Philosophy: Friends, Strangers and Others

Ref: C2340784

The course will start with an exploration of the meaning and value of friendship in ancient Greek philosophy. We will examine how useful it is to divide the world into 'people like us' and 'people not like us', and study descriptions of those 'not like us' across history; consider the theory that our sense of self is dependent on others (with the help of philosophical arguments from Hegel, Sartre and others); and examine whether it makes sense to say that others may know better what is in someone's interest than the person him/herself.

Course aim

an opportunity to explore the meaning and value of friendship; to examine descriptions of 'strangers', 'others' and 'enemies', of how these categories are created and how they change - how for example, strangers can become friends.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • No skills or experience needed
  • This course is for beginners

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • explain the meaning and value of friendship in ancient Greek philosophy
  • identify what is useful and not so useful about dividing the world up into 'people like us' and 'people not like us'
  • name common features and differences in descriptions of those 'not like us' across history
  • give a summary of the theory that our sense of self is dependent on others
  • give a view - with reasons - about whether it makes sense to say that others may know better what is in someone's interest than the person him/herself

How will I be taught?

  • The WEA tutor will use a range of different teaching and learning methods and encourage you and the group to be actively involved in your learning
  • You may be asked to undertake additional work in your own time to support your learning

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • A range of informal activities will be used by the tutor to see what you are learning which may include quizzes, question and answer, small projects and discussion
  • You will be encouraged to share your work with the group and discuss your learning
  • You will be encouraged to consider other students work and give your opinions and suggestions

What else do I need to know?

  • Nothing else is needed
  • It would be helpful if you had access to the internet (Mobile phone, tablet or computer at home or through a library etc.)

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • No pre reading or pre course work is required
  • You may wish to hav a look at this article on friendship : https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/friendship/

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course
  • Become involved with the WEA in a range of voluntary work and other activities including campaigning as a WEA member

Download full course information sheet

Philosophy: Friends, Strangers and Others

Enrolment Conditions

As a registered charity, and to meet our funders’ requirements, we need to check a few things with you before you book. Please could we ask that you check the list below to ensure you meet our basic criteria:

  • You are paying the standard fee (with a credit or debit card) or you are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • You have a valid email address so that you can receive confirmation of your booking
  • You have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • You are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2018
  • You have read and accept our standard terms and conditions

Not sure or have further questions? Contact courseenquiries@wea.org.uk

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