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The John U. Nef Committee on Social Thought

Department Website:


  • Gabriel Richardson Lear


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


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

About the Committee

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.

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.  For additional information about the Social Thought program, please contact

About the Program

Please note that the most up-to-date information about the Social Thought PhD program is always available on the website.  In summary, 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, the student will present a public lecture on an aspect of their research of general interest to the scholarly community.

In order to graduate, students are also required to complete the departmental teaching requirement, the details of which are worked out between students and their faculty mentors.  For the most current information on teaching requirements, please refer to the department’s program pages.


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?   How has your education to date prepared you?   If possible, include your intentions for the Fundamentals requirement, further language study, and dissertation research.  In addition, you should include a sample of no more than 5,000 words, excluding footnotes or bibliography, of your best academic work preferably relevant to the kind of work you propose to do at the Committee.  You may also include a short sample of fiction or poetry.  Should we consider the evidence submitted to be insufficient, we may ask you to supplement.

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:  Questions pertaining to the admissions process, financial aid, and/or your individual application should be directed to or (773) 702-8415.

Applicants may be required to take the Graduate Record Examination, if required by the Social Sciences Division or the program, in that year.  International applicants must meet English language requirements set by the school, also outlined in the application for that year.  The requirements can be met through a waiver, the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System.  Refer to the SSD Application Materials instructions for details. (Added link)

Prospective applicants may also contact the Social Thought Student Assistant with questions about the program and/or for assistance coordinating a visit:


Refer to course pages above for an historical list of courses taught by Committee faculty.  For the most recent and detailed courses schedules and descriptions for the current academic year, please visit Social Thought Current Courses.

Recent Dissertations

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:

  • An Ethics of Transition through Translation: Germany and China, 1898-1933
  • Nietzsche's Argument for the Philosophical Life: An Interpretation of Beyond Good and Evil
  • 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
  • Paul Claudel's "Cinq Grandes Odes:" A Translation and Commentary
  • Political Freedom Between Arendt and Foucault
  • Technocratic Evolution: Experimental Naturalism and American Biopolitics around 1900
  • Kierkegaard on Decision and Married Love

Social Thought Courses

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.

Terms Offered: Not offered in 21-22.
Equivalent Course(s): PHIL 27202, PHIL 37202

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.

Instructor(s): Lorraine Daston     Terms Offered: Not offered 21-22.
Equivalent Course(s): PHIL 20925, HIST 29517, HIST 39517, KNOW 40303, CHSS 30925, PHIL 30925, CLAS 37316

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.

Terms Offered: Not offered in 21-22.
Prerequisite(s): Lorraine Daston
Equivalent Course(s): SALC 30927, KNOW 31415, CHSS 30927, HREL 30927

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: Not offered in 21-22.
Prerequisite(s): Permission of instructor.
Equivalent Course(s): CHSS 30928, HIST 45002, KNOW 30928

SCTH 30929. The Strange World of Francis Bacon. 100 Units.

Francis Bacon (1561-1626) was a statesman, natural philosopher, essayist, and one of the most original thinkers of a spectacularly original age. Hailed as a visionary of modern science, reviled for his politics, praised for his prose style, admired for his legal reasoning, and skewered as a naïve empiricist, Bacon eludes modern categories. This seminar will look at his thought in the round. Texts include The Great Instauration, the New Organon, the Essays, and New Atlantis.

Instructor(s): Lorraine Daston     Terms Offered: Spring. Spring 2021. Not offered 2022.
Note(s): Instructor's consent required.
Equivalent Course(s): CHSS 30929, HIST 45003

SCTH 30961. The Values of Attention. 100 Units.

Attention confers value - aesthetic, moral, epistemic, and now monetary value - upon whatever it singles out from the stream of experience. This seminar explores the long history of the theories and practices of attention in philosophy, religion, science, psychology, and the arts. Guiding questions include what objects are deemed worthy of attention and why, extreme states of attention such as religious contemplation or scientific observation, the schooling of attention through practices such as reading and web-surfing, theories of how attention works, and pathologies of attention.

Instructor(s): Lorraine Daston     Terms Offered: TBD. Course is not being offered AY 21-22.
Prerequisite(s): Reading knowledge of at least one other language besides English; students who wish to enroll in the seminar should contact the instructor directly by email.
Note(s): Note: This course will be taught during the first 5 weeks of the quarter.
Equivalent Course(s): CHSS 30961, HIST 45004

SCTH 30962. Nature's Authority. 100 Units.

From ancient times to the present, nature's authority has been invoked by revolutionaries and reactionaries alike to justify social, political, and economic arrangements made by humans. Despite much trenchant philosophical criticism, nature seems to an irresistible resource in very human debates about power, work, sex, money, and much else. This seminar asks why this tradition has been so persistent and pervasive and where nature's authority comes from. Readings will emphasize primary sources, from Aristotle to contemporary environmentalists. This course will meet two times per week for 3 hours, during the 1st five weeks of the quarter, March 28 - April 27.

Terms Offered: Spring. Course will be taught Spring 2022
Note(s): Instructor consent required. Primarily aimed at graduate students, but also open to well-qualified undergraduates.
Equivalent Course(s): HIPS 20962, CHSS 30962, HIST 45005

SCTH 31210. The Iliad. 100 Units.

In this course we will read the ILIAD in translation, supplemented by selections from the ODYSSEY and other texts from the archaic period, including the Epic Cycle fragments and the Hesiodic CATALOGUE OF WOMEN. We will also make some turns toward recent Iliadic ventures in English: not least Christopher Logue's WAR MUSIC and Alice Oswald's MEMORIAL. "The poem of force" according to Simone Weil, the ILIAD is also the poem of marriage, homosociality/the "Mannerbund", and exchange. Among our concerns will be: the poetics of traditionality; the political economy of epic; the ILIAD's construction of social order; the uses of reciprocity; gender in the Homeric poems. Although no knowledge of Greek s required for this course, there will be assignment options for those who wish to do reading in Greek.

Instructor(s): Laura Slatkin     Terms Offered: Spring. Not offered 21-22.
Prerequisite(s): Requirements: Weekly readings; response paper for each class meeting; final paper.
Equivalent Course(s): CLAS 44300, FNDL 21214

SCTH 31221. Antigone. 100 Units.

Antigone: Heroine or harridan? Political dissident or family loyalist? Harbinger of the free subject or captive of archaic gender norms? Speaking truth to power or preserving traditional privilege? Sophocles' Antigone has been good to think with since its first production in the fifth century BCE. From ancient commentators through Hegel to contemporary gender theorists like Judith Butler, readers have grappled with what Butler calls "Antigone's Claim." The play's exploration of gender, kinship, citizenship, law, resistance to authority, family vs. the state, and religion (among other issues) has proved especially compelling for modern thought. We will supplement our reading of the play with modern commentary grounded in literary interpretation and cultural poetics, as well as philosophy and political theory. We will end by considering three modern re-imaginings of Antigone: Jean Anouilh's Antigone, Athol Fugard's The Island, and Tanya Barfield's Medallion. Although no knowledge of Greek is required for this course, there will be assignment options for those who wish to do reading in Greek. Requirements: weekly readings and posting on Canvas; class presentation; final paper.

Instructor(s): Laura Slatkin     Terms Offered: Winter
Note(s): NOTE: This course meets for the first 5 weeks of the quarter 1/10 - 2/11.
Equivalent Course(s): GREK 45808, CMLT 31221

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.

Instructor(s): Laura Slatkin     Terms Offered: Taught Spring 21.
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.

Instructor(s): Laura Slatkin     Terms Offered: Not offered in 21-22.
Equivalent Course(s): FNDL 21224, GREK 41217

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.

Instructor(s): Glenn Most     Terms Offered: Not offered in 21-22.
Equivalent Course(s): CLAS 31617

SCTH 31710. Machiavelli's Discourses on Livy. 100 Units.

This course is devoted to reading Machiavelli's Discourses on Livy supplemented by substantial selections from Livy's history of Rome. Themes include princes, peoples, and elites; republics and principalities; pagan and Christian religion and morality; war and empire; founding and reform; virtue, corruption, liberty, and fortune; ancient history and modern experience; reading and writing; and theory and practice.

Instructor(s): Nathan Tarcov     Terms Offered: Winter
Prerequisite(s): Familiarity with Machiavelli's, Prince.
Equivalent Course(s): PLSC 32100, FNDL 29300, PLSC 20800

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: 2018
Prerequisite(s): Open to undergrads by consent.
Equivalent Course(s): PLSC 31716, FNDL 21718

SCTH 31719. Xenophon's Education of Cyrus. 100 Units.

This seminar is intended as an introductory reading of one of the classic treatments of political leadership, Xenophon's The Education of Cyrus. Themes will include the qualities and motives of a successful leader or ruler, especially in acquiring and expanding rule, relations between rulers and ruled, Xenophon's portrayals of Cyrus and other characters in the book, the relation between political and military leadership and more broadly between politics and war, the tension between empire and freedom, Cyrus's bi-cultural education and multinational rule, the roles of morality, religion, and love in politics, and differences between constitutional or legitimate and tyrannical or despotic rule. We will consider Xenophon's art of writing and the literary character of the book. Open to undergraduates with instructor consent.

Instructor(s): Nathan Tarcov     Terms Offered: Autumn
Prerequisite(s): Open to undergraduates with instructor consent.
Equivalent Course(s): FNDL 25103, PLSC 31719

SCTH 31724. Virtues of Citizenship. 100 Units.

What are the qualities of character that enable us to be valuable members of our political communities, the institutions that employ us, and any other groups of which we are a part? Do the right answers to these questions depend on where you are situated in the community or on the form of political constitution in question? Do they harmonize with each other? And are these the same as the qualities that make us morally good human beings? These are questions that the Ancient Greek philosophers thought hard about and we will take the works of those thinkers as our starting point and constant companions. But we will consider some moderns as well, and our goal will be to enrich our reflection about the kinds of people we ourselves would like to be. Virtues we may discuss include: civic friendship, justice, forthrightness in public speech (parrhesia), courage, and (for lack of a better term) effectiveness. (A)

Instructor(s): G. Richardson Lear     Terms Offered: Spring
Equivalent Course(s): PHIL 21724, PHIL 31724

SCTH 31931. Plato's Representation of Socrates. 100 Units.

This course is intended for students who have already read a fair amount of Plato (usually in English), and are still wondering what to make of it. Readings will include the 7th Letter and particular dialogues to be chosen in consultation with the class as we go along. Topics will include the relevant 4th c. context, also the representation of 5th c. society, also Plato's biography, the Academy, Plato's competitors, the origins and development of the dialogue form, others which may turn up in discussion. The Bollingen Complete Works of Plato has been ordered through the Seminary Coop.

Instructor(s): James Redfield     Terms Offered: Not offered 21-22.
Equivalent Course(s): CLAS 31919

SCTH 31932. Social and Political Conflict in Classical Greece. 100 Units.

The course will focus on five topics: The Athenian Empire, The Revolt of Mytilene, Revolutions at Athens, The Fall of Dionysius the Younger at Syracuse, and Revolution at Sparta. Required readings will be from primary sources: selections (read in English) from Thucydides, Xenophon, Lysias, Aristotle and Plutarch.

Instructor(s): James Redfield     Terms Offered: Autumn. Course will be taught Autumn 2021
Note(s): Open to undergrads with Instructor consent.

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.

Instructor(s): Andrei Pop     Terms Offered: Not offered 21-22.

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
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

SCTH 33819. Narratology of Tears: Goethe, Sterne, and the Sentimental Novel. 100 Units.

This seminar will, with a certain intensity of focus, examine two masterpieces of the "sentimental" mode: Laurence Sterne's A Sentimental Journey Through France and Italy (1768) and Goethe's Die Leiden des jungen Werther (1774). Since these novels are both generically self-reflective and, each in its own way, boldly experimental, they are well-suited for an analysis oriented toward the theory of narrative. Comparisons will be drawn to passages in Samuel Richardson's Clarissa, or, The History of a Young Lady (1747-8) and Rousseau's Julie, ou La nouvelle Heloise (1761). We will also take a forward look at Pierre Choderlos de Laclos' Liaisons dangereuses (1782), which may be considered the destruction of the form. In addition to fundamental contributions to narratology, works by Roland Barthes (Fragments of a Lover's Discourse), Albrecht Koschorke (Körperströme und Schriftverkehr. Mediologie des 18. Jahrhunderts), and James Chandler (An Archeology of Sympathy. The Sentimental Mode in Literature and Cinema) will be important points of reference. As always, Schiller's Über naïve und sentimentalische Dichtung will prove indispensable.

Instructor(s): David Wellbery     Terms Offered: Autumn
Equivalent Course(s): CMLT 33819, GRMN 33819

SCTH 34401. Freud and Philosophy. 100 Units.


Equivalent Course(s): FNDL 22801, PHIL 25402, PHIL 35402

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 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.Please help - many questions.

Instructor(s): Andrei Pop
Equivalent Course(s): ARTH 25115, CLAS 35014, KNOW 35000, ARTH 35115, GRMN 25015, GRMN 35015

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.

Instructor(s): Andrei Pop
Equivalent Course(s): ARTH 35001, TAPS 35001

SCTH 35003. Symbolism between Universality and Solipsism. 100 Units.

Symbolism in Western European literature and visual arts is usually seen as a triumph of the psychological, the navel-gazing, in the words of James Ensor, the "Moi universel". But it is as much a dogged search for objective grounds of expression and intelligibility amidst a sea of subjectivity: from Van Gogh's letters and Mallarme's poems to the new logical symbolism of Frege and the stream of consciousness of William James, the epoch saw an unprecedented effort to rationalize the private, the incommunicable, experience itself. This is a broad revisionist look at a transitional but key era in intellectual history, featuring some new material from the instructor's own work in progress.

Instructor(s): Andrei Pop     Terms Offered: Not offered 21-22.
Equivalent Course(s): ARTH 35003, ARTH 25003

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
Equivalent Course(s): FNDL 25006

SCTH 35008. Changing Worlds: J.G. Ballard's Apocalyptic Quartet. 100 Units.

Between 1961 and 1966, the English novelist and short story writer J.G. Ballard produced four novels (THE WIND FROM NOWHERE, THE DROWNED WORLD, THE BURNING WORLD, and THE CRYSTAL WORLD) that depict, poetically and concretely, global changes to the earth and its human inhabitants, n particular their imaginations. The relation of these lyrical apocalypses to science fiction, visual art, ecology and the philosophy of time, as well as their awkward coordination into a cycle, will concern us. We will conclude the course by reading Anna Kavan's 1967 ICE, which in a way complements and completes Ballard's cycle.

Instructor(s): Andrei Pop
Equivalent Course(s): FNDL 25008, ENGL 35008

SCTH 35009. Platonic Aesthetics. 100 Units.

The anachronism of the course title constitutes our program: to what extent can Plato's thinking about artworks, images, poets in the polis, beauty, the visual world, the senses, subjectivity and criticism be viewed coherently as an aesthetic theory? Does his style and dramatic mode of writing interact significantly with these views? How have they been received, and to what extent are they right?

Instructor(s): Andrei Pop
Equivalent Course(s): CLAS 38020, FNDL 29005, ARTH 35009

SCTH 35012. Caricature. 100 Units.

Though usually traced to Renaissance experiments with drawing deformed heads, caricature as a mode of parody, humor and invective has various roots, in ancient comedy, ancient modern physiognomy and psychology, the literature and (pseudo)science of social types, and above all in the rise of a public sphere of newspaper readers and broadsheet buyers avid for the ridiculing of public figures, beloved or otherwise. We approach caricature broadly, considering its inverse relation with a neoclassical aesthetics of the ideal body, its theorization around historically significant moments like 1848 and 1939, its relation to technological developments like the newspaper comic and the animated cartoon, and most recently, the viral meme.

Instructor(s): Andrei Pop     Terms Offered: TBD. Will not be offered 21-22 or 22-23
Equivalent Course(s): ARTH 35012, MAAD 13012

SCTH 35706. The Different Senses of Being. 100 Units.

Aristotle states that "being is said in many ways," we shall seek to understand this statement and to study the history of its interpretations. Among the modern authors we shall discuss are Franz Brentano, Martin Heidegger, Ernst Tugendhat, Charles Kahn, Aryeh Kosman, G.E.L. Owen, Stephen Menn, David Charles.

Instructor(s): Irad Kimhi     Terms Offered: Autumn. Course scheduled for Autumn 2021
Prerequisite(s): Open to undergrads with instructor consent.
Equivalent Course(s): PHIL 35707

SCTH 35708. Wittgenstein: Early and Late. 100 Units.

The course is devoted to the unity and the disunity in the evolution of Wittgenstein's philosophy. We shall question the prevalent view that the later radically breaks with the earlier. In accord with Wittgenstein's own advice we shall study the PHILOSOPHICAL INVESTIGATIONS in light of the TRACTATUS, and the TRACTATUS from the perspective of the PHILOSOPHICAL INVESTIGATIONS. We shall also look at some of Wittgenstein's writing from the thirties (e.g., The Big Typescript).

Instructor(s): Irad Kimhi
Equivalent Course(s): PHIL 35708

SCTH 35709. Anxiety and Nothingness. 100 Units.

Anxiety is discussed in modern philosophy as a mood which by contrast to fear is not directed to an object and thus reveals the "nothing" which dominates our engagement with beings. 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): Irad Kimhi
Equivalent Course(s): PHIL 35709

SCTH 35710. The Essence of Human Freedom. 100 Units.

The essence of freedom, Heidegger claims, is originally not connected with the will or even with the causality of human willing. Human freedom, therefore, cannot be construed as autonomy. We shall read Heidegger's seminar "The Essence of Human Freedom" and his essay "On the Essence of Ground" in which these ideas are developed.

Instructor(s): I. Kimhi     Terms Offered: Winter. Scheduled for Winter 2022.
Prerequisite(s): Open to undergraduates with instructor consent.
Equivalent Course(s): PHIL 35710

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
Equivalent Course(s): CMLT 35902, ENGL 35902, CLAS 44512

SCTH 35991. Sophocles, The Women of Trachis. 100 Units.

A close literary and philological analysis of one of the most remarkable and perplexing of all Greek tragedies. While this has traditionally been one of the most neglected of Sophocles' tragedies, it is a drama of extraordinary force and beauty and the issues that it explores - husband and wife, parents and child, sexual violence, myth and temporality, divinity and humanity, suffering and transcendence - are ones that are both of permanent interest and of particular relevance to our present concerns. The poetic text, in its many dimensions, will offer more than adequate material for classroom analysis and discussion, but some attention will also be directed to the reception of this play.

Instructor(s): Glenn Most     Terms Offered: Not offered in 21-22.
Prerequisite(s): PQ: A reading knowledge of ancient Greek or the consent of the instructor; open to graduate students and, with the consent of the instructor, to undergraduates.
Equivalent Course(s): GREK 41220, GNSE 35991

SCTH 35992. Aristophanes, The Frogs. 100 Units.

Aristophanes' comedy The Frogs is perhaps the most profound - and it is certainly by far the funniest - meditation on the meaning and significance of tragedy to have reached us from ancient Greece. Staged shortly after the deaths of Sophocles and Euripides, and during the last years before the catastrophic conclusion of the Peloponnesian War, Aristophanes' brilliantly comic play asks what kinds of tragedy are most and least beneficial to the city and indeed whether the city can survive at all without tragedy. His answer is of continuing interest for our own reflections on the question of the survival of our studies, and of our society, in today's world.

Instructor(s): Glenn Most     Terms Offered: Spring
Prerequisite(s): PQ: Knowledge of Ancient Greek or consent of instructor. Open to undergraduates with instructor consent.
Equivalent Course(s): GREK 24721, GREK 44721

SCTH 35993. The Sublime. 100 Units.

The sublime has traditionally been thought to have had a merely marginal place in ancient Greek and Latin aesthetics and literary theory; but some scholars have recently argued that it was instead more central, and it is difficult not to apply this category to many ancient literary works. However the explicit category of the sublime did not become central to European aesthetics until the 17th century and then continued until the 19th century to play a central role in discussions not only of art and literature, but also of religion, politics, and other fields. By the middle of the 19th century the wave of interest in the sublime seems to have subsided, but in the past forty years this concept has returned to play an important role in aesthetic theories. The seminar will consider the odd history of the sublime, examining central texts from ancient (Longinus), early modern (Boileau), and modern aesthetics (certainly Burke, Kant, Schiller, and Hegel; perhaps also, depending on students' interest and preparation, Tieck, Schlegel, Schelling, Solger, and Jean Paul) as well as some more recent discussions (again depending on student preferences, Nietzsche, Lyotard, Adorno, Zizek). It will also ask whether the concept of the sublime can still play an important role today, or, if not, then what has taken its place. We will deal primarily with theories of the sublime but also to some extent with works of art. Open to undergraduates with consent.

Instructor(s): Glenn Most     Terms Offered: Spring
Equivalent Course(s): CLAS 35521, CLCV 25521, CMLT 35993

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.

Instructor(s): Rosanna Warren     Terms Offered: Autumn
Equivalent Course(s): ENGL 36222, ENGL 26223

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. Not offered in 21-22.

SCTH 36012. 19th Century French Poetry in Translation: Tradition and Revolution. 100 Units.

A study of modern French lyric poetry: Tradition and Revolution, Poetry and Politics, the seedbed of Modernism. Desbordes-Valmore, Baudelaire, Mallarme, Verlaine, Rimbaud, Apollinaire. Texts will be read in English with reference to the French originals. Close reading, references to poetry in English, and focus on problems in translation. Students with French should read the poems in the original. Class discussion to be conducted in English; critical essays to be written in English. An extra weekly session will be scheduled for discussion in French, for French-speakers.

Instructor(s): Rosanna Warren
Equivalent Course(s): FREN 36019, SCTH 26012, FREN 26019, CMLT 36012, ENGL 36012

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.

Instructor(s): Rosanna Warren     Terms Offered: Spring. Course will be taught spring 2021
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): CMLT 36015, ENGL 43250

SCTH 36016. Robert Frost and Wallace Stevens. 100 Units.

Robert Frost and Wallace Stevens, two giants of American poetry in the 20th century, both spiritual sons of Emerson, opened divergent paths for the art and competed fiercely with each other. By studying them side by side, we will explore the modern struggle to take account of experience, reality, and imagination in language. Stevens: "Your trouble, Robert, is that you write poems about - things." Frost: "Your trouble, Wallace, is that you write poems about - bric a brac." (Exchange in 1940).

Instructor(s): Rosanna Warren     Terms Offered: Autumn. Course to be taught autumn 2019
Prerequisite(s): Open to graduates and undergraduates.
Equivalent Course(s): FNDL 26017

SCTH 36017. Literary Biography. 100 Units.

Literary Biography: A Workshop. We will study four major literary biographies: Elizabeth Gaskell's The Life of Charlotte Brontë (1857), Lytton Strachey's Eminent Victorians (1918), Walter Jackson Bate's John Keats (1964), and Hermione Lee's Virginia Woolf (1996). While analyzing the arts of literary biography, students will compose a biographical sketch of their own (20 pages), using primary materials from the Special Collections in the Regenstein Library and elsewhere, as appropriate. The course combines literary criticism and creative writing.

Instructor(s): Rosanna Warren     Terms Offered: Autumn. Course will be taught Autumn 2021.
Equivalent Course(s): ENGL 26017, ENGL 36077

SCTH 36018. Poetry and Trauma: Hayden, Lowell, Plath. 100 Units.

We will read the poems of three 20th century American poets, Robert Hayden, Robert Lowell, and Sylvia Plath, with an eye to the historical and psychological wounds suffered by the poets and the transformation of wounds into art. By close attention to both text and context, we will try to feel our way into the mysteries of poetic creation and human resilience.

Instructor(s): Rosanna Warren     Terms Offered: Winter
Equivalent Course(s): ENGL 26018, ENGL 36018

SCTH 36065. Classification as World-Making. 100 Units.

To classify," write Geoffrey Bowker and Susan Star, "is human." There can be no doubt that classification sits at the heart of almost any form of knowledge production-arguably even thought itself. But what diversity hides under such atruism? This course will explore a set of exemplary fields in order to track genealogies and discontinuities in classificatory. We will begin with two philosophers, Aristotle and Kant, who stand as respective avatars of ancient and modern categorical thought. We will then proceed to sites where classification has flourished: the biological sciences which sought to capture the diversity of the living world; the social sciences-notably anthropology-which challenged the universality of Western cultural categories; and statistics or data science, which seek to understand numerical aggregates as categories. We will conclude by reflecting on the present explosion of digital techniques of classification, from social media algorithms to artificial intelligence, which structure more and more of our lives, often without human oversight. In this sense, classification is perhaps nonhuman as well. Moving between history, epistemology, and practice, this course will furnish students with a rich set of classificatory ideas that they can bring to their own research and disciplinary communities. Above all, it will ask students to account for both the construction and effects of categories, which are too often taken to be a neutral substrate of knowledge or conve

Instructor(s): Alexander Campolo     Terms Offered: Spring
Equivalent Course(s): SOCI 30331, KNOW 36065, DIGS 20019, DIGS 30019, CHSS 36065, HIPS 26065

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
Prerequisite(s): Open to advanced undergraduates.
Equivalent Course(s): ENGL 26710, 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, CMLT 38600, REMS 37000, ARTH 48301

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 37101. Love in Late Medieval Spanish Letters: Libra de Buen Amor and Celestina. 100 Units.


Equivalent Course(s): REMS 38100, FNDL 27905, SPAN 38100, SPAN 28100

SCTH 37106. Race and Religion: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. 100 Units.

What does race have to do with religion? This course will explore how racial concepts - ideas about the transmission of characteristics through blood and lineage - emerged in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, often in response to episodes of large-scale conversion. The word "race" was itself first applied to humans in response to one of these episodes: the mass conversions of Jews and Muslims to Christianity in late medieval Spain. We will study this and other episodes, beginning with early Christianity and early Islam, and concluding with conversions to Islam in South Asia, and of enslaved Africans and native peoples to Christianity in the New World, in order to ask how these episodes of conversion influenced the mapping of culture (religion) onto reproduction (nature, biology). Did they effect the racialization of religion? and what influence did these mappings have on racial concepts in modernity?

Instructor(s): David Nirenberg     Terms Offered: Winter. Course to be taught Winter 2020
Prerequisite(s): Undergrads by consent of instructor.
Equivalent Course(s): HIJD 37106, HCHR 37106, ISLM 37106, HIST 42102

SCTH 37312. Rousseau and the Profession of Faith of the Savoyard Vicar. 100 Units.


Equivalent Course(s): PHIL 51909, FNDL 27312, PLSC 37312

SCTH 37313. Leo Strauss: Thoughts on Machiavelli. 100 Units.


Equivalent Course(s): PHIL 37313, PLSC 37313, FNDL 27313

SCTH 37314. The Right of Politics and the Knowledge of the Philosopher: Rousseau's On the Social Contract. 100 Units.


Equivalent Course(s): FNDL 27907, PLSC 37314, PHIL 37314

SCTH 37315. Friedrich Nietzsche's: The Antichrist or What is a Philosopher? 100 Units.


Equivalent Course(s): FNDL 27315, GRMN 27313, GRMN 37313, PHIL 34711, PLSC 37315

SCTH 37316. Friedrich Nietzsche's Thus Spoke Zarathustra. 100 Units.


Equivalent Course(s): GRMN 37314, PHIL 34716, PLSC 37316, PHIL 24716, FNDL 27316

SCTH 37317. Nietzsche's Thus Spoke Zarathustra - Books III and IV. 100 Units.


Equivalent Course(s): PHIL 24717, PLSC 37317, GRMN 37315, PHIL 34717, FNDL 27317

SCTH 37324. Philosophy and Comedy: Leo Strauss's "Socrates and Aristophanes" 100 Units.

Leo Strauss's Socrates and Aristophanes (1966) discusses not only the most important and most influential of all comedies, The Clouds, but also all the other comedies by Aristophanes that have come down to us. The book is the only writing of Strauss's that deals with the whole corpus of a philosopher or poet. And it is the most intense and most demanding interpretation of Aristophanes a philosopher has presented up to now. In Socrates and Aristophanes Strauss carries on a dialogue with Aristophanes on the wisdom of the poet, on the just and unjust speech, on philosophy and politics, on the diversity of human natures, and on an œuvre that asks the question: quid est deus? what is a god?

Instructor(s): Heinrich Meier     Terms Offered: Spring. Course will be taught Spring 2022.
Prerequisite(s): Open to undergraduates with instructor consent.
Note(s): The seminar will take place on Monday/Wednesday, 10:30 a.m. – 1:20 p.m.*, during the first five weeks of the term (March 28 – April 27, 2022).
Equivalent Course(s): PLSC 37324, CLAS 37521, PHIL 37324, FNDL 27003

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): PHIL 28210, HIPS 28101, PHIL 38209, FNDL 28210

SCTH 37522. Aristotle's Ethics. 100 Units.

The seminar will combine a careful reading of Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics with philosophical considerations of fundamental problems involved in being human discussed in the text: happiness, virtue, courage, friendship, decision, political and contemplative life. (III)

Instructor(s): Jonathan Lear     Terms Offered: Autumn
Prerequisite(s): Consent required for graduates and undergraduates.
Equivalent Course(s): PHIL 27522, PHIL 37522, FNDL 27522

SCTH 37621. Philosophical Aesthetics: Heidegger and Adorno. 100 Units.

Two major positions in German philosophical aesthetics of the 20th century will be considered in detail: 1) the ontological-hermeneutic theory advanced by Martin Heidegger; 2) the dialectical-critical theory developed by Theodor W. Adorno. Primary readings will be Heidegger's Origin of the Work of Art and selections from Adorno's Aesthetic Theory. In addition, selected shorter pieces by the two authors will be studied, with a special emphasis on their work on lyric poetry. The seminar will also consider contributions by Georg Simmel, Walter Benjamin, Helmut Plessner, Arnold Gehlen, Georg Lukács. The course seeks to develop an understanding of the conceptual foundation of each of the two philosophical positions. Particular topics to be considered: a) the nature of artistic presentation (Darstellung); b) the nature of artistic truth; c) the historical character of art; d) the political significance of art; e) the relation of art to philosophy.

Instructor(s): David Wellbery     Terms Offered: Spring
Note(s): Undergrads must receive consent.
Equivalent Course(s): CMLT 27621, CMLT 37621, GRMN 27621, SCTH 27621, GRMN 37621

SCTH 38003. Hegel's Phenomenology of Spirit. 100 Units.

Our goal in this course will be to read through and understand the most important chapters of Hegel's revolutionary book. Main topics will include Hegel's new conception of philosophy and philosophical methodology, his agreements and disagreements with Kant, the nature of self-consciousness and human mindedness in general, individuality and sociality, and the relation between philosophy and history. (V)

Instructor(s): Robert Pippin     Terms Offered: Winter
Prerequisite(s): Undergraduates should have some background in philosophy; a knowledge of Kant would be especially helpful.
Equivalent Course(s): PHIL 28202, FNDL 23410, PHIL 38202, CHSS 38003

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. (I)

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
Equivalent Course(s): FNDL 28006, PHIL 38006, PHIL 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): PHIL 20208, CMST 27205, PHIL 30208, 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): ARTH 35213, GRMN 25213, ARTH 25213, GRMN 35213

SCTH 38115. The Films of Robert Bresson: Contemplative Cinema and Poetic Thinking. 100 Units.

Bresson's films are known for their minimal and highly original style, the avoidance of any reliance on theatrical conventions, the use of nonprofessional actors ("models," he called them), unusual and "unnatural" editing techniques, distinctive pacing, and for its themes of grace, redemption, fate, moral severity, and several other philosophical and religious issues in the lives of the characters. This course will explore Bresson's innovations as aiming at a new form of contemplative cinema, one in which style is a matter of a kind of poetic thinking (as understood by Martin Heidegger), a reflective interrogation of philosophical issues that for which traditional philosophy is inadequate. We shall watch and discuss his films: Les dames du Bois de Boulogne (1945); The Diary of a Country Priest (1951); A Man Escaped (1956); Pickpocket (1959); Au hazard Balthasar (1966); Mouchette (;1967); Four Nights of a Dreamer (1971) and L'argent (1983). Readings will include, among others, Bresson's Notes on the Cinematograph and Bresson on Bresson; Paul Schrader, The Transcendental Style in Film, selected essays about particular films, and selections from Heidegger.

Instructor(s): R. Pippin     Terms Offered: Spring
Prerequisite(s): Consent required.
Equivalent Course(s): PHIL 28115, PHIL 38115, CMST 28115, CMST 38115

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): Robert 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): FREN 36103, FNDL 26100, FREN 26103

SCTH 38523. Goethe and Kafka. Criticism and Literary History. 100 Units.

This seminar will focus on two novels of unquestionable importance separated by just over a century: Goethe's Die Wahlverwandtschaften (Elective Affinities) of 1809 and Kafka's Der Prozess (The Trial), written in 1914-15, but not published until 1925. These works are notable not only for their mysterious depth and narrative complexity, but also for having attracted some of the intellectually most adventurous interpretations in the history of literary criticism. The seminar will consider examples of that criticism from Walter Benjamin's famous essay on Goethe's novel and his various pieces on Kafka to recent contributions by Friedrich Kittler, Tony Tanner, Roberto Calasso, and Pascale Casanova. Each work will be submitted to an intensive, detailed interpretation, with particular emphasis on the novelistic rendering of space and time, the relationship between knowledge and unknowingness, the treatment of sexuality, the forms of symbolization employed, and the processing of social energies. In this sense, the seminar is a case study in the poetics of the novel and major positions in the discussion of the novel (Lukács, Bakhtin, Pavel, Moretti, Mazzoni) will therefore provide important points of reference. Command of German is not required, although welcomed.

Instructor(s): David Wellbery     Terms Offered: Autumn
Equivalent Course(s): GRMN 38523

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 39119. Introduction to Medieval Political Philosophy. 100 Units.


Equivalent Course(s): PLSC 26302, FNDL 26302

SCTH 39123. Reading Sir Francis Bacon. 100 Units.


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

SCTH 39124. Reading Sir Francis Bacon-II. 100 Units.


Equivalent Course(s): FNDL 26707

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.

Instructor(s): Ralph Lerner     Terms Offered: Not offered 21-22.
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 & co-taught with Paul Rahe.
Prerequisite(s): This course will be co-taught with Paul Rahe.
Equivalent Course(s): FNDL 29131

SCTH 39132. Philosophical Fables: Bacon's New Atlantis & Descartes' Discourse On Method OD. 100 Units.

A philosophical and literary study of two works fundamental to understanding the character and development of modern life.

Instructor(s): Ralph Lerner and Stuart Warner     Terms Offered: Autumn. Course to be taught autumn 2019
Prerequisite(s): Open to undergrads
Equivalent Course(s): FNDL 29132

SCTH 39133. Benjamin Franklin and The Arts of Persuasion. 100 Units.

An examination of Franklin's lifelong attempts to persuade people to change their behavior without appearing to do so.

Instructor(s): Ralph Lerner     Terms Offered: Autumn. Course will be taught in Autumn 2020
Prerequisite(s): Open to undergrads.
Equivalent Course(s): FNDL 29133

SCTH 39134. Abraham Lincoln: The Politics of an Old Whig. 100 Units.

An examination of the principles and modes of argument that informed Lincoln's practice as a politician.

Instructor(s): Ralph Lerner     Terms Offered: Winter. This course will be taught winter 2021
Equivalent Course(s): FNDL 29134

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
Equivalent Course(s): FNDL 29601

SCTH 39821. Goethe's Faust: Myth and Modernity. 100 Units.

In this seminar we shall undertake an intensive study of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe's Faust, with close textual study of the entirety of Part I and Act 5 of Part II. We will begin by casting a brief look at the earliest versions of the Faust myth, the so-called Faust Chapbook of 1587 and Christopher Marlowe's Dr. Faustus composed 1589-92, premiered 1592), and we will have an eye on later versions such as those of Paul Valéry and Thomas Mann. Some consideration will be devoted to the question of modern "myth" and the Faust myth will be compared to that of Don Juan in particular. Our major task, however, will be to develop a close reading and interpretation of Goethe's text, which ranks as one of the supreme achievements of the European literary tradition. The interpretive issues at the center of our inquiry will include: a) the theory of (modern) tragedy; b) desire and subjectivity; c) Faust in relation to post-Kantian philosophy; d) the theme of time and the "moment." In addition to major works of scholarship, we shall touch on interpretations of the play by Schelling and Kierkegaard. Command of German will be helpful, but students may also refer to an English translation. (Recommended English version: Faust I & II, translated by Stuart Atkins, introduction by David E. Wellbery, Princeton Classics, 2014. Recommended German version: Faust I und II, hrsg. Albrecht Schöne, 2 vols. Text + commentary. Deutscher Klassiker Verlag 2017.)

Instructor(s): David Wellbery     Terms Offered: Winter
Equivalent Course(s): CMLT 39821, GRMN 39821

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.
Equivalent Course(s): HIST 49405

SCTH 40125. Histories of Liberalism. 100 Units.

What was liberalism? This question is today often posed in the past tense. A number of recent books take as their premise the claim that the liberal tradition is now in need of a eulogy, or a decent burial, or a dogged defense, or radical reconstruction. Its high tide seems, in any case, to have passed. In this course, we will read several of these contemporary retrospectives. Among the questions we shall consider are: what do we make of these competing accounts of the nature and development of liberalism? To what extent has being a "liberal" involved constructing for oneself a "liberal tradition"? How new is this sense of the crisis of liberalism? What value has the concept of liberalism for historians and political theorists?

Instructor(s): Joel Isaac     Terms Offered: Spring. Course will be taught spring 2020.
Prerequisite(s): Open to Upper-level Undergrads by consent only.
Equivalent Course(s): HIST 49407

SCTH 40126. Economic Theory and the Theory of the State. 100 Units.

Modern economics was built on the assumption that, in a perfectly competitive economy, the price system will allocate resources to their highest-valued uses. Yet, at the same moment that the neoclassical theory of competitive equilibrium took shape, it was recognized that benefits and costs of productive activity and of consumption were often not priced in the market. These 'external economies', as they came to be called, posed a profound challenge to the new economic theory. Economists came to ask how and why they emerged, and what could be done about them. Was the coercive power of the state necessary to force those who benefited from external economies to include them in their production or consumption functions? Or could common-law adjudication take care of the problem? The problem of externalities has now drawn economists into the study of law, interest groups, ideology, and the theory of the state. In this course, we will track the conceptual history of externalities from the writings of Henry Sidgwick and J.S. Mill to work of Mancur Olson and Douglass North.

Instructor(s): Joel Isaac     Terms Offered: Spring. Course will be taught spring 2021
Prerequisite(s): Open to Undergrads by consent of instructor

SCTH 40127. Max Weber's Economic Ethics. 100 Units.

In this course we will read Max Weber's key works on the origins of capitalism and the role of ethics in shaping economic behavior. Recent scholarship has transformed our image of Weber: he is no longer the 'founder' of the professional discipline of 'sociology,' nor the prophet of rationalization and the administered society. Rather, he was a practitioner of political economy whose main project, during the last two decades of his life, was to provide a systematic account of modern capitalism under the auspices of a new field of study he called 'social economics.' The key texts for this course are ECONOMY AND SOCIETY, THE PROTESTANT WORK ETHIC AND THE SPIRIT OF CAPITALISM, and the GENERAL ECONOMIC HISTORY. We will also review aspects of the recent scholarship on Weber.

Instructor(s): Joel Isaac     Terms Offered: TBD. Course may be taught 21-22, quarter TBD.
Prerequisite(s): By consent of instructor

SCTH 40128. Raison d'Etat and Modern Liberalism. 100 Units.

In this course we will examine the classical view of the contrast between raison d'etat and natural rights, as given canonical expression by Friedrich Meinecke, and then proceed to assess a series of works that have called into question this binary view of the making of modern political thought. Among the authors discussed are Leo Strauss, Reinhart Koselleck, Michel Foucault, and Albert Hirschman.

Terms Offered: Spring
Prerequisite(s): Instructor Consent required
Equivalent Course(s): HIST 39417

SCTH 40129. The Socialist Calculation Debate. 100 Units.

This course examines the so-called 'socialist calculation debate' and its legacy in economic thought. The debate began as a series of responses to the claim of Otto Neurath that socialist societies could abandon the price mechanism and embrace the economic principle of 'calculation in kind'. Critics such as Max Weber and Ludwig von Mises countered that with calculation in kind was impossible, and that rational allocation of resources required the use of market prices. A second round of the debate took place during the 1930s, this time involving Oskar Lange, Abba Lerner, and Friedrich Hayek. We will study the key contributions to the debate, while paying special attention to Neurath's now largely neglected theory of socialist planning. The course concludes with an examination of the climate crisis and the revival of the planning theories.

Instructor(s): Joel Isaac     Terms Offered: Autumn
Prerequisite(s): PQ: Some background in Econ and/or Social Theory
Note(s): Instructor consent required.
Equivalent Course(s): HIST 66801

SCTH 40130. John Rawls in Context. 100 Units.

This course examines the early thought of the moral and political philosopher John Rawls. We will trace the development of Rawls's thought from his senior honors thesis at Princeton to the publication of his seminal treatise A Theory of Justice in 1971. Course readings will combine primary sources with the now burgeoning historical literature on Rawls's life and thought.

Instructor(s): Joel Isaac     Terms Offered: Autumn. Scheduled for Autumn 2021
Prerequisite(s): PQ: Students will have taken some classes in political theory/philosophy
Equivalent Course(s): HIST 66901

SCTH 40204. A Proto-History of Race? Judaism, Christianity, and Islam in Spain and North Africa (1200-1600) 100 Units.

This course focuses on phenomena of mass conversion and the emergence of ideologies of lineage and purity of blood in the western Mediterranean, more specifically, the Iberian Peninsula and the Maghreb. The rivalry between Islam and Christianity (with Judaism a frequent go-between) in this region produced many distinctive cultural formations. Among those formations were ideas about the limits of conversion that may be compared to modern concepts of race. The word "race" was itself first applied to humans in Iberia during this period, to designate Christians descended from Muslims or Jews, and similar concepts emerged in Islamic North Africa. We will explore these ideas in the Christian Iberian kingdoms, with frequent excursions into Almoravid, Almohad, Marinid and Nasrid Islamic polities. Our goal will be to produce a Mediterranean archaeology of some of the concepts with which Christian and Muslim colonizers encountered the New World and sub-Saharan Africa in the sixteenth century.

Instructor(s): David Nirenberg     Terms Offered: Spring
Prerequisite(s): Spanish reading proficiency recommended, but not required.
Note(s): This course counts as a history graduate colloquium.
Equivalent Course(s): HIJD 40204, HIST 60904, HCHR 40204, ISLM 40204, CRES 40204, SPAN 40204

SCTH 40308. Political Theologies of Slavery and Freedom in the Atlantic World. 100 Units.

This seminar examines the interdisciplinary form of knowledge known as "political theology" in the context of Atlantic slavery. The course will trace two major developments. First, we will explore how Christian metaphysics facilitated colonialism and slavery, focusing on the emergence of race as a theological (rather than a biological) concept and on the self-fulfilling providentialism that structured fantasies of Euro-Christian world dominance. Second, we will explore how indigenous and African cosmologies and Christianities informed enslaved resistance and abolitionism. Our readings will range from works of political theology (Augustine, Calvin, Hobbes) to early American writings (Las Casas, Ligon, Jefferson) to Black Atlantic anti-slavery texts (Wheatley, Walker, Turner). We'll consider the explorer George Best's rewriting of the biblical Curse of Ham, Francis Bacon's claim that Europe's superior technology evidenced its Chosen status, and the ideology of "hereditary heathenism" that forestalled early efforts to convert slaves to Christianity. Likewise, we'll consider the role of obeah in the Haitian Revolution, the competing attitudes toward Christian slave revolt found in fiction by Douglass and Stowe, and the continued contestation of what W. E. B. Du Bois called "the new religion of whiteness." Secondary authors may include Charles Taylor, Talal Asad, Max Weber, Colin Kidd, Rebecca Goetz, Jared Hickman, Katharine Gerbner, Jorge Cañizares-Esguerra, and J. Kameron Carter

Instructor(s): Alex Mazzaferro     Terms Offered: Spring
Equivalent Course(s): KNOW 40308, CHSS 40308, CRES 30308

SCTH 40610. Descartes:My Body/Other Bodies. 100 Units.


Equivalent Course(s): PHIL 34512, FNDL 22302, DVPR 34800

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): GRMN 41219, ENGL 41219, CMLT 41219, FREN 41219

SCTH 41250. Hegel: Phenomenology of Spirit. 100 Units.

A study of Hegel's Phenomenology. Reading in German or English, discussion in English. Please use Suhrkamp or Meiner editions, or the Miller translation from Oxford UP.

Instructor(s): Florian Klinger     Terms Offered: Winter
Equivalent Course(s): GRMN 41250

SCTH 41604. Kierkegaard's Concluding Unscientific Postscript by Johannes Climacus. 100 Units.

This seminar will engage in a close reading of Concluding Unscientific Postscript. The aim will be to develop an understanding of topics such as: living in clichés without realizing it, subjectivity and objectivity, ethics, eternal happiness, guilt, humor, irony and different manners of being religious. We shall also consider the meaning of Kierkegaard's pseudonymous authorship. This will be a seminar that requires active participation. Would all students please come to the first session having read up to page 43 of the Alastair Hannay translation (Cambridge Texts in the History of Philosophy).

Instructor(s): Jonathan Lear     Terms Offered: Autumn. Course will be taught Autumn 2020 and is by consent of instructor.
Prerequisite(s): Students should read up to page 43 of the Alastair Hannay translation (Cambridge Texts in the History of Philosophy).
Note(s): Registration by permission of Instructor.
Equivalent Course(s): PHIL 50119

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 42420. Approaches to the History of Political Thought. 100 Units.

This course will examine some of the most influential recent statements of method in the history of political thought, alongside work by the same authors that may (or may not) put those methods or approaches into practice. We will read works by Quentin Skinner, Reinhart Koselleck, J.GA. Pocock, Leo Strauss, Sheldon Wolin, Michel Foucault, and David Scott among others, with some emphasis on writings about Hobbes and questions of sovereignty and the state. (E)

Instructor(s): J. Pitts     Terms Offered: Spring
Equivalent Course(s): CCCT 42420, PLSC 42420

SCTH 42918. Exploratory Translation. 100 Units.

Translation is one of the central mechanisms of literary creativity across the world. This course will offer opportunities to think through both the theory and practice of this art form and means of cultural transmission, focusing on the problems of translation of and by poets in a variety of languages: it will emphasize precisely the genre most easily "lost in translation," as the truism goes. Topics to be discussed will include semantic and grammatical interference, loss and gain, the production of difference, pidgin, translationese, bilingualism, self-translation, code-switching, translation as metaphor, foreignization vs. nativization, and distinct histories of translation. Alongside seminar sessions for discussion of readings, workshop sessions patterned on Creative Writing pedagogy will offer students a chance to try their hands at a range of tactics of translation. We also hope to invite a few poets and translators to engage in dialogues about the art (these visits conditioned on funding that we are currently seeking). The course therefore engages with such fields as linguistics, literary study, creative writing, psychology, and anthropology. Its thematic and methodological implications reach across the humanities and social sciences.

Instructor(s): Jennifer Scappettone, Haun Saussy     Terms Offered: Winter
Equivalent Course(s): MAPH 42918, CRWR 42918, ENGL 42918, CMLT 42918, RLLT 42918

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).

Instructor(s): Ralph Lerner     Terms Offered: Not offered 21-22.
Equivalent Course(s): FNDL 24505

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 46011. The Poetry and Prose of Thomas Hardy. 100 Units.

A Victorian and a Modernist, a rare master of the arts of fiction and poetry, Thomas Hardy outraged Victorian proprieties and helped to make 20th century literature in English possible. Close reading of four novels and selected early middle, and late poems by Hardy, with attention to the contexts of Victorian and Modern literary culture and society.

Instructor(s): Rosanna Warren     Terms Offered: Winter. Not offered 21-22.
Note(s): For graduate students and advanced undergraduates.
Equivalent Course(s): ENGL 23708, FNDL 26011, ENGL 43708

SCTH 47015. Scientific and Humanistic Contributions to Knowledge Formation. 100 Units.

In this course, we will explore whether the sciences and the humanities can make complementary contributions to the formation of knowledge, thus leading to the integration and unification of human knowledge. In the first part of the course we will take a historical approach to the issue; we will discuss how art and science were considered complementary for much of the 18th and 19th century (for example, in the views and work of Wolfgang Goethe), how they became separate ('the two cultures') in the middle of the 20th century with the compartmentalization of academic disciplines, and how some attempts have recently been made at a reunification under the concept of 'consilience'. In the second part of the course, we will focus on conceptual issues such as the cognitive value of literature, the role of ideas in knowledge formation in science and literature, the role of creativity in scientific and literary production, and how scientific and philosophical ideas have been incorporated into literary fiction in the genre known as 'the novel of ideas'. As an example of the latter, we will read the novel 'One, No One, and 100,000' (1926) by Luigi Pirandello and discuss how this author elaborated and articulated a view of the human persona (including issues of identity and personality) from French philosophers and psychologists such as Henri Bergson and Alfred Binet.

Instructor(s): D. Maestripieri     Terms Offered: Autumn
Note(s): Satisfies CHD graduate program distribution (1) Comparative Behavioral Biology
Equivalent Course(s): HIPS 27515, CHDV 27015, CHSS 47015, KNOW 47015, CHDV 47015

SCTH 47219. The Romantic Book. 100 Units.

In his Gespräch über den Roman, Friedrich Schlegel declared programmatically: "Ein Roman ist ein romantisches Buch." The convoluted relationship between Roman and romantisch will give us the point of departure for the seminar - but is the third term, Buch, so obvious? We will thus also attempt to offer some definitions of what a book is in the period around 1800. To that end, we will consider works that reflect on Romantic scenarios of manuscript and book production (Schreibszenen) and collecting, as well as evolving forms of literary mixed media around 1800, such as the illustrated book and the Taschenbuch. Our readings will include works by F. Schlegel, A. W. Schlegel, Wackenroder and Tieck, Novalis, E. T.A. Hoffmann, Arnim and Brentano, the Grimms, Runge; and scholarly works by Kittler, Campe, Piper, Spoerhase, and others. The seminar will make use of the holdings of the Rare Book Collection and other area resources; and it will introduce students to working with material texts. Good reading knowledge of German required.

Instructor(s): Catriona MacLeod     Terms Offered: Spring
Prerequisite(s): Good reading knowledge of German required.
Equivalent Course(s): ARTH 47219, GRMN 47219

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 50113. The Concept of World and Its Vulnerability. 100 Units.

We will be interested in the special and problematic notion of an attitude toward the world as a whole, and in some questions that arise in contexts where people face what they experience as the end of their world or its vulnerability to destruction. Readings will include texts from Freud, Heidegger, and Wittgenstein, as well as more contemporary readings from Cora Diamond, Jonathan Lear, Brian O'Shaughnessy, and others.

Instructor(s): M. Boyle; J. Lear     Terms Offered: Spring
Prerequisite(s): Permission of instructor required for grad students not in Philosophy or Social Thought.
Equivalent Course(s): PHIL 50113

SCTH 50128. Logic-Mathematical vs. Logico-Philosophical Conceptions of Logic. 100 Units.

The history of philosophy, from antiquity to the early twentieth century, is littered with classic works bearing titles such as The Principles of Logic, The Foundations of Logic, A Theory of Logic, and so on. Most of the major philosophers in this tradition - Aristotle, Avicenna, Leibniz, Kant, Hegel, etc. - devote at least one whole treatise to Logic, and in most cases several. These works are, like their other writings, composed of sentences - sentences of Greek, Arabic, Latin or German prose. The object of such works is to elucidate notions such as thought, judgment, negation, inference, and inquiry. Starting in the late 19th- and early 20th century a new kind of work in the theory of logic appeared - published by authors such as Boole, Peano, Frege, Russell, Hilbert, etc. These works contained comparatively little prose and a great many quasi-mathematical symbols in which formulae, axioms, theorems, proofs, etc. were set forward. The latter sorts of work had an enormous influence on how the nature of the discipline of logic itself came to be understood and how its relation, on the hand, to mathematics, and, on the other, to the rest of philosophy, came to be re-conceived. This, in turn, led - through the work of authors such as Ludwig Wittgenstein, J. L. Austin, Gilbert Ryle, Peter Strawson, etc. - to a series of efforts to challenge the ascendancy of the logico-mathematical conception of logic. (III)

Instructor(s): J. Conant; I. Kimhi     Terms Offered: Autumn
Prerequisite(s): Philosophy graduate students: no pre-reqs; all others: permission of the instructor.
Equivalent Course(s): PHIL 50128

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. Not offered 21-22.
Equivalent Course(s): THEO 50211, SOCI 50107

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. Not offered in 21-22.
Equivalent Course(s): SOCI 50113

SCTH 50213. Historical Sociology of Religion - After Max Weber and Emile Durkheim. 100 Units.

In the writings of the European classics of sociology the universal history of religion was absolutely crucial. Strangely, and although the reputation of Max Weber and Emile Durkheim has constantly grown over time, this area of their interests later became marginal in the discipline. After briefly suggesting a possible explanation of this phenomenon, this class will deal with the exceptions, scholars who have contributed significantly to the sociological study of the history of religion (H. Richard Niebuhr, Will Herberg, Werner Stark, David Martin Marcel Gauchet, Robert Bellah, Jose Casanova). Additional scholars and my own writings in this area can be included if there is an interest in tracing a tradition that should have received new attention after the end of the intellectual hegemony of the secularization thesis.

Instructor(s): Hans Joas     Terms Offered: Spring. May be taught Winter 2021 or Spring 2022.
Equivalent Course(s): SOCI 50124, AASR 50213

SCTH 50300. Heidegger's Concept of Metaphysics. 100 Units.

The two basic texts of the course will be Heidegger's 1929-30 lecture course, "Fundamental Concepts of Metaphysics," and his 1935 course (published in 1953), "Introduction to Metaphysics." Both texts amount to a radical critique of all Western metaphysics, and an equally radical proposal for a new beginning, another sort of "first philosophy." He wants to claim that the finitude of all a priori reflection, when properly appreciated, can inaugurate a proper interrogation of the fundamental question in philosophy: the meaning of being. To familiarize ourselves with Heidegger's overall project, we will begin by reading selections from his 1927 Marburg lectures, "The Basic Problems of Phenomenology. The course is designed for graduate students in philosophy and related disciplines, but some undergraduates with a sufficient background in the history of philosophy will be admitted.

Instructor(s): Robert Pippin     Terms Offered: Winter. Taught Winter 2021.
Note(s): Undergrads by permission of the instructor
Equivalent Course(s): PHIL 54806

SCTH 50301. Heidegger's Critique of German Idealism. 100 Units.

The texts we will read: Heidegger's 1929 book, KANT AND THE PROBLEM OF METAPHYSICS, his 1935 course, published as the book WHAT IS A THING, the critique of Hegel published in 1957, IDENTITY AND DIFFERENCE, and the 1942/43 lectures published as HEGEL'S CONCEPT OF EXPERIENCE. We will conclude with a discussion of Heidegger's 1936 lectures, SCHELLING'S TREATISE ON THE ESSENCE OF HUMAN FREEDOM. The topic of the course: finitude.

Instructor(s): Robert Pippin     Terms Offered: Spring. Course will be taught spring 2021
Prerequisite(s): Students who have taken the winter quarter seminar on Heidegger will be given priority, but that is not a necessary condition of admission to the seminar.
Equivalent Course(s): PHIL 51702

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.

Terms Offered: Not offered 21-22.
Equivalent Course(s): ARTH 50400

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     Terms Offered: Not offered 21-22.
Equivalent Course(s): PHIL 51303

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 L. Levenson (Yale), Visiting Kohut Professor in the Committee on Social Thought.
Equivalent Course(s): PHIL 51411

SCTH 51415. Envy, Gratitude, Depression and Evasions: The "Contemporary Kleinians" 100 Units.

In this seminar we shall consider contemporary psychoanalytic thinking on fundamental aspects of human being: envy and gratitude, the capacity to learn from experience, mourning and depression, Oedipal struggles, the structure of the I, the superego and other forms of defense. We shall also consider relevant clinical concepts such as projective identification, splitting, internal objects, the paranoid-schizoid position, the depressive position, and attacks on linking. The seminar will focus on a group of psychoanalytic thinkers who have come to be known as the Contemporary Kleinians. Their work develops the traditions of thinking that flow from the works of Sigmund Freud and Melanie Klein - and we shall consider their writings as well when appropriate. Readings from Betty Joseph, Edna O'Shaughnessy, Wilfrid Bion, Hanna Segal, Elizabeth Spillius, John Steiner, Ronald Britton, Michael Feldman, Irma Brenman Pick and others.

Instructor(s): Kay Long and Jonathan Lear     Terms Offered: Spring. Course to be taught Spring quarter 2021.
Note(s): By permission of instructors.
Equivalent Course(s): PHIL 51416

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 51721. Topics in Aristotle: Nicomachean Ethics. 100 Units.

A close reading of the Nicomachean Ethics, with particular emphasis on his theory of moral virtue, moral education. (I) (IV)

Instructor(s): G. Richardson Lear     Terms Offered: Autumn
Equivalent Course(s): PHIL 51721

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
Equivalent Course(s): PHIL 53501

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
Equivalent Course(s): PHIL 45391, PHIL 55391

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 55509. Kierkegaard, Ethical Themes. 100 Units.

A careful reading of Concluding Scientific Postscript in the context of which we shall consider such topics as truthfulness, living in the midst of illusion, subjectivity, ethical commitment, irony and humor. In relation to these topics we shall also read contemporary authors such as Cora Diamond, Alasdair MacIntyre, Bernard Williams and myself.(I) (V)

Instructor(s): J. Lear
Equivalent Course(s): PHIL 54102

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): Jonathan Lear
Equivalent Course(s): PHIL 55511

SCTH 55512. Essential Concepts of Psychoanalysis. 100 Units.

This seminar will introduce some of the central concepts of psychoanalysis: Mourning and Melancholia, Repetition and Remembering, Transference, Neurosis, the Unconscious, Identification, Psychodynamic, Eros, Envy, Gratitude, Splitting, Death. The central theme will be how these concepts shed light on human flourishing and the characteristic ways we fail to flourish. Readings from Plato, Aristotle, Freud, Loewald, Lacan, Melanie Klein, Betty Joseph, Hanna Segal and others.

Instructor(s): Jonathan Lear     Terms Offered: Spring. Course scheduled to be taught Spring 2022
Prerequisite(s): Consent required.
Equivalent Course(s): PHIL 51413

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): Irad Kimhi
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.

Instructor(s): Irad Kimhi
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.

Instructor(s): Irad Kimhi
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): Irad Kimhi     Terms Offered: Not offered 21-22.
Equivalent Course(s): PHIL 55606

SCTH 55701. The Ethics and Poetics of Mimesis. 100 Units.

In this seminar we will examine the concept of mimesis as a way of thinking about poetry and the arts and also as a way of thinking about human life more generally. Our focus will be Plato's Republic and Aristotle's Poetics, though we will consider relevant passages from other dialogues and treatises. What should we make of the fact that Socrates figures both the unjust person and the philosopher-ruler as a mimetic artist? In what way is his critique of mimesis ontological, psychological, and political? Are there differing explanations of the influence of mimetic speech, sound, and sights? Why do Plato and Aristotle believe that poetic mimesis is a necessary element of moral education? How does Aristotle's different, more dynamic account of poetic mimesis reflect a different understanding of the nature poetry and its place in human life? If time permits, we will briefly consider Epictetus's idea that we should think of ourselves as actors playing a role in the cosmic drama. (IV)

Instructor(s): J. Lear; G. Richardson Lear     Terms Offered: Autumn
Prerequisite(s): Preference will be given to PhD students. MA students require permission of the instructor.
Equivalent Course(s): PHIL 55701

SCTH 56701. Plato's Phaedrus. 100 Units.

A close reading of this literary and philosophical masterpiece. This dialogue addresses the nature of the soul, love, lust, political persuasion, philosophical dialectic, poetic myth, the forms, and the difference between written and spoken discourse. What emerges in its dramatic action and explicit argumentation is a picture of human beings as speaking animals and of what a good life for animals like us might be. (III)

Instructor(s): G. Richardson Lear     Terms Offered: Winter
Prerequisite(s): Permission of instructor required.
Equivalent Course(s): PHIL 56701

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 64400. Colloquium: The Humanities, the Human, and the Nonhuman. 100 Units.

In this course, we will read some basic classical and early modern humanist texts in European history and try to relate them to later intellectual developments, such as nineteenth-century humanism, as well as to more recent ideas about the posthuman and the nonhuman.

Instructor(s): D. Chakrabarty and F. Hartog     Terms Offered: Autumn
Prerequisite(s): Open to MA and PhD students only.
Equivalent Course(s): HIST 64400, CCCT 64400, SALC 64400, KNOW 64400

SCTH 64612. Colloquium: Political Economy and the Enlightenment's Long Twentieth Century. 100 Units.

Beginning in the 1970s, intellectual historians in the Euro-American world began to rediscover what had been a temporarily lost world of Enlightenment-era political economy. During the interval of comparative oblivion before this rediscovery, nineteenth-century classical political economy appeared to hold the keys to understanding the origins and evolution of advanced industrial societies; but the political and economic turbulence of the 1970s announced the end of that implicit consensus. We shall begin by examining, among others, members of the "Cambridge School" such as John Pocock and Istvan Hont, as well as non-Cantabridgian pioneers like Albert Hirschman, Jean-Claude Perrot, Reinhart Koselleck, and Hugh Trevor-Roper. In the first part of the course, our aim will be to reconstruct the late twentieth-century questions to which the political economy of a resolutely preindustrial eighteenth century seemed to be an answer. At issue will be increasingly contested understandings of sociability; the autonomy and rationality of market processes; the role of the state; globalization; and the anachronism of virtue in individualistic, liberal societies. We will then turn our attention to the debates and analytical refinements among the political economists of the long eighteenth century. These may include Charles Davenant, Bernard Mandeville, Charles de Montesquieu, William Petty, François Quesnay, Adam Smith, and Anne-Robert Jacques Turgot.

Instructor(s): P. Cheney and J. Isaac     Terms Offered: Spring
Prerequisite(s): Open to MA and PhD students only.
Equivalent Course(s): HIST 64612

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

Advanced Study: Social Thought

SCTH 75005. Thesis Proposal Workshop. 100 Units.

Required course for 3rd year Social Thought students to learn about thesis/proposal writing which is a roadmap for dissertation writing.

Instructor(s): Andrei Pop     Terms Offered: Spring. Offered Spring 2022. Meets every other week.