Taught by Perry Zurn

The human species has quite recently become a predominantly urban one. In this course, we will analyze and practice ethical engagement with the city. We begin by investigating philosophy’s relationship to the city, stretching back to the development of dialogical thinking in the polis of Athens. How is philosophical reflection affected by the space in which it takes place (whether wilderness, country, suburbs, or city)? That is, what does the place of the thinker have to do with the thoughts they can think? But also, how can and should these spaces be transformed by ethical considerations? How ought we to move forward into our urban future? Cities—as hubs of diversity and development, poverty and segregation, waste management and police surveillance—provide one of the most demanding sites for ethical engagement today.

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