Academic Courses

Don't know German but want to learn more about German literature and philosophy? This course is for you! Goethe’s epic work inaugurates Faust’s journey with the perplexed exclamation “Ach Philosophie.” By exploring the challenges that key concepts in Western metaphysics pose for the frustrated professor long after he flees his scholar’s study, students learn to navigate the conceptual networks of a world-historical tragedy that stages the perennial questions of philosophy about its own foundations and essence. This course analyzes Goethe's Faust in its entirety with reference to its epistemological, ethical, and aesthetic investments. Students explore how this masterpiece of German literature staged and re-articulated important conceptual issues within the European philosophical tradition with supplementary readings from Plato, Aristotle, Spinoza, Leibniz, and Kant, as well as Whitehead and Deleuze. The goal of the readings is to construct a conceptual apparatus that can serve as framework of interpretive analysis as well as a reconfiguration of the perennial questions of philosophy and literature regarding their own essence. This course meets General Education Requirements for all students: Students admitted to Pitt prior to fall 2018 may use the course to meet a Creative Expression, Philosophy, or Regional requirement; students admitted to Pitt in fall 2018 or later may use the course to meet a Literature, Philosophical Thinking or Ethics, or Geographic Region requirement. This course is offered in the fall 2019 term.
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