History of Ethics                                                                             Philosophy 1310, Spring 2018

Michael Thompson
1028D CL
office hours: Tu 3-5
(412) 445 7433 / practical.wisdom@gmail.com (text message is best)

This course will study some of the principal texts of the history of ethics with an emphasis on the question of the rationality, prudence or wisdom of the ethical life.

The principal works to be read are these

These are all contained in Michael Morgan, Classics of Moral and Political Theory (5th edition) which you should bring to class with you.

I do not anticipate following historical order; the merits and interest of Aristotle's theory, for example, are much clearer when we have Nietzsche as a contrast. We may also read fragments from Hobbes and some bits of contemporary works. Ancillary texts will be linked at pitt.edu/~mthompso/history.html.

Three short papers will be assigned at even intervals throughout the term; the grade will be based on these equal measure; class participation will count for no more than 25% of the grade.

The schedule of readings is as follows:



The first paper topic will be assigned February 14 and due two weeks later February 27


(March 4-11 Spring recess)

The second essay will be assigned March 21 and will be due two weeks later, April 4



The last essay will be assigned April 18 and due on the Friday of exam week.