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    Dec 04, 2023  
American University Catalog 2022-2023 
American University Catalog 2022-2023 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

LIT-262 Literature and the Ethical Life (3)

Ethical reasoning forces us to ask questions about how one should live, act, and proceed given the complexities of daily life and given the competing ethical frameworks in our history books, literary canon, and contemporary archive of texts and images. This course focuses on the tools that writers and readers of literature bring to ethical debates and problems of the past and present. The premise of the course is that literary study is one way of giving students the skills to identify these ethical problems and to construct the questions necessary for an ethical life, however that might be defined. Ethics asks us to think about higher or deeper meanings and to push past primarily self-serving modes of action, but this course investigates what, precisely, these deeper principles are and the types of ethical tools and frameworks literature has to offer. Students read essays that posit the different ways literature can teach ethics and open space for “the other” while examining the ways that the practice of reading can itself be an ethical activity. AU Core Habits of Mind: Ethical Reasoning. Usually Offered: fall and spring.