English 177

Literature and Philosophy: "Minds, Morals, and the Novel"

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
1 Fall 2021 Gang, Joshua
TTh 3:30-5 315 Wheeler

Book List

Baldwin, James: Giovanni's Room; Beckett, Samuel: Three Novels; Ford, Ford Madox: The Good Soldier; Greene, Graham: Brighton Rock; Murdoch, Iris: The Bell; Shelley, Mary: Frankenstein; Woolf, Virginia: To the Lighthouse

Other Readings and Media


Additional readings will be made available either through bCourses or a course reader (TBD).




This course will examine key texts from the history of moral philosophy and philosophy of mind and juxtapose them with a set of novels that share similar concerns. Our aim will be to arrive at clear, precise understandings of the philosophical concepts at hand as well as the ways these concepts can change, or must change, as they become part of a fictional world. 

Philosophical readings will potentially include those by: Aristotle, David Chalmers, Rene Descartes, Philippa Foot, Jerry Fodor, John Stuart Mill, G.E. Moore, Immanuel Kant, Thomas Nagle, Hilary Putnam, Gilbert Ryle, T.M. Scanlon, Peter Strawson, Bertrand Russell, Judith Jarvis Thomson, Bernard Williams, and Ludwig Wittgenstein.

Novels will likely include those by James Baldwin, Samuel Beckett, Ford Madox Ford, Graham Greene, Iris Murdoch, Mary Shelley, and Virginia Woolf.

Evaluation will likely be based on a combination of short critical papers, participation, and a final paper and/or project.

This course satisfies the Philosophy & Values Breadth requirement. 


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