Posts tagged with: history of philosophy

Teaching Philosophy with Atlas Shrugged: Francisco vs. Hume on Reason and Emotion

Pike's Peak, Colorado Springs. Photo by the author. It's been a while since I last blogged about my class based on Atlas Shrugged. We are now nearly done with two thirds of the semester. This has probably been my most enjoyable teaching experience to date, and not just because I am sympathetic with the philosophy we are discussing. I've fallen in love with the idea of teaching philosophy through fiction. Students are much more intensely drawn into discussing the ideas of a novel whose characters they come to know, even when they do not necessarily agree with the ideas. It…

Read full post

Teaching Philosophy with Atlas Shrugged: Aristotle and Francisco on Ultimate Ends

I am very privileged to be teaching a course this semester called "Philosophical Themes in Ayn Rand." I've been teaching philosophy in one capacity or another since 2002, but this is the first time I've ever proposed or taught a course focused on Ayn Rand's ideas. The main text of the course is Atlas Shrugged, but I've also assigned a series of secondary readings from classical philosophers whose ideas can be compared or contrasted with Rand's. The purpose of the course is to bring philosophical ideas alive through the reading of a philosophical drama, and to bring Rand's ideas into…

Read full post

A Neo-Aristotelian Against Mainstream Virtue Ethics

Friends of mine who work on Rand's ethics often list Elizabeth Anscombe’s seminal 1958 article, “Modern Moral Philosophy” as a favorite. The paper is noteworthy for its sweeping condemnation of both consequentialist and deontological normative ethical theory and its allegation that both relied on concepts rooted in divine command morality. Anscombe’s paper is widely recognized as having paved the road for a renewed interest in Aristotle, which included a renewed appreciation of Aristotle’s ethics. So it is with some interest that I read a recent review at NDPR of a new book by Jonathan Sanford, Before Virtue:…

Read full post