ES.114 | Fall 2018 | Undergraduate
Non-violence as a Way of Life

Syllabus and Calendar

Course Meeting Times

Lectures: 1 session / week, 1.5 hours / session


There are no prerequisites for this course.

Course Description

Non-violence is more than a political and social strategy. It can be a comprehensive ethical stance. In this course, we examine both the efficacy and ethics of such a stance. We first look at the question of what a non-violent life entails. We read the primary exponents of non-violence, Tolstoy, Gandhi, and King. Next, we investigate the ethical dimensions of non-violence. Can we derive a comprehensive moral theory from the principles of non-violence? Last, we look at specific ethical challenges from the perspective of non-violence. We consider the issues of lying, the duty to forgive, non-violent communication, the ethics of our relationship to anger, the possibility of loving enemies, and the ethics of punishment and rehabilitation.

Course Requirements

Attendance and Participation 10%
Paper 1 30%
Paper 2 40%
Daily Conflict and Resolution Journal 20%

For more information on the activities above, see the Assignments section.


1 Love, Non-violence, and Truth  
2 Non-violent Communication  
3 Non-violent Conflict Resolution  
4 Coercion and Manipulation  
5 Kindness and Cruelty  
6 Forgiveness  
7 Anger and Emotion  
8 Non-violence and Anger Paper 1 due
9 Telling the Truth, Part I  
10 Telling the Truth, Part II  
11 Punishment and Revenge, Part I  
12 Punishment and Revenge, Part II Turn in selected sections of daily conflict and resolution journal
13 Journal Sharing and Summing Up Paper 2 due
Course Info
As Taught In
Fall 2018
Learning Resource Types
assignment Written Assignments