Foundations of Philosophy (PL 201)
Socrates, at his trial, turns to his fellow citizens and offers the following admonition: "it is the greatest good for man to discuss virtue every day and those other things about which you hear me conversing and testing myself and others, for the unexamined life is not worth living" (Apology, 38a). Four things are revealed in Socrates' words that should command our attention. First is the claim itself that an unexamined life is not worth living; it is not a life for human beings. Second is the claim that this is not a good among any number of goods . . . it is the greatest good. Third is the suggestion that this good is not to be pursued in solitude but in discourse, in conversation with others. Last, and perhaps most difficult to appreciate, is the reminder that philosophy is an activity, a way of being in the world. The course begins with Socrates, and Socrates will serve as a model to guide our conversation as we explore the question: What is the good life?
Dr. Jim Snow has been a faculty member in the Department of Philosophy since 1996, but he shows no sign of slowing up!
The Good Life: Writing Toward Happiness (WR 100)
This course will use the genre of the essay to explore how individuals and groups create definitions of happiness based upon values, beliefs, cultural backgrounds, societal influences, and more. We will consider how authors, artists, philosophers, and religious figures have framed our ideas of happiness, success, and fulfillmentâ€”as well as influenced our pursuit of these ideas. Students will analyze historic and contemporary definitions of happiness as well as develop their own working definition over the course of the semester. All coursework will be geared toward learning how to articulate and refine our ideas through the processes of writing and research. By examining happiness at a global, local, and personal level, we can begin to better understand ourselves and bring that understanding to the forefront of our consciousness.
Professor Laurence Ross is an Assistant Teaching Professor in the Writing Department and teaches Creative Nonfiction for the Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth during the summer months. He has published his art writing and essays in many journals and magazines, including The Georgia Review, Brevity, Bluestem, The Offending Adam, Hyperallergic, Pelican Bomb, and HuffPost. He is also a frequent contributor to BmoreArt, a Baltimore-based magazine that reflects the art and culture of Baltimore and the surrounding Mid-Atlantic region.
Victoria Gue is the Director of Loyola's Academic Advising and Support Center (AASC). In this role, she advises undergraduate students regarding Loyola's degree requirements, policies, and procedures. She also works closely with the transfer student population, assisting with their transition into Loyola. Victoria has been a Messina mentor since 2015 and enjoys working with first-year students. She has a B.A. in English and journalism and a M.A. in Contemporary Communication from Notre Dame of Maryland University. When not at work, Victoria enjoys spending time with family and friends, sports (Go Yankees!), live music, and any and all dogs!
PL 201 satisfies the Philosophy core requirement for all students. WR 100 satisfies the Composition core requirement for all students.