Bart Schultz is Senior Lecturer in Humanities (Philosophy) and Director of the Humanities Division's Civic Knowledge Project. He has been teaching in the College at the University of Chicago since 1987, designing a wide range of core courses as well as courses on Philosophy and Public Education, The Philosophy of Poverty, John Dewey, The Chicago School of Philosophy, Political Philosophy, Environmental Philosophy, and Happiness. He has also published widely in philosophy, and his books include Essays on Henry Sidgwick (Cambridge, 1992), Henry Sidgwick: Eye of the Universe (Cambridge, 2004, winner of the American Philosophical Society's Jacques Barzun Prize in Cultural History for 2004), Utilitarianism and Empire (Lexington, 2005), and The Happiness Philosophers: Lives of the Eminent Utilitarians (Princeton, 2015). He is on the Editorial Board of Utilitas, the leading professional journal of utilitarian studies. Bart has also, through the Civic Knowledge Project (CKP), developed a number of public ethics programs affording rich opportunities for UChicago students, staff, and faculty to get involved in educationally relevant ways with the larger South Side community. The CKP is particularly involved in designing and running philosophy programs for disadvantaged adults and for underserved public elementary and middle school students in the neighborhoods near the University of Chicago, and its Winning Words precollegiate philosophy program won the 2012 American Philosophical Association's PDC Prize for Excellence and Innovation in Philosophy Programs (see http://civicknowledge.uchicago.edu/winningwords.shtml ). Bart serves on the Board of Directors of PLATO (Philosophy Learning and Teaching Organization), which is the main professional group in the U.S. devoted to precollegiate philosophy (see http://plato-philosophy.org/ ).
office: Gates-Blake 126
office hours: Autumn Quarter, Fridays: 11:30 am - 1:30 pm
office phone: 773/702-6007
Please see my CV (DOC) for a complete list of publications.
PHIL 22001. Teaching Precollegiate Philosophy. (=MAPH 32001) This course will consider the practices of philosophy through a critical examination of different approaches to teaching precollegiate philosophy. Philosophy at the precollegiate level is common outside of the U.S., and there is a growing movement in the U.S. to try to provide greater opportunities, in both public and private schools, for K12 students to experience the joys of philosophizing. But what are the different options for teaching precollegiate philosophy and which are best? That is the main question that this course will address. Students in this course will also have the opportunity to include an experiential learning component by participating in the UChicago Winning Words precollegiate philosophy program. (A) and (B) Spring 2017.
PHIL 29411. Consequentialism from Bentham to Singer. (=MAPH 39411) Are some acts wrong "whatever the consequences"? Do consequences matter when acting for the sake of duty, or virtue, or what is right? How do "consequentialist" ethical theories, such as utilitarianism, address such issues? This course will address these questions by critically examining some of the most provocative defenses of consequentialism in the history of philosophy, from the work of the classical utilitarians Bentham, Mill, and Sidgwick to that of Peter Singer, one of the world's most influential living philosophers and the founder of the animal liberation and effective altruism movements. Does consequentialism lend itself to the Panoptical nightmares of the surveillance state, or can it be a force for a genuinely emancipatory ethics and politics? (A) and (B) Winter 2017.
PHIL 22209. Philosophies of Environmentalism & Sustainability. (ENST 22209, GNDR 22204, HMRT 22201, MAPH 32209) Some of the greatest ethical and political challenges confronting the world today are related to environmental issues: for example, climate change, loss of biodiversity, the unsustainable use of natural resources, and other threats to the well-being of both present and future generations. Using both classic and contemporary works, this course will highlight some of the fundamental and unavoidable philosophical questions informing such environmental issues. Can a plausible philosophical account of justice for future generations be developed? What counts as the ethical treatment of non-human animals? What does the term "natural" mean, and can natural environments as such have moral standing? (A) and (B) Winter 2017.
PHIL 22515. Philosophy: Practice, Form and Genre. (=MAPH 32250) This course provides an introduction to philosophy though a consideration of the extraordinary diversity of its historical pedagogical practices and literary (and non-literary) forms and genres. "Philosophy" has been everything from a way of life to an academic profession, and "philosophizing" has been conducted in such forms and genres as Socratic conversation, scholastic debate, lectures, group discussions, dialogues, aphorisms, fables, poetry, meditations, novels, reviews, essays, treatises, music, and more. Cultivating some sense of this diversity is crucial to understanding many of the deep differences between philosophical perspectives, past and present. (A) and (B) Autumn 2016.
PHIL 22820. Philosophy and Public Education. This course will critically survey the various ways in which philosophy curricula are developed and used in different educational contexts and for different age groups. Considerable attention will be devoted to the growing movement in the U.S. for public educational programs in precollegiate philosophy. Winter 2015.
22820. Philosophy and Public Education. (=UTEP xxxxx, PLSC 22825) This course will critically survey the various ways in which philosophy curricula are developed and used in different educational contexts and for different age groups. Considerable attention will be devoted to the growing movement in the U.S. for public educational programs in precollegiate philosophy. Spring 2014.
21400. Happiness. Open to college students. From Plato to the present, notions of happiness have been at the core of heated debate in ethics and politics. Is happiness the ultimate good for human beings, the essence of the good life, or is morality somehow prior to it? Can it be achieved by all, or only by a fortunate few? These are some of the questions that this course engages, with the help of both classic and contemporary texts from philosophy, literature, and the social sciences. This course includes various video presentations and other materials stressing visual culture (A) R. Barton Schultz. Spring 2003, Spring 2004, Spring 2002, 2005, Spring 2006, Spring 2007.
21600. Introduction to Political Philosophy. Open to college students. What would a just liberal democratic political order involve, and is that the best or only form of "legitimate" government? What are the best, reasoned justifications for such a political order, and how utopian or distant from present realities is the political philosophizing behind such justifications? Does a just liberal democratic society require that citizens be friends, or equals, or autonomous choosers, or free of particular identities or political passions? How would it reconstruct gender and sexuality? And what are the duties of citizens when the political order falls short of this ideal? How should this ideal guide current political practice and determine the role of countries such as the U.S. in world politics? In an age of terror and globalization, when many view the U.S. as a new empire, how optimistic can one be or should one be about the fate of the distinctively modern ideal of a just liberal democratic society? This course will address these questions and others, taking as a point of departure the political theories of John Stuart Mill, John Rawls, and Martha Nussbaum. Summer 2006, Winter 2006, Spring 2008, Spring 2009. Spring 2010, Winter 2011. Syllabus
23209. The Chicago School of Philosophy. From the 1890s to the present, the University of Chicago has been known for its prominent contributions to the
humanities and philosophy. Our rich philosophical legacy has come from such figures as John Dewey, James H. Tufts, George Herbert Mead, Mortimer Adler, and Richard McKeon. This course focuses on the original “Chicago School,” which was made famous in the 1890s by the pragmatist philosopher, educator, and reformer John Dewey and his circle (e.g., Mead; Tufts; such reformers as Jane Addams, the founder of Hull House). This School has had a profound effect on the shape of modern philosophy, and its influence continues to be felt both within and beyond the academy, not least in the political philosophy of President Barack Obama. Field trips and guest speakers enrich philosophical history. Winter 2010. (B) Syllabus
21006. What is Civic Knowledge? Chicago as Friend and Representation. (=BPRO 21500, HUMA 24906, LLSO 24906, PBPL 21500). What is civic knowledge? Although civic rights and duties are supposedly universal in “liberal democratic” nations, their recognition and realization often depend on the strength of community connections and the circulation of knowledge across racial, class, and social boundaries. Focusing on the city of Chicago – and on the University of Chicago – we examine a number of key historical episodes in democratic experimentation and community organizing in order to shed light on how citizens, in their roles as citizens, can or could make democracy a way of life, forge communities, devise urban plans, and participate in urban affairs. How does the city construct the public spheres of its residents? Are the social practices of Chicagoans truly “democratic”? Could they be? What does “Chicago” stand for, as a political and cultural symbol? For both Chicagoans and their representatives, the circulation of knowledge depends not only on conventional media but also on how the city is constructed and managed through digital media. Spring 2011. Syllabus.
22209. Philosophies of Environmentalism and Sustainability. What does “going green” really mean? What is “sustainability?” How do different fundamental ethical and political perspectives yield different approaches to and understandings of “environmentalism,” “conservation,” “stewardship,” and “sustainable development”? This course uses a combination of classic environmentalist texts (e.g., Thoreau, Leopold, Carson) and contemporary works to clarify and address the most hotly contested and urgent philosophical issues dividing the global environmental movement today. Various field trips and guest speakers help us philosophize about the fate of the earth by connecting the local and the global. B. Schultz. (A) Autumn 2009. Syllabus