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Martha Nussbaum : Courses and Seminars

Greek Tragedy and Philosophy
LAWS 96303
Ancient Greek tragedy has been of continuous interest to philosophers, whether they love it or hate it. But they do not agree about what it is and does, or about what insights it offers. This seminar will study the tragic festivals and a select number of tragedies, also consulting some modern studies of ancient tragedy. Then we shall turn to philosophical accounts of the tragic genre, including Plato, Aristotle, the Greek and Roman Stoics, Seneca, Lessing, Schlegel, Hegel, Schopenhauer, Nietzsche, Iris Murdoch, and Bernard Williams. If we have time we will include some study of ancient Greek comedy and its philosophical significance. Admission by permission of the instructor. Permission must be sought in writing by September 15. Prerequisite: An undergraduate major in philosophy or some equivalent solid philosophy preparation, OR a solid grounding in Classics, including language training. In other words, those who qualify on the basis of philosophical background do not have to know ancient Greek, but someone without such preparation may be admitted on the basis of knowledge of Greek and other Classics training of the sort typical of our Ph.D. students in Classics. An extra section will be held for those who can read some of the materials in Greek.
Autumn 2013
Martha Nussbaum
Greenberg Seminar: Southern Literature and the Law
LAWS 95902
In this seminar we will discuss a group of classic works of nineteenth and twentieth-century Southern literature, asking what light they shed on legal issues, particularly those connected to race and gender. We begin with Harriet Beecher Stowe and Mark Twain, then move to the twentieth century, where the primary authors read will be William Faulkner, Katherine Anne Porter, Flannery O'Connor, Zora Neale Hurston, and Ralph Ellison. Candidates should submit to both instructors a statement describing their background in literature and their reasons for wanting to take the seminar. Please apply as early as you can, since we usually fill spaces in the order of application (saving three slots for LL.M. students). This seminar is capped at 15. Graded Pass/Fail.
Autumn 2013
Richard A. Posner, Martha Nussbaum
Rawls
LAWS 51003
This course will study John Rawls’s two great works of political philosophy, A Theory of Justice and Political Liberalism, trying to understand their argument as well as possible. We will also read other related writings of Rawls and some of the best critical literature. Assessment will take the form of an eight-hour take-home final exam, except for those who gain permission to choose the paper option, who will write a 20-25 page paper. Undergraduate students by instructor consent only; must be requested by December 1.
Winter 2014
Martha Nussbaum
Workshop: Law and Philosophy: Life and Death
LAWS 61512
This is a seminar/workshop many of whose participants are faculty from various related disciplines. It admits approximately ten students. Its aim is to study, each year, a topic that arises in both philosophy and the law and to ask how bringing the two fields together may yield mutual illumination. Most sessions are led by visiting speakers, from either outside institutions or our own faculty, who circulate their papers in advance. The session consists of a brief introduction by the speaker, followed by initial questioning by the two faculty coordinators, followed by general discussion, in which students are given priority. Several sessions involve students only, and are led by the instructors. Students write a 20-25 page seminar paper at the end of the year. The course satisfies the Law School Substantial Writing Requirement. There are approximately four meetings in each of the three quarters. Students must therefore enroll for all three quarters. Students are admitted by permission of the two instructors. They should submit a c.v. and a statement (reasons for interest in the course, relevant background in law and/or philosophy) to the instructors by e mail. Usual participants include graduate students in philosophy, political science, and divinity, and law students.
Spring 2014
Martha Nussbaum, Sarah Conly
Workshop: Law and Philosophy: Life and Death
LAWS 61512
This is a seminar/workshop many of whose participants are faculty from various related disciplines. It admits approximately ten students. Its aim is to study, each year, a topic that arises in both philosophy and the law and to ask how bringing the two fields together may yield mutual illumination. Most sessions are led by visiting speakers, from either outside institutions or our own faculty, who circulate their papers in advance. The session consists of a brief introduction by the speaker, followed by initial questioning by the two faculty coordinators, followed by general discussion, in which students are given priority. Several sessions involve students only, and are led by the instructors. Students write a 20-25 page seminar paper at the end of the year. The course satisfies the Law School Substantial Writing Requirement. There are approximately four meetings in each of the three quarters. Students must therefore enroll for all three quarters. Students are admitted by permission of the two instructors. They should submit a c.v. and a statement (reasons for interest in the course, relevant background in law and/or philosophy) to the instructors by e mail. Usual participants include graduate students in philosophy, political science, and divinity, and law students.
Autumn 2013
Martha Nussbaum, Sarah Conly
Workshop: Law and Philosophy: Life and Death
LAWS 61512
This is a seminar/workshop many of whose participants are faculty from various related disciplines. It admits approximately ten students. Its aim is to study, each year, a topic that arises in both philosophy and the law and to ask how bringing the two fields together may yield mutual illumination. Most sessions are led by visiting speakers, from either outside institutions or our own faculty, who circulate their papers in advance. The session consists of a brief introduction by the speaker, followed by initial questioning by the two faculty coordinators, followed by general discussion, in which students are given priority. Several sessions involve students only, and are led by the instructors. Students write a 20-25 page seminar paper at the end of the year. The course satisfies the Law School Substantial Writing Requirement. There are approximately four meetings in each of the three quarters. Students must therefore enroll for all three quarters. Students are admitted by permission of the two instructors. They should submit a c.v. and a statement (reasons for interest in the course, relevant background in law and/or philosophy) to the instructors by e mail. Usual participants include graduate students in philosophy, political science, and divinity, and law students.
Winter 2014
Martha Nussbaum, Sarah Conly