This course introduces students to persistent questions concerning what it means to be human. Is there such a thing as human nature? If so, what is it? How have different cultures and different periods of history understood the nature of human nature? What are the moral and social consequences of accepting various answers to these questions? The course examines how these issues have been addressed within European, American, Asian, Indian and Middle Eastern philosophical traditions.
- Explore, through an investigation of writings in philosophy and the humanities, the concept of human nature.
- Understand the variation in understandings of this concept as emerging in different historical and social contexts.
- Investigate the moral and social consequences of accepting these various understandings.
- Develop a beginning understanding of critical analysis of work in philosophy.
- Demonstrate awareness of the scope and variety of works in the arts and humanities.
- Understand those works as expressions of individual and human values within a historical and social context.
- Respond critically to works in the arts and humanities.
- Engage in the creative process or interpretive performance.
- Articulate an informed personal reaction to works in the arts and humanities.