Basic Program of Liberal Education for Adults: YEAR 4

COURSES > LIFELONG [→ ONLINE ARCHIVE MATERIAL]

Founded in 1946, the University of Chicago’s Basic Program of Liberal Education for Adults is a structured, four-year, non-credit curriculum in which students read and discuss the classics of the Western traditions under the guidance of experienced staff instructors. Readings span ancient Greece and ancient Israel to modern Europe and America and include works of philosophy, drama, fiction, poetry, politics, and history. These works present a variety of perspectives on enduring human questions, such as: What is justice and how can we best achieve it? What does it mean to live a good human life? What is truth, does it exist, and how do we find it?

Texts*

AUTUMN SEMINAR

  • Plato, Symposium
  • Plutarch, Lives of the Noble Greeks and Romans
  • Swift, Gulliver’s Travels
  • Austen, Pride and Prejudice

AUTUMN TUTORIAL

  • Thucydides, The Peloponnesian War

WINTER SEMINAR

  • Aristotle, Politics
  • Smith, The Wealth of Nations
  • Marx, Capital (Book 1) / The Communist Manifesto

WINTER TUTORIAL

  • Shakepeare, Tragedy Rotation
    [King Lear, MacbethHamlet or Othello]

SPRING SEMINAR

  • U.S. Founding Documents
  • Lincoln, “Gettysburg Address” / “Second Inaugural Address”
  • Tocqueville, Democracy in America

SPRING TUTORIAL

  • Plato, Phaedo

* THE READING LIST HAS VARIED SLIGHTLY OVER THE YEARS.


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TAUGHT: 1993-PRESENT