Online Classes

David Egan has degrees in Philosophy from the University of Oxford, the University of Toronto, and Harvard University and has taught philosophy and the humanities at Oxford, the University of Chicago, and several other institutions in Canada, the United States, and the United Kingdom. He is the author of The Pursuit of an Authentic Philosophy: Wittgenstein, Heidegger, and the Everyday, published by Oxford University Press.

This summer’s course on the philosophy of love and friendship is now underway and registration is closed. Join my mailing list to receive updates about future course offerings.

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Summer 2021 Course

The Philosophy of Love and Friendship

Love takes many forms. Some say it is the most important thing in life. Poets and pop singers can’t stop talking about it.

So what is love? And why does it matter so much?

This ten-week course investigates various forms of love and friendship, drawing on a mix of ancient and contemporary philosophers for guidance.

Course schedule

Weeks 1 and 2: In Praise of Love
Plato’s Symposium

Week 3: The Varieties of Friendship
Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics, Book 8

Week 4: Partial vs. Impartial Caring
The Xiaojing (Classic of Family Reverence) and Mozi chap. 16 (with special guest Mick Hunter)*

Week 5: “May All Beings Be Happy and Free from Suffering”
Buddhaghosa on lovingkindness (mettā)

Week 6: Existentialists in Love
Excerpts from Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir

Week 7: Loving Attention
Iris Murdoch, “The Idea of Perfection”

Week 8: Does Love Have Its Reasons?
Troy Jollimore, Love’s Vision, chap. 1

Week 9: Is Friendship Morally Good?
Alexander Nehamas, “The Good of Friendship”

Week 10: Can You Love Someone for their Faults?
Vida Yao, “Grace and Alienation”

* Mick Hunter, Associate Professor of East Asian Languages and Literatures, will join us for a discussion of these two texts of classical Chinese philosophy.