Courses in Spring 2016

CC 102: Core Humanities II: The Way

[course homepage] Second-semester Humanities focuses on ethical themes and questions from the Western and Eastern traditions. The course includes Aristotle, Confucius, Laozi, the Bhagavad-Gita, Virgil, the Gospels, and Dante. Students compare Biblical views of “the way” to the philosophic and literary views of the Classical world, look at the synthesis of the two in Dante, and examine the contrast between Eastern and Western thinkers. A study of Western and Asian art at the Museum of Fine Arts complements the coursework. (When taken after CC 101, CC 102 gives credit for WR 100.)

CC 112: Core Social Science I: Religion, Social Thought and the Roots of Society

[course homepage] CC 112 examines modern Social Science and its precursors with a particular focus on the nature of religion and its place in human society. We study some of the earliest attempts to understand the “other” in Herodotus and Tacitus, look at Christian and Arabic views of the relation of the individual and society, and at Durkheim’s argument that religion is fundamentally about society. We also consider the encounter in the 16th century of Spanish missionaries with the natives of South America, and the experience of Jesuits in China.

CC 202: Core Humanities IV: From Enlightenment to Modernity

[course homepage] From the Age of Reason through the Romantic Revolt and the origins of modernity. The class examines questions of social hierarchy and political power, satire, and subjectivity and its relation to reason in Kant, Rousseau, Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, the Romantic poets and Nietzsche, while also studying the music of Beethoven and the art of Goya. We also examine the place of America in the modern world through a study of Thoreau, Dickinson and Whitman, DuBois and T. S. Eliot, ending with the newly fragmented view of reality seen in modernism.

CC 204 Social Sciences II: Inequality

[course homepage] A study of contemporary approaches to the problem of inequality, primarily focusing on contemporary American society though there will be some historical, anthropological, and cross-national comparisons. The goal of this course is to use exemplary research in the social sciences to grapple with a problem that has implications for almost every aspect of our social, political, and economic life today. Lectures and readings will bring insights, statistical data, and modes of analysis primarily from sociology, history, and anthropology,  political science, and economics. Please note: Spring 2016 is the last year CC 204 will be offered. In the future, Core students will engage with contemporary social science in CC 211.

CC 212 Core Natural Science II: Reality, Science and the Modern World

[course homepage] Studies the paradigm-shifting scientific theories which forced the 20th century into a new understanding of our relation to the physical world, beginning with relativity and quantum theory, and exploring emergence, neuroscience and artificial intelligence.