Skip to main content

Instructor: Alan Nelson. This course meets on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 12:30 – 1:45 p.m. in Caldwell 105.

An introduction to philosophy through some great works in the Western tradition. We will begin with Plato’s The Republic, one of the most important foundational works of Western civilization. The Republic ranges over nearly the whole of human experience, but its particular focus is the structure of the ideal government. Next we read Hume’s Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion which remains a touchstone for the question of whether reason can bear on the question of the existence of God. Finally we will study Proust’s novelette, Swann in Love. Proust provides a modern perspective on the ideas of Plato and Hume by providing deep insights into the phenomenon of personality with a special focus on the nature of love.

Alan Nelson’s webpage