Don't Fetishize Morality

Mon, Mar 18

Socrates, Plato and Aristotle all give us reasons to think that a total commitment to morality (in the virtue ethics sense) just is what it is to have a good life.  Is that right?  In this class we will debate whether to live the good life you shouldn't strive to be as moral as possible.  Can a moral saint also be a good friend?  Does being a good person mean you cannot also be funny, or a good cook, or just generally weird and interesting?  Can being morally good be different from being just all-around good?  We'll debate whether there are goals more important than morality and also think more seriously about the kinds of lives we honestly admire.

Key Concept: Loving Saint, Rational Saint, Non-Moral Virtues, Supererogation

Read This:

PHILOSOPHICAL TEXTS:

"Moral Saints" (Susan Wolf) (You may skip pp. 427-33 [resume at "If the above..."]. Everything after p. 435 is also optional.)

OPTIONAL: "Saints" (Robert Adams)

APPLICATION TEXTS:

"She Walks Through Walls" (NY Times)

"Beyonce Knowles: The Queen B" (Vogue)

Do This:

  1. Homework: Reading Reflection Journal
  2. Work on your Morality Prewrite (due 3/22).

Watch This: