On this page you will find links to several kinds of materials pertaining to our course. If you would like to suggest further links, please contact me at rcherubi (at) gmu.edu.
Prof. Cherubin's main page
Syllabus: .pdf format
Reading assignments (both required reading and supplementary reading; updated weekly)
Writing assignments and potential
presentation topics (updated regularly)
discussion of ancient Greek terms
lecture notes on Aristotle's definition of 'nature' (φύσις,
transliterated phusis or
physis) in the Physics; this will be
especially useful as a reference in Book Five of the Nicomachean
Ethics and Book One of the Politics.
(not reading, but a video) This may be helpful in thinking about Aristotle's notion of nature: A rabbit that herds sheep, or sheep who get herded by a rabbit. For Aristotle, it would be wrong to say that it's "unnatural" for the rabbit to herd the sheep, or for the sheep to be herded by an animal that is not a human or a canine. Rather, he would say that the rabbit has by nature the capacity to herd, and to learn to do so effectively (more or less; the rabbit doesn't seem to understand that when the sheep reach a corner of the yard they cannot go further). It's just that most rabbits do not exercise this capacity. Aristotle would also note that the sheep have the capacity to learn how to be herded; they can also flee pursuers without being herded, and they also have the capacity to face down the pursuer (as one of them does when the rabbit nips them even after they go where he is chasing them).