Transcendentalism is a very formal word that describes a very simple idea. People, men and women equally, have knowledge about themselves and the world around them that "transcends" or goes beyond what they can see, hear, taste, touch or feel.
Democracy. Philosophy. Sculpture. Dramatic tragedies. The Olympic Games. Many of the fundamental elements of Western culture first arose more than 2000 years ago in ancient Greece.
2,500 years ago, most humans were concerned with providing food and protection for their families and little else. Most of them were ruled by kings or pharaohs who had supreme decision-making power. The Athenian democracy encouraged countless innovative thoughts among its citizens.
The 6th century B.C.E. was an amazing time of philosophical growth for ancient China. It was during that time that the two most influential spiritual leaders native to China, Confucius and Lao-tzu, are thought to have lived and taught. The philosophies that they practiced, Taoism and Confucianism, existed simultaneously in dynastic China, attracting countless numbers of followers over the past 2,500 years. The fascination of both the Eastern and Western worlds with these two legendary figures and the philosophies that they created remains strong.
This course will acquaint the student with some of the ancient Greek contributions to the Western philosophical and scientific tradition. We will examine a broad range of central philosophical themes concerning: nature, law, justice, knowledge, virtue, happiness, and death. There will be a strong emphasis on analyses of arguments found in the texts.
The Art of the Probable" addresses the history of scientific ideas, in particular the emergence and development of mathematical probability. But it is neither meant to be a history of the exact sciences per se nor an annex to, say, the Course 6 curriculum in probability and statistics. Rather, our objective is to focus on the formal, thematic, and rhetorical features that imaginative literature shares with texts in the history of probability. These shared issues include (but are not limited to): the attempt to quantify or otherwise explain the presence of chance, risk, and contingency in everyday life; the deduction of causes for phenomena that are knowable only in their effects; and, above all, the question of what it means to think and act rationally in an uncertain world. Our course therefore aims to broaden students’ appreciation for and understanding of how literature interacts with--both reflecting upon and contributing to--the scientific understanding of the world. We are just as centrally committed to encouraging students to regard imaginative literature as a unique contribution to knowledge in its own right, and to see literary works of art as objects that demand and richly repay close critical analysis. It is our hope that the course will serve students well if they elect to pursue further work in Literature or other discipline in SHASS, and also enrich or complement their understanding of probability and statistics in other scientific and engineering subjects they elect to take.
With recent advances in physics (and philosophy), we are finally able to make some headway into some of the most pressing questions of the universe. We will explore such topics as the big bang theory, time travel, relativity, extraterrestrial life, and string theory. We will attempt to answer some big questions such as: Was there a beginning of time? Will there be an end? Is time travel possible?
This course will serve as both an introduction to contemporary political philosophy and a way to explore issues of pluralism and multiculturalism. Racial and ethnic groups, national minorities, aboriginals, women, sexual minorities, and other groups have organized to highlight injustice and demand recognition and accommodation on the basis of their differences. In practice, democratic states have granted a variety of group-differentiated rights, such as exemptions from generally applicable laws, special representation rights, language rights, or limited self-government rights, to different types of groups. This course will examine how different theories of citizenship address the challenges raised by different forms of pluralism. We will focus in particular on the following questions: - Does justice require granting group-differentiated rights? - Do group-differentiated rights conflict with liberal and democratic commitments to equality and justice for all citizens? - What, if anything, can hold a multi-religious, multicultural society together? Why should the citizens of such a society want to hold together?
Concentrates on specific periods of Classical Greek and Roman Literature in translation with attention to cultural, political, and social influences. Topics vary from year to year chosen from among fifth-century Athens, the Golden Age of Latin Literature, the Silver Age, and Late Antiquity. Roman Literature of the Golden Age of Augustus Caesar, produced during the transition from Republican to Imperial forms of government, was to have a profound and defining influence on Western European and American societies. These writings ultimately established lasting models of aesthetic refinement, philosophical aspiration, and political ambition that continue to shape modern cultures. This class will be exploring the Golden Age of Latin Literature from an historical perspective in order to provide an intensive examination of the cultural contexts in which these monumental works of classical art were first produced. Readings will emphasize the transition from a Republican form of government to an Empire under the rule of Augustus Caesar and the diversity of responses among individual authors to the profound structural changes that Roman society was undergoing at this time. Particular attention will be devoted to the reorganization of society and the self through textuality, the changing dimensions of the public and the private, the roles of class and gender, and the relationship between art and pleasure. Writings covering a wide variety of literary genres will include the works of Caesar, Cicero, Catullus, Livy, Virgil, Horace, and Ovid, with additional readings from Cassius Dio for background.
This course will introduce you to the Western philosophical tradition, through the study of major figures such as Plato, Aristotle, Descartes, Hume, and Kant. You will get to grips with questions that have been significant to philosophy from its beginnings: questions about the nature of the mind or soul, the existence of God, the foundations of knowledge, ethics and the good life. In the process of evaluating the arguments of these philosophers, you will develop your own philosophical and analytical skills. You will also observe changes of intellectual outlook over time, and the effect of scientific, religious and political concerns on the development of philosophical ideas.
This course will consider the claim that there is no such thing as race, with a particular emphasis on the question whether races should be thought of as natural kinds: is our concept of race a natural kind concept? Is the term 'race' a natural kind term? If so, is Appiah right to conclude that there are no races? How should one go about "analyzing" the concept of race?
By reading and rereading the passage closely and focusing their reading through a series of questions and discussion about the text, students will be equipped to unpack Dillard's essay. When combined with writing about the passage, students will learn to appreciate how Dillard's writing contains a deeper message and derive satisfaction from the struggle to master complex text. This close reading exemplar is intended to model how teachers can support their students as they undergo the kind of careful reading the Common Core State Standards require. Teachers are encouraged to take these exemplars and modify them to suit the needs of their students. Additional teacher background material: http://teachers.sduhsd.k12.ca.us/lcaston/documents/WeaselsEssayAnal.pdf
Making Evidence-Based Claims ELA/Literacy Units empower students with a critical reading and writing skill at the heart of the Common Core: making evidence-based claims about complex texts. These units are part of the Developing Core Proficiencies Program. This unit develops students' abilities to make evidence-based claims through activities based on a close reading of an excerpted text from Plato's Apology.
A Concise Introduction to Logic is an introduction to formal logic suitable for undergraduates taking a general education course in logic or critical thinking, and is accessible and useful to any interested in gaining a basic understanding of logic. This text takes the unique approach of teaching logic through intellectual history; the author uses examples from important and celebrated arguments in philosophy to illustrate logical principles. The text also includes a basic introduction to findings of advanced logic. As indicators of where the student could go next with logic, the book closes with an overview of advanced topics, such as the axiomatic method, set theory, Peano arithmetic, and modal logic. Throughout, the text uses brief, concise chapters that readers will find easy to read and to review.
Critical review of works, theories, and polemics in architecture in the aftermath of WWII. Aim is a historical understanding of the period and the development of a meaningful framework to assess contemporary issues in architecture. Special attention paid to historiographic questions of how architects construe the terms of their "present." Required of M.Arch. students.
Humans are social animals; social demands, both cooperative and competitive, structure our development, our brain and our mind. This course covers social development, social behaviour, social cognition and social neuroscience, in both human and non-human social animals. Topics include altruism, empathy, communication, theory of mind, aggression, power, groups, mating, and morality. Methods include evolutionary biology, neuroscience, cognitive science, social psychology and anthropology.
A brief history of conflicting ideas about mankind's relation to the natural environment as exemplified in works of poetry, fiction, and discursive argument from ancient times to the present. What is the overall character of the natural world? Is mankind's relation to it one of stewardship and care, or of hostility and exploitation? Readings include Aristotle, The Book of Genesis, Shakespeare, Descartes, Robinson Crusoe, Swift, Rousseau, Wordsworth, Darwin, Thoreau, Faulkner, and Lovelock's Gaia. This subject offers a broad survey of texts (both literary and philosophical) drawn from the Western tradition and selected to trace the growth of ideas about nature and the natural environment of mankind. The term nature in this context has to do with the varying ways in which the physical world has been conceived as the habitation of mankind, a source of imperatives for the collective organization and conduct of human life. In this sense, nature is less the object of complex scientific investigation than the object of individual experience and direct observation. Using the term "nature" in this sense, we can say that modern reference to "the environment" owes much to three ideas about the relation of mankind to nature. In the first of these, which harks back to ancient medical theories and notions about weather, geographical nature was seen as a neutral agency affecting or transforming agent of mankind's character and institutions. In the second, which derives from religious and classical sources in the Western tradition, the earth was designed as a fit environment for mankind or, at the least, as adequately suited for its abode, and civic or political life was taken to be consonant with the natural world. In the third, which also makes its appearance in the ancient world but becomes important only much later, nature and mankind are regarded as antagonists, and one must conquer the other or be subjugated by it.
Opportunity for individual or group study of advanced topics in Engineering Systems Division not otherwise included in the curriculum at MIT.: This course introduces the theory and the practice of engineering ethics using a multi-disciplinary and cross-cultural approach. Theory includes ethics and philosophy of engineering. Historical cases are taken primarily from the scholarly literatures on engineering ethics, and hypothetical cases are written by students. Each student will write a story by selecting an ancestor or mythic hero as a substitute for a character in a historical case. Students will compare these cases and recommend action.
This class analyzes the theoretical and historical reasons why governments in latecomer countries have intervened with a wide array of policies to foster industrial development at various turning points: the initiation of industrial activity; the diversification of the industrial base; the restructuring of major industrial institutions; and the entry into high-technology sectors.
This subject surveys main currents of European cultural and intellectual history in the modern period. Such a foundation course is central to the humanities in Europe. The curriculum introduces a set of ideas and arguments that have played a formative role in European cultural history, and acquaints them with some exemplars of critical thought. Among the topics to be considered: the critique of religion, the promise of independence, the advance of capitalism, the temptations of Marxism, the origins of totalitarianism, and the dialects of enlightenment. In addition to texts, we will also discuss pieces of art, incl. paintings and film.