This course seeks to understand what it means to “be human.” That is, we seek to identify what a human is, what a human is capable of, and what a human is limited by. Through weekly discussions, we will explore what a human can feel and know, how it can feel and know things, and what the meaning or purpose of a human feeling and knowing things is. We will investigate how and why humans come together to form governments and societies, how humans fight perceived injustices, and how humans choose to identify themselves. We will ponder how and why humans choose to use science, religion, and psychology to discern meaning in existence, what a “perfect” human might look like, and what death ultimately is. We will ask what the very future of humanity will look like. We will think about social structures, artistic-cultural productions, identity, and values as we proceed on this journey. And we will do all this in about ten weeks.
The instrument we will use in this ambitious adventure will be a selection of some of the most profound and magnificent writings from the intellectual giants of humanity. The reading list includes works of philosophy, literature, poetry, drama, and even political treatises. By standing on the shoulders of these giants, we will be able to see further than we ever could on our own.
WHO WE'RE LOOKING FOR:
Anyone with a sincere and serious interest in reading the greatest books of all time and talking about it in a laid-back, friendly setting.
WORRIED ABOUT EUROCENTRICISM?
So are we. It's why we're taking careful care - and class help - to build a reading list that reflects the beautiful varieties of the human experience. Texts have been/will be drawn from across civilizations, genders, sexual orientations, racial/ethnic groups, and political/religious/philosophical perspectives.
Method of Instruction
Discussion-based, collaborative-learning between peers on seminal texts of human thought.
Assignments and Grade Distribution
Weekly independent close readings of text - mandatory
Insightful weekly thought papers of no more than 1 page answering a prompt pertaining to the reading for the week – 25%
Intelligent participation and discussion of reading material in class – 25%
A well-thought-out final paper (prompt and length will be determined in class) – 50%
P – 70% and higher
NP – 69% and lower
|Seminar||Justin DesRochers, Charlotte Zhang||28||2 Evans||[W] 6:00PM-8:00AM||9/05/2018||