Tales of Freedom, Necessity and Providence (HUM2005)

15 credits

Freedom and necessity, used by philosophers as complementary or opposite concepts, have recently been studied as everyday experiences. Genevieve Lloyd did this by focussing on literary texts or by highlighting the more literary aspects of philosophical texts. You will develop your analyses reading selected passages of key texts of European, North African and East Asian cultures such Euripides’ Alcestis,  Machiavelli’s The Prince, Wu-Ch’êng-ên’s Monkey, Manzoni’s The Betrothed, and Dostoyevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov. Some of these authors discuss the belief in Providence, which might reconcile human agency and necessity.  Students will be assessed by writing either an essay or a short story, as they prefer.