Good and Evil :Concepts and Realities

Winter/Spring, 2007


Spring Quarter:

Description: This quarter, we will continue our exploration of individual and collective "good and evil" begun winter quarter. During spring quarter, students will deepen their study of philosophy and social psychology, and they will apply their knowledge to modern events (such as the Holocaust) to gain a more sophisticated understanding of them than possible through naïve concepts of good and evil. Beyond our study of “evil,” we will do experiential work reflecting the three pillars of contemporary positive psychology, which are rooted in philosophy. This challenging academic work will provide a tremendous opportunity for personal growth that can spread beyond the individual to family, work and community.

Cranach, Tree of Knowledge [of Good and Evil] (1472)


Activities: Class activities will include lectures, conceptual workshops, film viewings, "jigsaw classroom" workshops, book seminars, and integrative seminars.

Work: Students will write an initial narrative on good and evil, two argumentative essays (the first, 3-5 pages; the second, 5-7 pages) as well as a final synthesis paper on virtue ethics and positive psychology. In addition, students will write a paragraph “seminar pass” that describes or raises questions about the week's reading for seminar each Wednesday.

Students will also be required to keep a portfolio, which will include reading notes, class notes, conceptual workshop notes and all original papers with the faculties' comments.

Credit will be awarded in philosophy and positive psychology.


Note: The particular editions of Aristotle and Dostoevsky are required. Do not substitute alternate editions.

Additional readings will be provided via the program website or handout.

The winter quarter overview is still available!



This site was last updated on May 16, 2007. | Academic Program Pages