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How to Live Well: the Ancient PhilosophersMaster ClassIn-Person

Wednesday, Nov 29, 2023

9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz
51 West 52nd Street

According to Aristotle, everyone agrees there is one ultimate goal in life: living well. What people disagree about, he added, is what living well is. Should we aim, above all, for pleasure, physical and emotional? For inner peace? For wisdom? Virtue? Communion with some higher power? Or is there some other goal—or different goals for different people, or no ultimate goal at all? We will consider Aristotle’s ideas about the goal of life, as well as the ideas of his teacher Plato, and of later ancient philosophers, the Stoics and Epicureans. Readings will include excerpts from Plato’s Republic, Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics, Epicurus’ Letter to Menoeceus, and Cicero’s On the Ends of Goods and Bads.


Jessica Moss

Jessica Moss is professor of philosophy at NYU. She received her BA from Yale University and her PhD in philosophy from Princeton University. Her primary area of research is ancient philosophy, especially epistemology, ethics, and psychology. She is the author of Aristotle on the Apparent Good: Perception, Phantasia, Thought, and Desire; Plato's Epistemology: Being and Seeming; and numerous articles. She has previously held positions at the University of Pittsburgh and at Balliol College, University of Oxford. She also leads philosophy classes for high school students, and for incarcerated people at Brooklyn Metropolitan Detention Center.