambition in Greek Political Thought
  • Natural Ends and the Savage Pattern: The Unity of Rousseau’s Thought
  • Revisited
  • A Sense of Place. Reading Rousseau: The Idea of Natural Freedom
  • Churchill’s Military Histories: A Rhetorical Study
  • A Nation of Agents: The Making of the American Social Character
  • The Problem of Religion in Spinoza’s Tractatus Theologico Politicus
  • A Great Arrangement of Mankind: Edmund Burke’s Principles and Practice of Statesmanship
  • The Dance of the Muses
  • Tocqueville Unveiled: A Historian and his Sources in L Ancien Régime et la Révolution
  • The Search for Biological Causes of Mental Illness
  • War, Politics, and Writing in Machiavelli’s Art of War
  • Plato’s Laws on the Roots and Foundation of the Family
  • The Philosophy of Friendship: Aristotle and the Classical Tradition on Friendship and Self Love
  • Regions of Sorrow: Spaces of Anxiety and Messianic Tome in Hannah Arendt and W.H. Auden
  • Converting the Saints: An Investigation of Religious Conflict using a Study of Protestant Missionary Methods in an Early 20th Century Engagement with Mormonism
  • The Significance of Art in Kant’s Critique of Judgment
  • Historicism and the Theory of the Avant Garde
  • Human Freedom in the Philosophy of Pierre Gassendi
  • Taking Her Seriously: Penelope and the Plot of Homer’s Odyssey
  • Karna in the Mahabharata
  • Hegel on Mind, Action, and Social Life: The Theory of Geist as a Theory of Explanation. Liberalism in the Shadow of Totalitarianism: The Problem of Authority and Values Since World War Two
  • Nietzsche’s Problem of Socrates and Plato’s Political Psychology
  • Tocqueville’s New Political Science: A Critical Assessment of Montesquieu’s Vision of a Liberal Modernity
  • Magnanimity and Modernity: Self Love in the Scottish Enlightenment
  • Hegel’s Conscience: Radical Subjectivity and Rational Institutions
  • Religious Zeal, Political Faction and the Corruption of Morals: Adam Smith and the Limits of Enlightenment
  • This Distracted Globe: Hamlet and the Misgivings of Early Modern Memory
  • Teaching the Contemplative Life: The Psychagogical Role of the Language of Theoria in Plato and Aristotle
  • The Allegory of the Island: Solitude, Isolation, and Individualism in the Writings of Jean Jacques Rousseau
  • The Convergence of Homer’s Odyssey and Joyce’s Ulysses
  • The Curiosity of the Idle Reader: Self Consciousness in Renaissance Epic
  • Bacon on Virtue: The Moral Philosophy of Nature’s Conqueror
  • Picturing the Path: The Visual Rhetoric of Barabudur
  • Collecting Objects/Excluding People: Chinese Subjects and the American Art Discourse 1870-1900
  • From Religionskrieg to Religionsgesprach: The Theological Path of Boden's Colloquium Heptaplomeres
  • The Problem of Autonomy in the Thought of Montaigne
  • The Virtue of the Soul and the Limits of Human Wisdom: The Search for SÔPHROSUNÊ in Plato’s Charmides
  • Nietzsche’s “Fantastic Commentary”: On the Problem of Self-Knowledge
  • Erotic Uncertainty: Towards a Poetic Psychology of Literary Creativity
  • Cruelty: On the Limits of Humanity
  • Hamletian Romanticism: Social Critique and Literary Performance from Wordsworth to Trollope
  • Hamlet’s Arab Journey: Adventures in Political Culture and Drama 1952-2002
  • Acquiring “Feelings that do not Err”: Moral Deliberation and the Sympathetic Point of View in the Ethics of Dai Zhen
  • The Contest of Regimes and the Problem of Justice: Political Lessons from Aristotle’s Politics
  • Socrates and the Second Person: The Craft of Platonic Dialogue
  • In the Grip of the Future: The Tragic Experience of Time
  • Thucydides on the Political Soul: Pericles, Love of Glory, and Freedom
  • Connecting Agency and Morality in Kant’s Moral Theory
  • Tocqueville and the Question of the Nation
  • Pierre Bayle’s “Machiavellianism”
  • The Burial of Hektor: The Emergence of the Spiritual World of the Polis in the Iliad
  • Hegel’s Defense of Moral Responsibility
  • Dostoevsky, Madness, and Religious Fervor: Reason and its Adversaries
  • The Uses of Boredom
  • Two Loves, Two Cities: Intellectus and Voluntas in Augustine’s Political Thought
  • Power and Goodness: Leibniz, Locke and Modern Philosophy
  • Soren Kierkegaard and the Very Idea of Advance Beyond Socrates
  • Between City and Empire: Political Ambition and Political Form in Plutarch’s Parallel Lives
  • Gluttony and Philosophical Moderation in Plato’s Republic
  • Plato’s Immoralists and their Attachment to Justice: A Look at Thrasymachus and Callicles
  • The Great Law of Change: Edmund Burke, Thomas Paine, and the Meaning of the Past in a Democratic Age
  • Devil’s Advocate: Politics and Morality in the Work of Carl Schmitt
  • Relation without Relation: Emily Dickinson – Maurice Blanchot
  • Perfecting Adam: The Perils of Innocence in the Modern Novel
  • Stubborn Against the Fact: Literary Ideals, Philosophy and Criticism
  • One Man Show: Poiesis and Genesis in the Iliad and Odyssey
  • Political Theology in Eric Voegelin’s Philosophy of History
  • The Ancient Quarrel Unsettled: Plato and the Erotics of Tragic Poetry
  • Heroic Action and Erotic Desire in Sidney, Spenser, and Shakespeare
  • Dostoevsky and Suicide: A Study of the Major Characters
  • The Aesthetics of Ambivalence - Pirandello, Schopenhauer, and the Transformation of the European Social Imaginary
  • Desire and Democracy - Spinoza and the Politics of Affect
  • The Multiplicity of Scripture - The Confluence of Textual Traditions in the Making of the Antwerp Polyglot Bible (1568-1573)
  • Intelligence Incarnate: The Logic of Recognition in Hegel's Phenomenology of Spirit
  • King Lear and its Folktale Analogues
  • Can There be Philosopher-Kings in a Liberal Polity? A Reinterpretation and Reappropriation of the Ideal Theory in Plato's Republic
  • Intelligence Incarnate: The Logic of Recognition in Hegel's Phenomenology of Spirit
  • King Lear and its Folktale Analogues
  • Can There be Philosopher-Kings in a Liberal Polity? A Reinterpretation and Reappropriation of the Ideal Theory in Plato's Republic
  • Towards an Ethical Literature: Character Narration and Extended Subjectivity in the work of Robert Musil
  • Modes of Valuation in Early Greek Poetry
  • God in the Years of Fury: Theodicy and Anti-Theodicy in the Holocaust Writings of Rabbi Kalonymus Kalman Shapira
  • Rousseau's Natural Man: Emile and Politics
  • Existence and Temporality in Spinoza
  • Explorations in Elegiac Space: Schiller, Nietzsche, Rilke
  • Language, Necessity, and Human Nature in Thucydides' History
  • Speculation and Civilization in the Social Philosophy of Alfred North Whitehead
  • Caught between City, Empire, and Religion: Alfarabi's Concept of the Umma
  • Elizabeth Anscombe's Wittgensteinian Third Way in Philosophy of Mind: A Thomist Critique
  • Different Therapies: David Foster Wallace's Philosophical Fiction
  • Freedom, Feeling and Character: The Unity of Reason and Sensibility in Kant's Practical Philosophy

Areas of Study

Work with the Committee is not limited as to subject matter. Any serious program of study, based on the Fundamentals Examination, culminating in a scholarly doctoral dissertation, and requiring a framework wider than that of a specialized department, may be appropriate. In practice, however, the Committee is unwilling to accept a student for whom it is unable to provide competent guidance in some special field of interest, either from its own ranks or with the help of other members of the University.

Admission

Students in the Committee have unusual scope for independent study, which means that successful work in Social Thought requires mature judgment and considerable individual initiative. Naturally, the Committee wishes to be reasonably confident of an entering student’s ability to make the most of the opportunities the Committee offers and to complete the program of study. Hence, we request that the personal statement required by the University application should take the form of a letter to the Committee which addresses the following questions: What intellectual interests, concerns, and aspirations lead you to undertake further study and why do you want to pursue them with the Committee? What kind of work do you propose to do here? (If you can, include your intentions for the Fundamentals requirement, further language study, and dissertation research.) How has your education to date prepared you? In addition, you should include a sample of your best written work, preferably relevant to the kind of work you propose to do at the Committee, though you may also include a short sample of fiction or poetry in addition. Should we consider the evidence submitted to be insufficient, we may ask you to add to it. Applicants are also required to take the Graduate Record Examination.

How To Apply

The application process for admission and financial aid for all Social Sciences graduate programs is administered through the divisional Office of the Dean of Students. The Application for Admission and Financial Aid, with instructions, deadlines and department specific information is available online at: https://apply-ssd.uchicago.edu/apply/.

Questions pertaining to admissions and aid should be directed to ssd-admissions@uchicago.edu or (773) 702-8415. Most material for the application can be uploaded into the application system. Additional correspondence and materials sent in support of applications should be mailed to:

The University of Chicago
Division of the Social Sciences
Admissions Office, Foster 107
1130 East 59th Street
Chicago, IL 60637

Foreign students must provide evidence of English proficiency by submitting scores from either the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS).

For additional information about the Social Thought program, please call 773-702-8410.

Courses

The department website offers descriptions of graduate courses scheduled for the current academic year: http://socialthought.uchicago.edu/page/social-thought-courses-descriptions. Or you may email the Committee directly com-soc-tht@uchicago.edu and request a copy of the current course schedule.

Social Thought Courses

SCTH 30004. Law and Narrative: The Torah. 100 Units.

The Torah (aka Pentateuch or Five Books of Moses) is both a code of law and the narrative of a people's relationship to God. This course will consider the significance of this curious blending.

Equivalent Course(s): FNDL 20104

SCTH 30103. Tractarian Themes in the History of Philosophy. 100 Units.

The course will take up a number of themes that are central to Wittgenstein's Tractatus as they arise in the history of philosophical thought about logic-themes that arise out of questions such as the following: What is the status of the basic law(s) of logic? Is it possible to draw a limit to logical thought? What is the status of the reflecting subject of logical inquiry? What is the relation between the logical and the psychological? What, if anything, is the relation between the following two inquiries into forms of unity: "What is the unity of the judgment (or the proposition)?" and "What is the unity of the judging subject?" What (if any) sort of distinction between form and matter is relevant to logic? How should one understand the formality of logic? How, and how deeply, does language matter to logic? Topics will include various aspects of Aristotle's logical theory and metaphysics, Descartes's Doctrine of the Creation of Eternal Truth, Kant on Pure General and Transcendental Logic, Frege on the nature of a proper Begriffsschrift and what it takes to understand what that is, and early Wittgenstein's inheritance and treatment of all of the above. Secondary readings will be from Jan Lukasiewicz, John MacFarlane, Clinton Tolley, Sebastian Roedl, Matt Boyle, John McDowell, Elizabeth Anscombe, Cora Diamond, Peter Geach, Matthias Haase, Thomas Ricketts, and Peter Sullivan. (III)

Instructor(s): J. Conant, I. Kimhi     Terms Offered: Winter
Equivalent Course(s): PHIL 20117, PHIL 30117

SCTH 30104. Introduction to Metaphysics: Existence, Truth, Activity. 100 Units.

Equivalent Course(s): PHIL 33007, PHIL 23007

SCTH 30105. Introduction to Spinoza's Ethics. 100 Units.

As we read this work we will be concerned with its place in history of philosophy and we shall engage with some of its contemporary readers.

Equivalent Course(s): PHIL 27202, PHIL 37202

SCTH 30108. The Children of Parmenides. 100 Units.

Plato honors Parmenides with the title "father Parmenides", presumably for being the founder of philosophy as the "logical" study of being and thinking. In this course we shall discuss the struggle of ancient and modern philosophers to come to terms with this powerful heritage -- in particular, we shall focus on the elaboration, reception and criticism of Parmenides' theses that being and thinking are the same, and that talk of negation or falsity is incoherent or empty. Among the philosophers whose work we shall discuss are Plato, Aristotle, Frege, Russell, and Wittgenstein.

Equivalent Course(s): PHIL 31113, PHIL 21113

SCTH 30109. The Practical-Theoretical Difference" 100 Units.

Equivalent Course(s): PHIL 37504, PHIL 27504

SCTH 30924. Science, Modernity, and Anti-Modernity. 100 Units.

Equivalent Course(s): HIST 44905, CHSS 30924

SCTH 30925. The Humanities as a Way of Knowing. 100 Units.

Despite intertwined histories and many shared practices, the contemporary humanities and sciences stand in relationships of contrast and opposition to one another. The perceived fissure between the "Two Cultures" has been deepened by the fact that the bulk of all history and philosophy of science has been devoted to the natural sciences. This seminar addresses the history and epistemology of what in the nineteenth century came to be called the "sciences" and the "humanities" since the Renaissance from an integrated perspective. The historical sources will focus on shared practices in, among others, philology, natural history, astronomy, and history. The philosophical source will develop an epistemology of the humanities: how humanists know what they know.

Equivalent Course(s): KNOW 40303, HIST 29517, CHSS 30925, PHIL 20925, PHIL 30925, CLAS 37316, HIST 39517

SCTH 30927. Knowledge as a Platter: Comparative Perspectives on Knowledge Texts in the Ancient World. 100 Units.

In various ancient cultures, sages created the new ways of systematizing what was known in fields as diverse as medicine, politics, sex, dreams, and mathematics. These texts did more than present what was known; they exemplified what it means to know - and also why reflective, systematic knowledge should be valued more highly than the knowledge gained from common sense or experience. Drawing on texts from Ancient India, Greece, Rome, and the Near East, this course will explore these early templates for the highest form of knowledge and compare their ways of creating fields of inquiry: the first disciplines. Texts include the Arthashastra, the Hippocratic corpus, Deuteronomy, the Kama Sutra, and Aristotle's Parva naturalia.

Equivalent Course(s): CHSS 30927, HREL 30927, SALC 30927, KNOW 31415

SCTH 30928. Thinking the Present through the Past: Classic Works of History since 1750. 100 Units.

As proudly empirical as the sciences, as interpretive as the humanities, and as analytical as the social sciences, history as the pursuit of knowledge about the past resists classification. Because all history is written through the lens of the present, most works of history cease to be read after a generation, especially during the modern period, as the pace of change accelerated. In this seminar we will read some of the exceptions, including works by Kant, Tocqueville, Michelet, cCassirer, Huizinga, Lovejoy, and Frances Yates, to understand how powerful vision of the past can transcend its own present.

Instructor(s): Lorraine Daston     Terms Offered: Spring. This course will be taught spring 2019.
Prerequisite(s): Seminar - primarily graduate students; all students require the permission of the instructor.
Equivalent Course(s): CHSS 30928

SCTH 31221. Antigone. 100 Units.

Equivalent Course(s): CMLT 31221, GREK 45808

SCTH 31223. Homer's Odyssey: Estrangement and Homecoming" 100 Units.

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 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 Odysseyasks 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.

Equivalent Course(s): CLAS 33616, FNDL 21223

SCTH 31224. Aeschylus' Oresteia: Drama and Democracy. 100 Units.

The Oresteia: Aeschylus's prizewinning trilogy explores (among other things) the fortunes of the house of Atreus, the making of the polis, matters of state, gender trouble, questions of kinship, revenge and its impasses, institutions of justice. Ancient Greek theater in the early-mid 5th c. BCE both maps and reckons with the constitutive tensions in the polis between residual (but still influential) aristocratic norms and practices and the newly dominant (but still developing democratic ethos and ideals - its practices institutionalized in the assembly, the magistracies, and the courts. Aeschylus's Oresteia both represents and contributes to that debate (in antiquity and in current scholarship). This trilogy helps us understand crucial aspects of the society that produced it but also invites us to reflect on the ways ancient literature informs how we think about ourselves and our predicaments now - political, familial, existential. And the Oresteia further invites us to t hink about the uses and possibilities of theater, then and now. We will supplement our reading of the play with commentary grounded in literary interpretation and cultural poetics, as well as philosophy and political theory. Although no knowledge of Greek is required for this course, there will be assignment options for those who wish to do reading in Greek.

Equivalent Course(s): GREK 41217, FNDL 21224

SCTH 31613. Sophocles, Ajax. 100 Units.

A close literary and philological analysis of one of the most remarkable and perplexing of all Greek tragedies. We will consider the play's portrayal of the nature and limits of one form of male heroism against the background of earlier poetry and contemporary history; and we will attempt constantly for elate philological and literary approaches to one another in order to understand better not only Sophocles' play but also the strengths and limitations of the ways in which scholars try to come closer to it.

Equivalent Course(s): CLAS 31717, CLCV 21717

SCTH 31614. The Return of Homer: The Iliad and Odyssey in Contemporary English Language Fiction and Poetry. 100 Units.

The course will examine the extraordinary flowering of English language novels and poems based on the Homeric epics in the past quarter century. We will ask how different contemporary poets and prose writers have interpreted Homer's works and try to understand the appeal of this ancient poetry for modern authors, readers, and publishers. The reading will include such works as Margaret Atwood, The Penelopiad; Byrne Fone, War Stories: A Novel of the Trojan War; Christopher Logue, An Account of Homer's Iliad; David Malouf, Ransom; Zachary Mason, The Lost Books of the Odyssey; Madeline Miller, The Sone of Achilles; Alice Oswald, Memorial: A Version of Homer's Iliad; Lisa Peterson, An Iliad; Kate Quinn, et al., A Song of War; and Derek Walcott, Omeros. English translations of such foreign-language works as Alessandro Baricco's An Iliad and Ismail Kadare's The Fijile on H. may also be considered if students wish.

Equivalent Course(s): CLAS 31617

SCTH 31714. Xenophon on Leadership. 100 Units.

In this seminar we will read Freud’s major writings about society, religion, politics, and culture. We will then examine texts by writers who follow Freud’s lead in their own social, cultural, and political analysis, among them, Theodor Adorno, Norman O. Brown, Julia Kristeva, and Slavoj Zizek.

Instructor(s): Eric Santner     Terms Offered: Spring
Equivalent Course(s): FNDL 21717, PLSC 33901

SCTH 31715. The Federalist Papers and Anti-Federalist Writings. 100 Units.

This course examines the debate over the ratification of the Constitution through a reading of The Federalist Papers and selected Anti-Federalist writings as works of continuing relevance to current practical and theoretical debates. Issues include war and peace, interests and the problem of faction, commerce, justice and the common good as ends of government, human nature, federalism, republican government, representation, separation of powers, executive power, the need for energy and stability, the need for a bill of rights, and constitutionalism.

Instructor(s): Nathan Tarcov     Terms Offered: Winter. Course will be taught Winter 2019
Prerequisite(s): Open to undergrads
Equivalent Course(s): LLSO 23901, PLSC 33930, FNDL 21719, PLSC 23901

SCTH 31716. Xenophon's Socrates. 100 Units.

This course offers an introductory reading of Xenophon's Socratic works,which provide the chief alternative tot he account provided by Plato's Socratic dialogues. We will read and discuss Xenophon's Apology of Socrates, Symposium, Oeconomicus, and Memorabilia, make some comparisons to Platonic works, and consider some secondary interpretations. Themes may include piety, teaching and corruption, virtue, justice and law economics, family, friendship, and eros.

Instructor(s): Nathan Tarcov     Terms Offered: Autumn. Offered Autumn 2018
Prerequisite(s): Open to undergrads by consent.
Equivalent Course(s): FNDL 21718, PLSC 31716

SCTH 31770. Plato's Republic. 100 Units.

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.

Instructor(s): Nathan Tarcov     Terms Offered: Winter 2013
Prerequisite(s): Undergrad course by consent
Equivalent Course(s): PLSC 43820, LLSO 23915, FNDL 29503

SCTH 31780. Thucydides. 100 Units.

This course offers an introductory reading of Thucydides's History of the Peloponnesian War, on the classic guides to politics, both domestic and international. Themes may include: progress and decline; justice, necessity, and expediency; fear, honor, and gain as motives of political action; the strengths and weaknesses of democracies and oligarchies in domestic and foreign policy; stability and revolution; strategy, statesmanship, ad prudence; the causes and effects of war; relations between stronger and weaker powers; imperialism, isolationism, and alliances; and piety, chance, and the limits of rationality. We will conclude by reading the first books of Xenophon's Hellenica to see how the war ended.

Instructor(s): Nathan Tarcov     Terms Offered: Winter. Course will be taught winter quarter 2019
Note(s): It is a grad and undergrad course, open to undergrads
Equivalent Course(s): PLSC 53900, FNDL 21780, PLSC 23900

SCTH 31926. Aristophanes' Clouds and Plato's Gorgias. 100 Units.

An inquiry into Socrates based on two contrasting works.

Equivalent Course(s): CLAS 41216

SCTH 31927. Reading Thucydides. 100 Units.

An exploration of the text in translation, or, if possible, in Greek.

Instructor(s): James Redfield     Terms Offered: Spring. course taught spring 2018
Prerequisite(s): Open to undergrads by consent only

SCTH 31928. Genesis and Exodus. 100 Units.

A close reading of the texts in English with an emphasis on narrative.

Instructor(s): James M. Redfield     Terms Offered: Winter. Course will be taught winter 2019
Note(s): open to undergrads by consent

SCTH 32201. The Mahabharata in English Translation. 100 Units.

A reading of the Mahabharata in English translation (van Buitenen, Narasimhan, Ganguli, and Doniger [ms.]), with special attention to issues of mythology, feminism, and theodicy. (C)

Instructor(s): W. Doniger     Terms Offered: Autumn
Equivalent Course(s): RLST 26800, SALC 48200, HREL 35000, FNDL 24400, SALC 20400

SCTH 32402. Perspective as a Challenge to Art History. 100 Units.

Equivalent Course(s): ARTH 22402, ARTH 32402, ENGL 42412, ENGL 22402

SCTH 32403. Frege's Foundations of Arithmetic as Philosophy and Literature. 100 Units.

One peculiarity of current English-language philosophy is that its founding text is a nineteenth-century German effort to reform mathematics. Gottlob Frege's Grundlagen der Arithmetic (1884) was ignored in its day, before the discovery of Russell's Paradox round 1900 seemed to make its mathematics otiose. But its impact on logic, metaphysics, philosophical method and style have made the book a classic, though a fragmentary one. This course aims to regain the unity of this dense but short work, reading for argument and intention, texture and style, in the original and J.L. Austin's fine English translation.

Equivalent Course(s): FNDL 22404

SCTH 32720. Anth Lit-World Poetry. 100 Units.

This course explores fundamentals of poetry and poetics on a world basis (e.g., music of language, theory of tropes, poetry and myth, linguistic-poetic relativism, unique individual, sociopolitical context, moral intention of the poet, metaphysical questions). We focus on the following four poetic worlds: T'ang Chinese (e.g., Tu Fu); Russian (i.e., Pushkin); Native American (e.g., Quechua, Eskimo); and three American poets (Dickenson, Frost, Hughes). We also briefly introduce other poetic worlds (e.g., Villon, Baudelaire, haiku).

Instructor(s): P. Friedrich     Terms Offered: Spring
Prerequisite(s): Third- or fourth-year standing
Equivalent Course(s): ANTH 34814

SCTH 32802. Risk and Uncertainty in Modern Social Thought. 100 Units.

This course will explore the intertwined histories of risk and uncertainty in modern social thought. Existing scholarship on risk tends to focus on the history of the quantification of risk: the rise of probability theory and statistics is central to these accounts of the emergence of the ideas of risk. In modern economic and social thought, however, the challenge of managing unquantifiable risk - what is often called 'true' or 'radical' uncertainty - has become ever more central. 20th-century thinkers such as Joseph Schumpeter, Frank Knight, Frank Ramsey, and John Maynard Keynes grappled with the problem of uncertainty and its relation to theories of decision-making prominent in economic theory. We will read key works of these prophets of uncertainty, and consider their relations to the recent conjuring away of the problem of uncertainty in the form of subjective expected utility theory. We will also examine the connections between the concept of uncertainty and the understanding of modern capitalism.

Instructor(s): Joel Isaac     Terms Offered: Autumn. Course offered Autumn 2018
Prerequisite(s): Open to undergrads
Equivalent Course(s): HIST 39416

SCTH 32803. Moral Economy. 100 Units.

Moral Economy" has become a byword for democratic opposition to capitalism. The term was coined by the historian E.P. Thompson, who used it to describe the social rights to which working people appealed during food riots in eighteenth-century England. Since Thompson, the concept of moral economy has become ubiquitous in the social sciences: it is invoked by anthropologists, political theorists, economists, and historians to cover a bewildering array of phenomena. In this course, we will explore both the history and the normative content of the idea of moral economy. We will ask whether it successfully accounts for the mass political phenomena is often used to explain: riots, revolution, collective risk-management, and practical notions of rights and social justice. Readings will include works by William Godwin, Anton Menger, E.P. Thompson, James C. Scott, Michael Sandel, and Samuel Bowles.

Instructor(s): Joel Isaac     Terms Offered: Winter. Course will be taught winter 2019
Prerequisite(s): This is part of a new undergraduate sequence on democratic politics.

SCTH 33401. Conceptual Foundations of the Modern State. 100 Units.

The course will examine the evolution of western thinking about the modern concept of the state. The focus will be on Renaissance theories (Niccolò Machiavelli; Thomas More); theories of absolute sovereignty (especially Thomas Hobbes); theories about 'free states' (James Harrington, John Locke); and republican theories from the era of the Enlightenment.

Equivalent Course(s): PHIL 31399, PHIL 21399, HIST 49403

SCTH 34017. Fact and Fiction: Hoaxes and Misunderstandings. 100 Units.

This course will focus on fictional texts that readers have misrecognized as factual accounts, as well as the less frequent case of factual texts misidentified as fictional. Students will study the rhetorical strategies or historical and cultural circumstances responsible for these "errors of pragmatic framing" (O. Caïra) by investigating the contexts governing the production or reception of works such as Apuleius' The Golden Ass, Les Lettres d'une religieuse portugaise, Denis Diderot's La Religieuse, Wolfgang Hildesheimer's Marbot: A Biography, and Orson Welles' adaptation of The War of the Worlds, among others.

Equivalent Course(s): CMLT 24017, CMLT 34017, FREN 34017, FREN 24017

SCTH 34201. Plotinus. 100 Units.

We will read selections from the Enneads of Plotinus with an emphasis on the nature of beauty and its role in spiritual ascent. We will consider the relationship between spiritual vocation and the beauty of the world, the proper orientation to human embodiment as a condition for the successful pursuit of the contemplative life, and the power of language to communicate the ecstatic accomplishment of this life. (IV)

Instructor(s): G. Lear, M. Payne     Terms Offered: Spring
Equivalent Course(s): CLCV 26811, PHIL 25720, FNDL 27906, CLAS 36811, PHIL 35720

SCTH 34601. How to Think about Literature: the Main Notions. 100 Units.

In literary studies new trends and theories rarely supersede older ones. While in physics and biology Aristotle has long been obsolete, literary scholars still find his Poetics to be a source of important insights. And yet literary studies are not resistant to change. Over time, they have experienced a genuine historical growth in thinking. Perhaps one can best describe the discipline of literature as a stable field of recurring issues that generate innovative thinking. This course will introduce graduate students to the main notion of the field. Its aim is to identify an object of study that is integral, yet flexible enough to allow for comparisons between its manifestations in various national traditions.

Equivalent Course(s): CMLT 46000

SCTH 34801. Three Erotic Dialogues: Plato, Xenophon, Plutarch. 100 Units.

An exploration of the moral, political, psychological, theological, and philosophical significance of erotic phenomena through reading three classical dialogues on eros: Plato's Symposium, Xenophon's Symposium, and Plutarch's Erotikus. (A)

Instructor(s): N. Tarcov     Terms Offered: Winter
Equivalent Course(s): GNSE 36103, FNDL 21207, GNSE 26103, PLSC 35101, PLSC 25101

SCTH 34802. Gibbon's Decline and Fall (Part 1) 100 Units.

A close reading of the first half of Gibbon's masterwork, together with his Autobiography.

Instructor(s): R. Lerner     Terms Offered: Autumn
Equivalent Course(s): FNDL 24302

SCTH 35000. Winckelmann: Enlightenment Art Historian and Philosopher. 100 Units.

We approach the first great modern art historian through reading his classic early and mature writings and through the art and criticism of his time (and at the end, our own). Reading-intensive, with a field trip to the Art Institute.

Instructor(s): Andrei Pop     Terms Offered: Autumn
Prerequisite(s): German reading competence helpful, but NOT required.
Equivalent Course(s): GRMN 35015, ARTH 35115, CLAS 35014, ARTH 25115, GRMN 25015, KNOW 35000

SCTH 35001. Theatricality in Modern Art from 1700 to the Present. 100 Units.

We examine the dramatic dimension of art in the modern era broadly speaking, paying attention to recurring themes like the Aristotelian theory of acton, the Diderotian theory of acting, and the linguistic theory of speech acts, as well as to momentous historical events like the French Revolution, the rediscovery of antiquity, and the advent of photography and motion pictures. Paradigms that have been influential in one or another discipline like Michael Fried's theory of theatricality (in art history), Heinrich Kleist's theory of puppets (In German literature and theatre theory) and Friedrich Nietzsche's theory of tragedy (in music and philosophy) and will also be scrutinized.

Equivalent Course(s): ARTH 35001

SCTH 35006. Can We Be Sure of God's Existence? Anselm's Proslogion. 100 Units.

The prelate and philosopher Anselm of Canterbury is famous among other things for the brief PROSLOGION, whose even briefer logical argument for the existence of God has been ridiculed for centuries as bad metaphysics. But its twentieth-century reappraisal, together with the text's eloquent prayer form and Anselm's appealing statement of his rational method of "faith seeking understanding" (fides quaerens intellectum) suggest it deserves our attention. We will read and reread the original (in Latin, if desired), as well as important philosophical discussions of it.

Instructor(s): Andrei Pop     Terms Offered: Spring. Course will be taught Spring 2019

SCTH 35902. Virgil, The Aeneid. 100 Units.

A close literary analysis of one of the most celebrated works of European literature. While the text, in its many dimensions, will offer more than adequate material for classroom analysis and discussion, attention will also be directed to the extraordinary reception of this epic, from Virgil's times to ours.

Instructor(s): G. Most     Terms Offered: Winter 2013
Prerequisite(s): Latin helpful
Equivalent Course(s): ENGL 35902, CLAS 44512, CMLT 35902

SCTH 35914. Early Novels: The Ethiopian Story, Parzifal, Old Arcadia. 100 Units.

The course will introduce the students to the oldest sub-genres of the novel, the idealist story, the chivalric tale and the pastoral. It will emphasize the originality of these forms and discuss their interaction with the Spanish, French, and English novel.

Instructor(s): T. Pavel, G. Most     Terms Offered: Winter
Equivalent Course(s): RLLT 24402, CMLT 24402, RLLT 34402, CMLT 34402

SCTH 36002. Elizabeth Bishop and Robert Lowell. 100 Units.

An intensive study of these two poets, whose work differs radically, but whose friendship nourished some of the most enduring and original poetry of the American 20th century. Close attention to the poems, in the light of recent biographical work and new editions.

Equivalent Course(s): ENGL 36222

SCTH 36003. 20th Century French Poets in Translation. 100 Units.

An examination of four poets who shaped the possibilities of the art in the 20th century: Apollinaire, Max Jacob, Rene Char, and Francis Ponge. We will read the poems in translating with reference to the French originals.

Instructor(s): Rosanna Warren     Terms Offered: Winter. course will be taught winter 2019
Equivalent Course(s): CMLT 36003, FREN 36003

SCTH 36013. Contemporary Poems in English. 100 Units.

Equivalent Course(s): ENGL 36013

SCTH 36014. T.S. Eliot. 100 Units.

With the major new edition of Eliot's poems by Jim McCue and Christopher Ricks, the new volumes of Eliot's letters, and two separate new editions of Eliot's complete prose, we are in a position to rethink the meanings and force of Eliot's life work. The class will be devoted to careful reading of his poems, essays, plays, and correspondence, with attention to his literary, cultural, and political contexts.

Equivalent Course(s): FNDL 26614, ENGL 34850, ENGL 26614

SCTH 36015. The New Criticism. 100 Units.

n examination of primary works of The New Criticism, British and American. We will consider the theoretical variety and different critical practices of these loosely allied critics, who were often not allies at all. Authors to be studied: I.A. Richards, T.S. Eliot, F.R. Leavis, Kenneth Burke, John Crowe Ransom, Cleanth Brooks, Robert Penn Warren, W.K. Wimsatt, Yvor Winters, R. P. Blackmur, William Empson.

Equivalent Course(s): ENGL 43250, CMLT 36015

SCTH 36415. Heinrich von Kleist. 100 Units.

The seminar explores the work of Heinrich von Kleist in all its dimensions: The plays, novellas, short prose, and letters. The main focus is on close readings and discussion, but we'll also put to the test Kleist's broader relevance for literary poetics, philosophy, theology, and juridical as well as political thought. While the instructor's interest lies on the question of justice as the driving force behind Kleist's production, participants are asked to bring their own agendas, and we'll use the first meeting to work out a schedule for the class.

Instructor(s): Florian Klinger     Terms Offered: Winter
Note(s): Readings in German, Discussion in English.
Equivalent Course(s): GRMN 36415

SCTH 36710. Eccentric Moderns. 100 Units.

An examination of six idiosyncratic poets who invented new forms of language on the peripheries of High Modernism: David Jones, Laura Riding, Hart Crane, W.H. Auden, Geoffrey Hill, and Anne Carson. Close formal analysis of the poems in the wider social and political contexts of the 20th and early 21st centuries.

Instructor(s): Rosanna Warren     Terms Offered: Autumn. course is offered Autumn 2018
Prerequisite(s): Open to advanced undergraduates
Equivalent Course(s): ENGL 36710

SCTH 37000. Aesthetics of French Classicism. 100 Units.

Though "aesthetic" philosophy first developed as an autonomous field in the mid-eighteenth century, it has important roots in earlier eighteenth- and seventeenth-century debates concerning literature and the arts. In the wake of Cartesian rationalism, could reasoned method be reconciled with non-rational creativity, or decorous order with the unruly "sublime"? Just what kind of "truth" was revealed by poetry or painting? We will consider the relation between literature and other media (including music, opera, and the visual arts) and gauge the impact of French classical criticism on the broader European scene. Readings will include works by Descartes, Pascal, Boileau, Molière, La Fontaine, Félibien, Du Bos, Addison, Hutcheson, Vico, Montesquieu.

Instructor(s): L. Norman     Terms Offered: Spring
Prerequisite(s): Undergrads admitted with permission of instructor.
Note(s): Course will be conducted in French; students not taking course for French credit may do written work and class presentations in English.
Equivalent Course(s): FREN 37000, ARTH 48301, REMS 37000, CMLT 38600

SCTH 37016. Goethe's Novels II: Die Wahlverwandtschaften. 100 Units.

After considering Goethe's Werther and Wilhelm Meisters Lehrjahre in the first phase of this three-part seminar, we turn to Goethe's "most beautiful book" (as he put it): Die Wahlverwandtschaften of 1809. The remarkable feature of Goethe's novelistic production is that each of his four novels develops a distinct formal or generic conception. In the case of Elective Affinities, we have what the philosopher-aesthetician Karl Ferdinand Solger referred to as a "tragic novel" and what others have called a "novel of society." Other terms suggest themselves, for example: "experimental novel" (in view of the fact that it is a scientific experiment from which the novel draws its leading metaphorical model). The seminar will consider the question of genre along with other, related issues: the place of science/knowledge in the novel, the novel in its historical context, the novel's mode of citation and signification. Major contributions to the criticism of the novel (from Solger to Kittler) will be discussed as we develop a close reading of the novel across the ten weeks of the quarter. The written requirement for the seminar is a suite of bi-weekly "response papers." The seminar will include a special one-day roundtable on Walter Benjamin's essay on Die Wahlverwandtschaften with the participation of guest scholars.

Instructor(s): D. Wellbery     Terms Offered: Autumn
Equivalent Course(s): GRMN 37016

SCTH 37105. Sem: Augustine. 100 Units.

Instructor(s): Clifford Ando &     Terms Offered: Winter
Equivalent Course(s): HIST 23513, HIST 33513, CLAS 46313

SCTH 37318. Friedrich Nietzsche's Twilight of Idols. 100 Units.

Course Description unavailable.

Equivalent Course(s): GRMN 37316, PHIL 34713, GRMN 27316, PHIL 24713, PLSC 37318, FNDL 27318

SCTH 37319. Nietzsche's Beyond Good and Evil. 100 Units.

I shall present a new interpretation of Nietzsche's Beyond Good and Evil and discuss Nietzsche's book form the beginning to its end in detail.

Equivalent Course(s): PHIL 37319, FNDL 25703, GRMN 37319

SCTH 37320. Leo Strauss on the Philosophic Life. 100 Units.

No philosopher before Leo Strauss stressed with similar emphasis that philosophy has to be conceived not as a discipline or a set of doctrines but as a way of life, and few have so sharply grasped the philosophic life and separated it from edifying trivializations or pious appropriations as Strauss did in the very same essay in which he introduced the concept for the first time: "The Law of Reason in the Kuzari." The seminar will focus on this text, which seems to deal with a rather remote historical subject. Originally published in 1943, it is one of Strauss's most intransigent essays. I shall also discuss "On Classical Political Philosophy" (1945), "The Spirit of Sparta or the Taste of Xenophon" (1939), and "Farabi's Plato" (1945).

Equivalent Course(s): PHIL 37320, PLSC 37320, FNDL 27320

SCTH 37321. Leo Strauss: Natural Right and History. 100 Units.

I shall present a new reading of NATURAL RIGHT AND HISTORY, focusing on the first 4 chapters, discussing the philosophical intention and the political impact of this seminal book that laid the foundation of the "Straussian School."

Instructor(s): Heinrich Meier     Terms Offered: Spring. Course will be taught during the first five weeks of spring 2019.
Prerequisite(s): Open to undergrads by consent.
Equivalent Course(s): FNDL 27321, GRMN 37321

SCTH 37501. Psychoanalysis and Philosophy. 100 Units.

An introduction to psychoanalytic thinking and its philosophical significance. A question that will concern us throughout the course is: What do we need to know about the workings of the human psyche-in particular, the Freudian unconscious-to understand what it would be for a human to live well? Readings from Plato, Aristotle, Freud, Bion, Betty Joseph, Paul Gray, Lacan, Lear, Loewald, Edna O'Shaughnessy, and others.

Equivalent Course(s): FNDL 28210, HIPS 28101, PHIL 28210, PHIL 38209

SCTH 38001. Hegel: Phenomenology. 100 Units.

Equivalent Course(s): GRMN 33200, PHIL 33301, PHIL 23301

SCTH 38004. Hegel's Philosophy of Right. 100 Units.

In this course we shall seek to understand Hegel's 1821 book, Elements of the Philosophy of Right. This book is traditionally understood to contain Hegel's "political philosophy," but the book also proposes a metaphysics of human agency, claims about the relation of philosophy to its own historical time, a rejection of utopian political thinking, a theory of crime and punishment, and a theory of the relationship between individual and communal life that he says is based on his "speculative philosophy," and so is "dialectical." In Hegel's terms, the book should be understood as his theory of "objective spirit," and we shall attempt to understand what that subject matter might be. The course will be a seminar/discussion with restricted enrollment at both the undergraduate and graduate level.

Equivalent Course(s): FNDL 28204, PHIL 28203, PHIL 38203

SCTH 38005. Nietzsche's Critique of Morality. 100 Units.

Equivalent Course(s): PHIL 34709, PHIL 24709, GRMN 24709, GRMN 34709

SCTH 38006. Philosophical Fiction: Proust's In Search of Lost Time. 100 Units.

We will discuss all seven volumes of Proust's magisterial novel, IN SEARCH OF LOST TIME (1913-1927). The novel is well known for its treatment of a large number of philosophical issues: including self-identity over time, the nature of memory, social competition and snobbery, the nature of love, both romantic and familial, the role of fantasy in human life, the nature and prevalence of jealousy, the nature and value of art, the chief characteristics of bourgeois society, and the nature of lived temporality. Our interest will be not only in these issues but also in what could be meant by the notion of a novelistic "treatment" of the issues, and how such a treatment might bear on philosophy as traditionally understood. We shall use the Modern Library boxed set of seven volumes for the English translation, and for those students with French, we will use the Folio Collection paperbacks of the seven volumes.

Instructor(s): Robert Pippin and Joshua Landy     Terms Offered: Spring. Course will be taught spring 2019
Prerequisite(s): In order to be able to do so in a ten week quarter, student must announce their intention to register for the course before the end of the Spring quarter 2018, and pledge to have read the entire novel before the March 2019 beginning of the seminar. (They can do so by emailing Robert Pippin at rbp1@uchicago.edu)
Equivalent Course(s): PHIL 38006, PHIL 28006, FNDL 28006

SCTH 38112. Film Aesthetics. 100 Units.

The main questions to be discussed are: the bearing of cinema on philosophy; or in what sense, if any, is cinema a form of philosophical thought? What sort of distinctive aesthetic object is a film, or what is the "ontology" of film? What, in particular, distinguishes a "realist" narrative film? What is a "Hollywood" film? What is a Hollywood genre? Authors to be read include, among others, Bazin, Cavell, Perkins, Wilson, Rothman. Films to be seen and discussed, among others, include films by Bresson, Ford, Ophuls, Cukor, Hitchcock, and the Dardenne brothers. (I)

Instructor(s): J. Conant, R. Pippin     Terms Offered: Spring
Equivalent Course(s): CMST 27205, PHIL 30208, PHIL 20208, CMST 37205

SCTH 38113. Hermeneutics of the Image. 100 Units.

What does it mean to "read" an image? To achieve an understanding of its "meaning"? This is not an easy question since images don't directly offer propositional content, which is the usual habitat of meaning. In this seminar, we will approach this question by considering first some foundational contributions to hermeneutics (Gadamer, Hirsch) and to the theory of pictorial meaning (Wollheim). We will then dig into the tradition of pictorial interpretation as it unfolds starting with Winckelmann and Diderot and extending to the present day (Fried, Clark). Freudian hermeneutics (Freud, Adrian Stokes), iconology (Panofsky), and phenomenology (Merleau-Ponty, Heidegger) will also be considered. In each case, we will endeavor to test the claims and interpretive findings through close examination of the images involved. The emphasis will be on the tradition of European painting and sculpture, but the tools acquired in the seminar should also be applicable in other fields.

Instructor(s): David Wellbery     Terms Offered: Winter
Prerequisite(s): For advanced undergrads, consent of instructor required.
Equivalent Course(s): GRMN 35213, GRMN 25213

SCTH 38201. Pascal and Simone Weil. 100 Units.

Blaise Pascal in the seventeenth century and Simone Weil in the twentieth formulated a compelling vision of the human condition, torn between greatness and misery. They showed how human imperfection coexists with the noblest callings, how attention struggles with distraction and how individuals can be rescued from their usual reliance on public opinion and customary beliefs. Both thinkers point to the religious dimension of human experience and suggest unorthodox ways of approaching it. We will also study an important text by Gabriel Marcel emphasizing human coexistence and cooperation.

Instructor(s): T. Pavel     Terms Offered: Spring
Prerequisite(s): Undergraduates must be in their third or fourth year.
Note(s): The course will be taught in English. For French undergraduates and graduates, we will hold a bi-weekly one-hour meeting to study the original French texts.
Equivalent Course(s): FNDL 21812, FREN 39100, RLST 24910, CMLT 29101, FREN 29100

SCTH 38230. Les Misérables. 100 Units.

In this course we read Les Misérables and discuss the work's message, structure, and aesthetic vision. We will be particularly attentive to Victor Hugo's role as an observer of nineteenth-century French society as well as an actor in the political life of his times.

Instructor(s): R. Morrissey     Terms Offered: Winter
Note(s): All classes and texts in French; presentations preferred in French, but English will be acceptable depending on the concentration. Written work in French or English.
Equivalent Course(s): FNDL 26100, FREN 26103, FREN 36103

SCTH 38240. Beautiful Souls, Adventurers, and Rogues. The European 18th Century Novel. 100 Units.

The course will examine several major eighteenth-century novels, including Manon Lescaut by Prevost, Pamela and fragments from Clarissa by Richardson, Shamela and fragments from Joseph Andrews by Fielding, Jacques le Fataliste by Diderot, and The Sufferings of Young Werther by Goethe.

Instructor(s): T. Pavel     Terms Offered: Winter
Prerequisite(s): Not open to first-year undergraduates.
Note(s): Taught in English. A weekly session in French will be held for French majors and graduate students.
Equivalent Course(s): CMLT 34401, CMLT 24401, FREN 35301, FREN 25301

SCTH 38250. Don Quixote. 100 Units.

The course will provide a close reading of Cervantes' Don Quijote and discuss its links with Renaissance art and Early Modern narrative genres. On the one hand, Don Quijote can be viewed in terms of prose fiction, from the ancient Greek romances to the medieval books of knights errant and the Renaissance pastoral novels. On the other hand, Don Quijote exhibits a desire for Italy through the utilization of Renaissance art. Beneath the dusty roads of La Mancha and within Don Quijote's chivalric fantasies, the careful reader will come to appreciate glimpses of images with Italian designs.

Instructor(s): F. de Armas, T. Pavel     Terms Offered: Winter
Note(s): Taught in English. Students seeking Spanish credit will read the text in the original and use Spanish for the course assignments.
Equivalent Course(s): CMLT 28101, REMS 34202, CMLT 38101, FNDL 21221, SPAN 34202, SPAN 24202

SCTH 38502. Henry James and the Question of Evil: The Portrait of a Lady and the Turn of the Screw. 100 Units.

Equivalent Course(s): ENGL 48502

SCTH 38816. Literature as Trial. 100 Units.

The affinities between literary and judicial practice seem as old as literature itself. Countless literary works take the form of a trial, revolve around a case or trial scene, or negotiate competing ways of seeing and talking. What is the relationship between judgment and poetic form? Can "trial" be understood as a distinct form of discourse? What role can the literary play in the legal process? Is there a privileged relationship between the trial and the dramatic genre? Can literature be a training for judgment? Are there specifically poetic forms of justice? Readings include Sophocles, Dante, Shakespeare, Kleist, Kafka, Arendt, Weiss, Derrida, Coetzee.

Equivalent Course(s): GRMN 38815, CMLT 38815, GRMN 28815, CMLT 28815

SCTH 39117. Burke's Politics. 100 Units.

A broad but intensive examination of Edmund Burke's principles and political practice as exhibited in his writings and parliamentary speeches.

Equivalent Course(s): FNDL 29117

SCTH 39123. Reading Sir Francis Bacon. 100 Units.

Terms Offered: R. Lerner
Equivalent Course(s): FNDL 26706

SCTH 39127. The Political Thought of James Madison. 100 Units.

A close examination of the philosophic underpinnings of Madison's political thought.

Equivalent Course(s): FNDL 29127

SCTH 39128. Political Essays from the "Encyclopedie" 100 Units.

A window into the project of the radical enlightenment as exemplified by selected political essays in Diderot and d'Alembert's Encyclopedie.

Equivalent Course(s): FNDL 29218

SCTH 39130. Montesquieu's Persian Letters. 100 Units.

A close reading of a challenging critique of social and political thought.

Equivalent Course(s): FNDL 29130

SCTH 39131. Tyranny Ancient and Modern. 100 Units.

This class will test an hypothesis - that the appearance of Machiavelli's Prince marks a watershed in the history of tyranny. It will have as its focus Machiavelli's claim in the eleventh chapter of The Prince that "only" ecclesiastical principalities "are secure and prosperous." It will explore what Machiavelli learned from his study of what came to be called priestcraft, and it will examine what his subsequent admirers did with what he learned. The reading will include work by Alfarabi and those among his successors whose account of the relationship between philosophy and religion influenced Machiavelli as well as selections from the writings of Mario Vargas Llosa, Herodotus, Plato, Xenophon, Tacitus, Suetonius, Savonarola, Sir Francis Bacon, David Hume, and Jean-Jacques Rousseau, among others.

Instructor(s): Ralph Lerner and Paul Rahe     Terms Offered: Spring. Course will be taught spring 2019
Prerequisite(s): This course will be co-taught with Paul Rahe.

SCTH 39601. H.P. Lovecraft and Cosmic Horror. 100 Units.

This class will analyze the recent spike in critical attention to the work of H.P. Lovecraft. We will read a representative selection of Lovecraft's fiction, focusing on the works of cosmic horror, along with Lovecraft's own theoretical writings. In addition, we will read a range of contemporary critical engagements with this work - ecological, ontological, and social-theoretical.

Instructor(s): Mark Payne     Terms Offered: Winter. course will be taught winter quarter 2019
Equivalent Course(s): FNDL 29601

SCTH 39911. Ancient Greek Aesthetics. 100 Units.

The ancient Greek philosophical tradition contains an enormously rich and influential body of reflection on the practice of poetry. We will focus our attention on Plato and Aristotle, but will also spend some time with Longinus and Plotinus. Topics will include: the analysis of poetry in terms of mimesis and image; poetry-making as an exercise of craft, divine inspiration, or some other sort of knowledge; the emotional effect on the audience; the role of poetry in forming moral character and, more broadly, its place in society; the relation between poetry, rhetoric, and philosophy; aesthetic values of beauty, wonder, truth, and grace. (A) (IV)

Equivalent Course(s): PHIL 29911, CLAS 36517, PHIL 39911, CLCV 26517

SCTH 40122. Self-Interest After Adam Smith. 100 Units.

This course examines the afterlife of Adam Smith's notorious defense of self-interest. Famously, Smith argued that, under what he called the system of natural liberty, the general welfare could best be served by letting individuals pursue their private interests. The precise meaning of Smith's account of the efficacy of commercial society was fiercely contested in the time he published The Wealth of Nations. During the nineteenth century and into the twentieth, the Smithian concept of self-interest was first conscripted into harsh, Malthusian views of market discipline, and then into neoclassical economics as an axiom of the theory of economic equilibrium. More recently, historians and political theorists have recovered a much richer picture of the place of self-interest in Smith's thought. Can the historical Smith erase the caricature to which we have become accustomed? Is the concept of self-interest now as central to political thought as it once was. These are the kinds of questions we will pose as we work our way through texts by Smith, Paine, Burke, Stigler, Hirschman, and others.

Instructor(s): Joel Isaac     Terms Offered: Winter. course will be taught winter 2019
Prerequisite(s): Grad seminar, open to undergrads by consent.

SCTH 40200. Case Studies on the Formation of Knowledge-I. 100 Units.

The KNOW core seminars for graduate students are offered by the faculty of the Stevanovich Institute on the Formation of Knowledge. This two-quarter sequence provides a general introduction, followed by specific case studies, to the study of the formation of knowledge. Each course will explore 2-3 case study topics, and each case study will be team-taught within a "module." A short research paper is required at the end of each quarter. Graduate students from every field are welcome. Those who take both quarters are eligible to apply for a SIFK 6th-year graduate fellowship. For more information, please email your questions to sifk@uchicago.edu Module 1 : Approaches to Knowledge Shadi Bartsch, Jack Gilbert The goal of this module is to identify central issues or debates in the theory of knowledge over the past century. Students will be introduced to basic issues in the sociology of knowledge, to the arguments for and against constructivist perspectives on knowledge, and to 21st century scientific standards for knowledge production. The course should provide students with a vocabulary and conceptual tools with which they argue about these issues and reflect upon the very conceptual tools they are using. Module 2: Democratic Knowledge Shadi Bartsch, Will Howell This module offers a variation on studies of the epistemic powers of democracy. Instead of asking questions such as how effective democracies are at gathering the knowledge they need to function, the module looks at

Equivalent Course(s): CHSS 40200, SOCI 40209, HIST 40200, KNOW 40200, MAPS 40201, CMLT 41802, MAPH 40200, PLSC 40202

SCTH 40300. Case Studies on the Formation of Knowledge II. 100 Units.

The KNOW core seminars for graduate students are offered by the faculty of the Stevanovich Institute on the Formation of Knowledge. This two-quarter sequence provides a general introduction, followed by specific case studies, to the study of the formation of knowledge. Each course will explore 2-3 case study topics, and each case study will be team-taught within a "module." A short research paper is required at the end of each quarter. Graduate students from every field are welcome. Those who take both quarters are eligible to apply for a SIFK 6th-year graduate fellowship. For more information, please email your questions to sifk@uchicago.edu Module 1 : Foundations of Psychology in Linguistics and Biology Robert Richards, John Goldsmith This module will examine the ways several established disciplines, particularly linguistics and biology, came together in the mid-19th century to establish the science of psychology. Both linguistics and biology offered empirical and theoretical avenues into the study of mind. Researchers in each advanced their considerations either in complementary or oppositional fashion. Module 2 : Origins of the Social Construction of Knowledge Robert Richards, Alison Winter This module will trace the development of the idea of the social construction of knowledge and its relation to philosophy and history of science. The development lit a spark, then created a conflagration, and yet still smolders. Module 3 : The Politics of Philosophical Knowledge

Equivalent Course(s): KNOW 40300, MAPS 40301, SOCI 40210, MAPH 40300, CMLT 41803, EALC 50300, CHSS 40300, HIST 64901

SCTH 40400. The Phenomenology Of Love. 100 Units.

Gilbert Ryle (1900-1976) was one of the leading figures of mid-20th century Oxford Philosophy. This course will focus on a close reading of his 1949 masterpiece, The Concept of Mind, with its attack on the "category-mistake" of the Cartesian "Myth of the Ghost in the Machine." Attention will be paid to Ryle's metaphilosophical writings and his views on language, his views on knowledge (and the distinction between knowledge-how and knowledge-that), his relation to behaviorism, and his impact on subsequent developments in the philosophy of mind including the token-token identity theory and functionalism.

Equivalent Course(s): PHIL 54700, DVPR 54700

SCTH 41219. Interpretation: Theory and Practice. 100 Units.

his seminar will be conducted on two tracks. On the one hand, we will study major contributions to hermeneutic theory (including positions that understand themselves as anti-hermeneutic). Contributions to be considered include works by Friedrich Schleiermacher, Wilhelm Dilthey, Martin Heidegger, Hans-Georg Gadamer, Paul Ricoeur, E.D. Hirsch, Manfred Frank, Roland Barthes, Stanley Cavell, and Jacques Derrida. At the same time, the seminar will include a practical component in which we will collectively develop interpretations of works by Heinrich von Kleist, Johann Peter Hebel, Franz Kafka, Friedrich Nietzsche, Charles Baudelaire, Guillaume Apollinaire, Emily Dickinson, and Herman Melville. English translations of the assigned readings will be provided. (This course is restricted to students in Ph.D. programs.)

Instructor(s): David Wellbery     Terms Offered: Autumn
Equivalent Course(s): ENGL 41219, CMLT 41219, FREN 41219, GRMN 41219

SCTH 41607. Virtues of the Intellect: Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics VI and Heidegger's Comment. 100 Units.

This seminar will do a careful reading and investigation of Heidegger's interpretation of Aristotle on the intellectual virtues, in particular phronesis and sophia. We shall consider how the intellectual virtues differ from the ethical virtues. We shall do a careful reading of Heidegger's discussion of this material in his book Plato's Sophist and we shall compare it closely with Aristotle's own discussion in Book 6 of the Nicomachean Ethics.

Equivalent Course(s): PHIL 51714

SCTH 43201. Freud: Found in Translation. 100 Units.

Equivalent Course(s): PHIL 43201

SCTH 44500. Bayle In Translation. 100 Units.

This course will focus on the political and religious thought of one of the major figures of the Enlightenment, Pierre Bayle. We will study Various Thoughts on the Occasion of a Comet (1683) and selected articles from his Historical and Critical Dictionary (1697, 1702).

Equivalent Course(s): FNDL 24505

SCTH 44914. Goethe's Novels I: Werther, Wilhelm Meisters Lehrjahre. 100 Units.

This seminar (to be followed in a future year by seminars on the two other novels by Goethe, Die Wahlverwandtschaften and Wilhelm Meisters Wanderjahre) will be centered on a close reading of Werther and Wilhelm Meister. We will also take the opportunity of this engagement with two very different narratives to review the fundamental principles of narratological analysis. Some attention will be paid to the centrality of these works (esp. WM) in the modern theory of the novel from Moritz and Fr. Schlegel to Lukacs. Paradigmatic contributions to the scholarship produced during the past three decades (e.g., psychoanalysis, discourse analysis, rhetorical-deconstructive readings) will be discussed in each session. In this regard, the seminar offers a compact introduction to recent theoretical trends in German literary studies.

Instructor(s): David Wellbery     Terms Offered: Autumn
Equivalent Course(s): GRMN 37014

SCTH 44917. Studies in Dramatic Structure: Goethe and Schiller. 100 Units.

Drama, as theoreticians from Aristotle to Hegel forcefully argued, views the world through the lens of action. But how exactly does action make the world intelligible? In this course we shall consider this question through the close analysis of two (very different) historical plays: Goethe's Egmont and Schiller's Maria Stuart. Since both these plays rely on historical sources, we shall have the opportunity to view dramatic structure against the background of historical events (both factual and mythic). Schiller's theoretical work, centrally his review of Egmont, and Goethe's essays on Shakespeare will provide important analytical reference points, but our discussions will also draw on theoretical work on drama from Hegel to Juliane Vogel. This course provides a unique opportunity for the close study of dramatic structure.

Instructor(s): David Wellbery     Terms Offered: Spring
Equivalent Course(s): GRMN 36805

SCTH 45712. Judah Halevi's Kuzari. 100 Units.

Equivalent Course(s): ISLM 45712, RLST 25903, HIJD 45712, FNDL 25903

SCTH 49702. Reading Descartes's Meditationes de prima Philosophia. 100 Units.

Equivalent Course(s): PHIL 56715, DVPR 54712, THEO 54712

SCTH 49800. Reading Course: Non Soc Th. 100 Units.

Independent reading course for non-Social Thought graduate students, which are supervised by Social Thought faculty.

Terms Offered: Autumn Spring Summer Winter. Recurring every quarter
Prerequisite(s): Consent required.
Note(s): Open only to non-Social Thought Graduate students. Enter section from faculty list on web.

SCTH 49900. Reading Course: Soc Th. 100 Units.

Independent study/reading course for Social Thought students only.

Terms Offered: Autumn Spring Summer Winter. Recurring every quarter going forward
Prerequisite(s): Open to Social Thought graduate students only. Enter section from faculty list on the web.

SCTH 50058. Sem: Pragmatism and Religion. 100 Units.

The American philosopher William James is not only one of the founders of pragmatism, but also the inaugurator of a methodological revolution in the empirical study of religion, namely of an approach that deals with religion not so much as a set of doctrines or institutions, but as articulations of intense experiences of self-transcendence. Starting with James's classical work "The Varieties of Religious Experience" of 1902, this class will also deal with the contributions of other pragmatist thinkers to the study of religion - ranging from classical authors (Peirce, Royce, Dewey) to contemporary thinkers (Putnam, Rorty, John Smith) and my own writings in this area.

Equivalent Course(s): PHIL 53356, SOCI 50081, AASR 50081

SCTH 50087. Max Weber's Sociology of Religion. 100 Units.

Max Weber is perhaps the one undisputed classical figure in the discipline of sociology today. His reputation is to a large extent based on his historical and comparative studies of the "economic ethics" of the world religions and on the formulation of a systematic approach for the historical-sociological study of religion (in the relevant chapter of his "Economy and Society"). The seminar will start with a close reading of the religion chapter in "Economy and Society" and then continue with selections from his comparative studies. The focus of interest will not only be on Weber's theory, but also on the present state of research on the questions Weber was dealing with.

Instructor(s): H. Joas     Terms Offered: Not offered 2013-14
Equivalent Course(s): AASR 50087, SOCI 50087

SCTH 50200. Seminar: George Herbert Mead. 100 Units.

While George Herbert Mead's work has been a continual inspiration for sociology and social psychology in the last decades, it has not been appreciated in its full extension. The sociological reception has ignored large parts of Mead's philosophical writings; in philosophy Mead is counted among the most important pragmatists, but the revival of interest in pragmatist philosophy has hardly led to new interpretations of his work. This is particularly regrettable since there is considerable potential in his writings for contemporary questions in moral philosophy, the study of temporality, etc. The seminar starts with a close reading of Mead's best-known book Mind, Self, and Society. Since this book is based on notes taken in his classes, we will then continue with some of Mead's essays and selections from his other books. We should reserve some time for discussion about the relationship between Mead and contemporary social thought. Required reading: G. H. Mead, Mind, Self, and Society. University of Chicago Press 1934 (and many later editions); Hans Joas, G. H. Mead. A Contemporary Re-examination of his Thought. MIT Press 1985 and 1997 (second edition).

Instructor(s): H. Joas     Terms Offered: Not offered 2013-14
Equivalent Course(s): SOCI 50022

SCTH 50201. New Narratives of Secularization and Sacralization. 100 Units.

Equivalent Course(s): AASR 50201, SOCI 50101

SCTH 50204. Destruction of Images, Books & Artifacts in Europe and S. Asia. 100 Units.

The course offers a comparative perspective on European and South Asian iconoclasm. In the European tradition, iconoclasm was predominantly aimed at images, whereas in South Asian traditions it was also enacted upon books and buildings. The combination of these traditions will allow us to extend the usual understanding of iconoclasm as the destruction of images to a broader phenomenon of destruction of cultural artifacts and help question the theories of image as they have been independently developed in Europe and South Asia, and occasionally in conversation with one another. We will ask how and why, in the context of particular political imaginaries and material cultures, were certain objects singled out for iconoclasm? Also, who was considered to be entitled or authorized to commit their destruction? Through a choice of concrete examples of iconoclasm, we will query how religious and political motivations are defined, redefined, and intertwined in each particular case. We will approach the iconoclastic events in Europe and South Asia through the lenses of philology, history, and material culture. Class discussions will incorporate not only textual materials, but also the close collaborative study of images, objects, and film. Case studies will make use of objects in the Art Institute of Chicago and Special Collections at the University Library.

Equivalent Course(s): ARTH 40204, SALC 50204, HREL 50204, CMLT 50204, CDIN 50204, RLVC 50204

SCTH 50211. Between Theology and Sociology: Ernest Troeltsch, H. Richard Niebuhr, Paul Tillich. 100 Units.

In the history of the scientific study of religion we find intense processes of mutual exchange between sociology and theology. They go far beyond a mere use of the other discipline as a source of information about society or religion. This course deals with three of the most important figures in this intellectual history: Ernest Troeltsch, whose epochal achievements have become overshadowed by the writings of his friend and rival Max Weber; H. Richard Niebuhr, the often neglected younger brother of the famous Reinhold, who, after having written a dissertation on Troeltsch, developed his crucial contributions on American religion and the tensions between "Christ and Culture"; and Paul Tillich who connected German and American intellectual traditions and became one of the most influential theologians ever including his role as inspiration for the lifework of the sociologist Robert Bellah.

Instructor(s): Hans Joas     Terms Offered: Autumn. Course taught the first five weeks of the quarter - autumn 2018, twice a week.
Prerequisite(s): Graduate seminar - grads only
Equivalent Course(s): SOCI 50107, THEO 50211

SCTH 50212. Expressivism/Historicism/Hermeneutics. 100 Units.

Since the second half of the 18th Century and in opposition to utilitarian or moral forms of rationalism mostly German thinkers developed an understanding a human action as expression (names "expressivism" by Charles Taylor). This became the basis both for a specific understanding of language, texts, and symbols in general ("hermeneutics") and of human history ("historicism"). In this class, crucial texts from this tradition will be read and discussed: from Herder, Kleist, and Schleiermacher via Dilthey and Troeltsch to Gadamer and the present.

Instructor(s): Hans Joas     Terms Offered: Autumn. This course will be taught Autumn 2018 during the first five weeks of the quarter.
Equivalent Course(s): SOCI 50113

SCTH 50400. Logic, Truth, and Pictures. 100 Units.

The course aims at the logic of pictures, but because it is controversial whether such a topic exists, or should exist at all (some arguing that pictures are alogical, others that they require a logic sui generis), the course will be less a primer in "visual logic" or "logic of artifacts" than a preliminary investigation of what sets pictures apart from and how they are like other modes of thinking. Resemblance, reference, and fiction will be recurring topics; we begin with questions about the nature and peculiarity of pictures and move on to the prospects of arguing about and through pictures, concluding with the questions of their relation to truth. We will actually look at pictures besides talking about them. We will also ask what kind of objects beside conventional two-dimensional images and sculptures might usefully be called pictures. Reading will include classics (Plato, Gombrich), as well as some of the instructor's own work in progress, based on the ideas of Gottlob Frege.

Equivalent Course(s): ARTH 50400

SCTH 50601. Hegel's Science of Logic. 100 Units.

Hegel's chief theoretical work is called The Science of Logic. An abridged version is the first part of the various versions of his Encyclopedia of the Philosophical Sciences. We shall read and discuss representative passages from both versions, and attempt to understand Hegel's theory of concepts, judgment, and inference, and the place or role of such an account in his overall philosophical position. Several contemporary interpretations of these issues will also be considered. (V)

Instructor(s): R. Pippin     Terms Offered: Winter
Prerequisite(s): Prior work in Kant's theoretical philosophy is a prerequisite.
Equivalent Course(s): PHIL 50601

SCTH 50606. Hegel on Logic as Metaphysics. 100 Units.

This course will be an introduction (that is, with no prior knowledge of Hegel presupposed) to what Hegel means by a "science of logic," and why he claims that such a logic should "now" (that is, after Kant), be considered a metaphysics. We will read the "Introduction" and the "Preliminary Conception" in the Encyclopedia version of the Logic (§1-83), the opening passages of the The Science of Logic, and shall conclude with Hegel's discussion of "Life" and "Absolute Idealism" at the end of that Logic.

Equivalent Course(s): PHIL 50605

SCTH 51114. Acting and Thinking. 100 Units.

An action, according to Aristotle, can be a logical conclusion of thinking. We shall try to understand this claim by reading book 7 of Nicomachean Ethics (we shall discuss Aristotle on practical syllogism, the weakness of the will, the difference between practical and theoretical). We shall proceed to consider the place of these ideas in Kant's First and Second Critique. We shall look at commentaries on the relevant texts by E. Anscombe, J. Dancy, S. Engstrom, J. McDowell, A.W. Price, S. Rodl, and others.

Instructor(s): I. Kimhi
Equivalent Course(s): PHIL 51303

SCTH 51302. The Formation of the Modern Concept of History. 100 Units.

Equivalent Course(s): CMLT 42916, CLAS 48916, HIST 52805, PHIL 53102

SCTH 51401. Spinoza's Psychological Politics. 100 Units.

Spinoza's philosophy is classical in conception, in that it aims to show us how to live wisely. But his ethical interpretation of wisdom is shaped by a psychological account of human affect and a firm sense of the empowering role of politics. To live wisely we have to understand our affects and use them to create co-operative ways of life. At the same time, we have to take account of the ways in which our affects are shaped by political circumstances and ideals. This seminar will examine Spinoza's account of the shifting relations between these variables. Drawing on several of his writings (Ethics, Theologico-Political Treatise, Political Treatise, Correspondence) we shall examine his central conceptions of affect, imagination, understanding, power and politics. Our discussions will also address a sequence of questions. What constructive and destructive roles does imagination play in political life? How is social co-operation related to understanding? How far can Spinoza's conception of imagination help us to develop a compelling theory of ideology? Is politics, as Spinoza conceives it, fundamentally agonistic? What part does politics play in the blessed life envisioned at the end of the Ethics? What makes this way of life more empowering than any other? S. James

Equivalent Course(s): PHIL 57201

SCTH 51411. Freedom and Love in Psychoanalysis (and Life) 100 Units.

This seminar will take up the idea -- developed after Freud, but influenced by him -- that freedom and love are fundamental values in psychoanalysis. And they are fundamental values of psychoanalysis because they are constitutive of flourishing human life. We shall read carefully articles by Hans Loewald, Paul Gray and Heinz Kohut (as well as articles by Lear and Levenson) that try to show how freedom and love show up in the details of human life, often hidden as such, and how psychoanalytic treatment facilitates their development. We shall concentrate on theory and technique: giving clinical vignettes that give concrete realization to these ideals. Students should have previous acquaintance with the writings of Freud as well as Plato's Symposium. The seminar is open to graduate students in Philosophy and Social Thought as well as to undergraduate majors in Philosophy and Fundamentals. All others require permission of the instructors.

Instructor(s): J. Lear and Clinical Prof. L. Levenson (Yale), Visiting Kohut Professor in the Committee on Social Thought.     Terms Offered: Spring
Equivalent Course(s): PHIL 51411

SCTH 51414. Monotheism and its Discontents. 100 Units.

This course will study in the same framework some of the most radical heretics among Jews, Christians, and Muslims across the centuries, from antiquity to the twentieth century: dualists, deniers of prophecy, philosophical deists and atheists. The main purpose of this exercise is to detect similar patterns of rejection of the Abrahamic God, and to search for similarities and differences between such patterns and atheistic trends in other cultures, such as ancient Greece. The study of the different ways in which monotheism was rejected in history might help us identify more precisely core elements of the Abrahamic religions.

Equivalent Course(s): HIJD 51414, ISLM 51414

SCTH 51720. Plato and Aristotle on Craft and Wisdom. 100 Units.

Plato and Aristotle both made extensive appeal to craft knowledge as a model for theorizing practical and political wisdom. In this seminar we will examine their conceptions of craft and its relation to wisdom. Readings will likely come from Plato's Ion, Gorgias, Republic, and Statesman and Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics and Metaphysics. (IV)

Instructor(s): G. Richardson-Lear     Terms Offered: Autumn
Equivalent Course(s): PHIL 51715

SCTH 53501. Special Topics in Philosophy of Mind: Imagination. 100 Units.

What is imagination, and what functions does our power of imagination have in our lives? The seminar will approach these general questions via more specific ones such as the following. What are the relations between imagining, perceiving, remembering, and dreaming? Does our capacity for imagination play a role in enabling us to perceive? Does imagining something involve forming a mental image or picture of that thing? If not, how should we conceive of the objects of imagination? What is the nature of our engagement with what we imagine, and how does this engagement explain our ability to feel emotions such as fear, pity, and sympathy for imaginary beings? What is the role of imagination or fantasy in structuring our understanding of ourselves and our relations to other persons? Is there such a thing as the virtuous state of the power of imagination? Readings will be drawn from various classic discussions of imagination - e.g., Aristotle, Hume, Kant, Freud, Wittgenstein, Sartre - and from some contemporary sources. (III)

Instructor(s): M. Boyle; J. Lear     Terms Offered: Autumn
Prerequisite(s): Graduate students in Philosophy & Social Thought only, except with permission of instructor.
Equivalent Course(s): PHIL 53501

SCTH 55001. Colloq: Christian Politics in Medieval & Early Modern Europe. 100 Units.

Is there such a thing as a Christian politics, or does all politics in this world take place-as Augustine put it-under the sign of Cain? If there is a this-worldly Christian politics, what should it look like? What are its ends? Where are its borders? Who is sovereign within those borders, and what are the limits of that sovereignty? These and similar questions were asked by the earliest Christian communities and continue to be asked today. This course will focus on how they were answered in the five hundred years stretching from the Investiture Controversy and the emergence of "Christendom" in the late eleventh and twelfth centuries, continuing with the reintroduction of Aristotelian political theory in Latin Europe, and concluding with Luther and Calvin's reformation of the Christian polity in the sixteenth century.

Equivalent Course(s): HIST 55001, HCHR 46500

SCTH 55391. Plato on Beauty and Truth. 100 Units.

Plato thinks that beautiful speech is truthful and that truthful speech is, in some way, beautiful. Why does he think this and why does he think it important? Readings will include portions of the Republic, Sophist, and Phaedrus so as to understand the beauty of philosophical dialectic by contrast with the false beauties of (some) poetry and rhetoric. (IV)

Instructor(s): G. Lear     Terms Offered: Autumn
Equivalent Course(s): PHIL 55391, PHIL 45391

SCTH 55392. Aristotle’s Politics. 100 Units.

A close reading of this important work of ethical and political theory. Among the topics we will discuss: the relation between the individual and the political community; the relation between private associations and the public, political community; civic virtue; the role of the political community in moral development; slaves and other marginal members of the political community; and the possibility of virtue and happiness in degenerate regimes. (IV)

Instructor(s): G. Lear     Terms Offered: Spring
Equivalent Course(s): PHIL 55911

SCTH 55510. Mourning and Melancholia. 100 Units.

What is it to live well -- or poorly -- with death? Why is mourning thought of as psychic health? This seminar will read closely Freud's classic papers, "Mourning and Melancholia" and "On Transience". We shall also read other Freudian texts on death, murder and loss -- such as Totem and Taboo, Group Psychology and the Analysis of the Ego -- and consider how all these phenomena contribute to the development of the human mind. We shall read other psychoanalysts such as Hans Loewald on separation and mourning. And we shall read other thinkers such as Heidegger on being-towards-death, Rilke on transience, Cora Diamond on loss and other authors.

Instructor(s): J. Lear     Terms Offered: Winter
Prerequisite(s): Permission of instructor required. This will be a small, active seminar; enrollment is limited. Please email jlear@uchicago.edu before the first meeting if you have an interest in participating.
Equivalent Course(s): PHIL 55511

SCTH 55603. Being and Creation. 100 Units.

The distinction between essence and existence was introduced as part of metaphysical doctrine of creation in Islamic theology. This doctrine cannot be found among the ancient philosophers but became central to the Scholastics. In the seminar we shall read works by Avicenna, Averroes, and Thomas Aquinas. We shall compare Descartes' and Spinoza's receptions of the creation doctrine. I will propose that central concepts of contemporary philosophy such states of affairs or facts and notions of the mind and of the world that go with them can be traced to the doctrine of creation.

Instructor(s): I. Kimhi     Terms Offered: Autumn
Equivalent Course(s): PHIL 51114

SCTH 55604. Metaphysics: Substance, Subject, Freedom. 100 Units.

A graduate seminar devoted to the dual notions of 'substance' and 'subject' which are associated respectively with the ideas of nature and of freedom. We shall look at some of the transformations that the concept of 'ousia' undergoes through the history of philosophy from Aristotle to Kant and German idealism.

Equivalent Course(s): PHIL 55604

SCTH 55605. The Life and Acts of a Being that Says "I" 100 Units.

The being we will study in this course is a subject of thinking/judging and therefore in a sense, all things (Aristotle, De Anima), at the same time she is a determinable substance whose determinations include moods, sensations, feelings, intentions, actions. We shall explore the apparent tension between these two descriptions of our being - as a subject-being and as a substance-being - and search for an understanding that resolves it. Readings include sections from: Aristotle, Kant, Hegel. Sartre, Heidegger, Wittgenstein.

Equivalent Course(s): PHIL 55605

SCTH 55606. The Concept of Anxiety. 100 Units.

Anxiety is discussed in modern philosophy as a mood or feeling which reveals 'nothing'. The class will be devoted to the modern philosophical discourse on "anxiety" and "nothing". Among the texts that we shall study are: Kierkegaard's 'The concept of Anxiety', Heidegger's 'Introduction to Metaphysics', and Sartre's 'Being and Nothingness'. We shall also compare the philosophical concern with anxiety/nothing with the discussion of anxiety in psychoanalysis, especially in Lacan's Seminar 'Anxiety' i.e., seminar 10.

Instructor(s): I. Kimhi     Terms Offered: Spring
Equivalent Course(s): PHIL 55606

SCTH 59900. Dissertation Research: Soc Th. 100 Units.

Dissertation research.

Terms Offered: Autumn Spring Summer Winter. Recurring every quarter going forward
Prerequisite(s): Admission to Candidacy or Consent of Instructor. Enter section from faculty list on the web.

SCTH 70000. Advanced Study: Social Thought. 300.00 Units.

Advanced Study: Social Thought