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PHIL 105C: Beauty in Ancient Greek Philosophy (PHIL 205C)

Beauty occupies a peculiarly central place in ancient Greek philosophical thought, figuring prominently in Plato's and Aristotle's ethics, epistemology, and metaphysics. The ancient conception of beauty is also in various ways at odds with our modern conception: far from being "in the eye of the beholder", ancient philosophers thought of beauty as a paradigm of objectivity, and closely aligned with moral goodness. Why this discrepancy between the ancient and modern conceptions of beauty? And what might the centrality of beauty in ancient thought reveal about ancient ethics, epistemology, and metaphysics? This course is an investigation into these questions, by means of a close reading of the major ancient texts in which beauty appears. Some background in ancient Greek philosophy and/or contemporary aesthetics is preferred, but not required.
Last offered: Winter 2017 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II
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