Hon/Ancient Views of Good Life
Term: Summer 2021 - Summer Session II (05/24/2021 - 07/30/2021)
Grade Mode: Letter Grading
Times & Locations
|5:10pm - 6:00pm
Summer 2021 will focus on three specific themes around happiness and the good life:
- Heroism & Fame – Epic of Gilgamesh and The Iliad
Can life’s meaning be found in conquering one’s enemies, questing for greatness, and leaving behind a lasting legacy?
- Morality & Serenity – Stoicism and Epicureanism
How do we best achieve a life of morality, virtue, peace, and calm, surrounded by loving friends and noble pursuits?
- Pain & Pleasure – Cynicism and Religious Asceticism
Is life actually about the pursuit of animalistic pleasure? Or is life about overcoming pleasure and pain entirely?
Each theme will contain a component from different ancient cultures in the classical tradition (Babylon, Greece, Rome, Judaism/Christianity), exploring similarities across time and culture as well as differences. As students of ancient thought, we will also give attention to the ways in which the authors and issues we study continue to be relevant today. Each theme will be the subject of its own section of the course, with its own exam. Each theme/section will also have an individual assignment, where students will synthesize, assess, and apply these ancient theories to their own lives today.