T101 | A Life Well Lived:
A Study of Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics


9:30 - 11:00 a.m. EST

In-Person at BCC

1/17, 1/24, 1/31,
2/7, 2/14, 2/21

Six Sessions

Limit 22 Participants

Aristotle’s view of “the good life” is markedly at odds with modern views of ethics. We will look briefly at Aristotle’s divergence from his teacher, Plato, on whether anyone does bad things knowingly. Then we will read the ten “books” (chapters) of the Nicomachean Ethics, identifying Aristotle’s underlying assumptions, giving critical consideration to his arguments about the nature of moral action, and, in conclusion, comparing Aristotle’s ethical theory with two dominant modern theories -- utilitarianism, associated with Jeremy Bentham, J.S. Mill, and recently Peter Singer; and deontological ethics, as articulated in the work of Immanuel Kant.

SUGGESTED READING: There are many English translation of Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics, starting with Jowett's in the 19th century to a recent, scholarly translation by Bartlett & Collins.  Any translation that includes in its margins the so-called "Bekker pagination" (the page numbers of the first scholarly version of Aristotle's work) will suffice.  The make cross-referencing different translations possible.Dr Cameron will be using Martin Ostwalt's translation of the Nicomachean Ethics, originally published by Bobbs-Merrill in 1962.  What recommends it is that it reads well.  It is easier to follow than some translations. Unfortunately, it is somewhat costly if ordered from the publisher ($27.95).  Less expensive copies may be found on the used book market.  I have a downloaded pdf version of Ostwalt's translation that I will gladly share with anyne taking this class.  The print format of the pdf version is rather large, and some may find that off-putting.  In any case, the translations available on Amazon.com are all well done.  Any that has the Bekker pagination will suffice.

Dr. William Cameron earned a Ph.D. in Philosophy at the Univ. of Toronto, and J.D. at Western New England College School of Law. Dr. Cameron is a Retired Supt. of Schools for Central Berkshire Regional School Dist. and has taught Philosophy at the following schools and programs: Univ. of NY College, Geneseo; Western NY College Consortium; Attica Correctional Facility, Attica, NY; SUNY Albany; Siena College, Loudonville, NY; Mass. College of Liberal Arts, No. Adams, MA; and OLLI at BCC.

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