With George Fourlas

In this class, we will explore the fields of ethics and politics from the starting point of a primordial tension: the experience of being both an individual and a member of a collective social-political environment. This starting point places our exploration in stark contrast to classical approaches to normative thought, which focus on the consequences of individual actions, universal rules, and individual habits. Instead, we will discuss value and meaning in terms of interpersonal relations, the various ways our relations become conflicted, and how we can work on our relations in order to transform ourselves as well as our circumstances. In this exploration it will become clear that acting ethically is far more complicated than commonly assumed, but also an absolutely necessary practice for the proper functioning of a democratic society. The general goal of this class is to have a clear understanding of key theories and texts in ethics and social-political philosophy, but also a clearer sense of what one must do to act ethically in every day encounters.

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