167 | CCN: 77944

Advanced Themes in Legal Theory, Philosophy, Argumentation

Pathos, Logos, Ethos: Heidegger and Aristotle on language, truth, and community

Instructor: Nancy Weston,

TuTh 2-330P, 182 DWINELLE

4 Units

This course in advanced topics in philosophy, law, and rhetoric proceeds as a philosophical seminar, devoted to a different inquiry each term; this term, we will be inquiring, jointly, into several fundamental questions of human being and human experience:

    What is it to know?
    How are we guided in our actions?
    How do we understand and speak with one another?

These seemingly distinct concerns are conventionally treated separately, each the province of such specialized scholarly fields as epistemology, ethics, and the philosophy of language. This term, we shall, instead, look above all to the nexus of these questions, and to the singular experience of human being from which they emerge.

As that experience is housed in language, we shall devote special attention to the ways in which language guides, shapes, and conveys that experience in its manifold unity. With the aid of Heidegger and Aristotle, thinkers at either end of the arc of the history of thinking on these enduring philosophical concerns, we will come to see that arc as a whole, tracing where and how it has brought us, now, in late modernity, in our understandings of language, mood, intelligibility, and community, and so in our relations to the world and to one another.

Please note: All students interested in taking this class — whether pre-enrolled, wait-listed, or neither — are to attend the first class meeting, at 2 p.m. on Tuesday, January 19, in 182 Dwinelle.

In planning their schedules, students should be aware that wide-ranging collective discussions, often lasting an hour or more, generally occur after the Thursday class meetings. While attendance is voluntary, in past classes students have found these informal but intense discussions to be of substantial aid in coming to terms with difficult material encountered in the course. You are therefore strongly encouraged to plan your schedule so as to be able to attend these sessions. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions about the course.

Prior coursework in philosophy is not required; an openness to its challenges is.