PHIL 411.001 – Aristotle

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Instructor: Mariska Leunissen. This course meets T 1:00 – 3:30 p.m. in CW 213.

Aristotle – High-level survey of the Aristotelian Corpus

This course offers a high-level survey of the Aristotelian Corpus with the aim to provide students with a more thorough understanding of the key texts, doctrines, notions, and ideas in Aristotle’s philosophy as a whole. We will read about two entire books of some of the most significant Aristotelian treatises for every class meeting, complemented by one or two (‘classic’ or recent) high impact articles. Every class meeting will include a close reading of at least one famous passage or argument in Aristotle (such as the ‘rainfall-example’ in Phys II 7, the ‘function-argument’ in NE I 7, or the argument for ‘cosmic teleology’ in Meta L 10). Readings will include Categories and Posterior Analytics II; Physics II and Generation and Corruption II; On the Soul II-III; History of Animals I and Progression of Animals; Parts of Animals I-II; Generation of Animals II and IV; On the Heavens II and Movement of Animals; Nicomachean Ethics I-II; Nicomachean Ethics X and Politics I; Politics VII-VIII; Metaphysics Zeta and Lambda; Rhetoric I-II; Poetics. Additional selections will be determined by the students.

The course does not have any prerequisites, but some background in (ancient) philosophy is recommended. Students who have not previously taken any introductions to ancient philosophy (such as PHIL210) or who do not already have some experience reading Aristotle might find this course very difficult. Instructor permission is required to enroll.

Graduate students who are planning on teaching PHIL 210 might find this course particularly helpful.