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1 - 8 of 8 results for: THINK

THINK 11: Bioethical Challenges of New Technology

How might we apply ideas from ethical theory to contemporary issues and debates in biotechnology?nnnThis course will provide critical encounters with some of the central topics in the field of bioethics, with an emphasis on new technologies. Controversies over genetic engineering, stem cell research, reproductive technologies, and genetic testing will provide an opportunity for you to critically assess arguments and evidence. We will begin with an overview of the field and the theoretical approaches to bioethics that have been derived from philosophy. You will then have the opportunity to engage in debate and learn how to identify underlying values and how to apply ideas from ethical theory to contemporary problems.
Terms: Win | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: THINK, WAY-ER | Grading: Letter (ABCD/NP)

THINK 14: From the Closed World to the Infinite Universe: Science, Philosophy and Religion

How and why did the Copernican revolution in astronomy ¿ which placed the Sun at the center of the solar system rather than the earth ¿ have such a profound effect on the relationship between science, philosophy, and religion? How did it ultimately lead to the secularization of modern society?nnnThis course examines the defining moments when western science, philosophy, and religion became disentangled from one another, eventually leading to the development of our modern secular culture. As background for understanding the Copernican revolution and its aftermath, we begin with a brief examination of Plato and Aristotle, and how these two Ancient Greek thinkers were later taken up in the medieval period, resulting in a synthesis in which science, philosophy, and religion were intimately interconnected. Against this background we will then focus on the scientific revolution of the 16th and 17th centuries and encounter thinkers who during their lifetimes defied easy categorization: Were Galileo and Newton philosophers or scientists? What about Descartes and Leibniz? In reading texts that we now understand as belonging to one or the other category, we will see how the two disciplines eventually became sharply distinguished from one another ¿ which then led, in turn, to the modern separation between science and religion.
Terms: Win | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: THINK, WAY-A-II | Grading: Letter (ABCD/NP)

THINK 15: How Does Your Brain Work?

How to learn to formulate questions about the brain that are observable, testable, and answerable? What is the relationship between the biology and chemistry of the brain and the mind that lets us talk, walk, laugh, love, learn, remember, and forget?What might neuroscience reveal about what makes us human? The human brain is the most complex organ known. It has evolved over time by adapting to the various behavioral and environmental constraints. The validity of common beliefs about the brain and the structure of the brain and the nervous system; how the elements of the brain function and how together these units produce action. The brain evolved in response to natural selection like all other biological structures. Evolutionary comparisons that illuminate questions about brain function including: What are the origins and consequences of brain damage, how and where do drugs act, how do you collect information about the world and how do you interpret and understand it? Through interactive lectures and discussions, this course is directed at understanding the biological mechanisms of brain function, from its individual components to functioning brains. Students learn to analyze how the science of the brain has emerged through the study of experiments and other observations. In the final project, studentsl learn to critically assess, analyze, and write about a popular media representation of brain science from available scientific literature.
Terms: Win | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: THINK, WAY-SMA | Grading: Letter (ABCD/NP)

THINK 19: Rules of War

When, if ever, is war justified? How are ethical norms translated into rules that govern armed conflict? Are these rules still relevant in light of the changing nature of warfare? nnnWe will examine seminal readings on just war theory, investigate the legal rules that govern the resort to and conduct of war, and study whether these rules affect the conduct of states and individuals. We will examine alternative ethical frameworks, competing disciplinary approaches to war, and tensions between the outcomes suggested by ethical norms, on the one hand, and legal rules, on the other. Students will engage actively with these questions by participating in an interactive role-playing simulation, in which they will be assigned roles as government officials, advisors, or other actors. The class will confront various ethical, legal, and strategic problems as they make decisions about military intervention and policies regarding the threat and use of force in an international crisis.
Terms: Win | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: THINK, WAY-ER, WAY-SI | Grading: Letter (ABCD/NP)

THINK 20: Ultimate Meanings: The Stories Buddhists Tell

Does human existence have some ultimate meaning or purpose? What are we here for, and how should we live our lives? Can the stories used by the world¿s religions help us answer these questions? nnnFor a religion which teaches that we have no selves, Buddhism has produced many great stories with many great characters. In this course students will read and think about some of these stories, drawn from the Buddhist tradition in the many forms which it developed as it spread across Asia. We will look at the biography of the founder, the Buddha, the tales of his previous lives, the stories of his disciples, and of later saints and heroes, religious practitioners and ordinary folk. In reading these stories we will investigate how they elaborate a persuasively constructed world of meaning in terms of which people can make sense of their own personal histories, and from which they can learn how to lead a good and meaningful life.
Terms: Win | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: THINK, WAY-A-II, WAY-ER | Grading: Letter (ABCD/NP)

THINK 21: Folklore and Literature in Russia and Beyond: Vampires, Talking Cats, and Frog Princesses

What is ¿folklore¿ and what is its purpose? How do we decide if something is authentically ¿folk¿ and does it matter? Why are Eastern Europe and Russia associated with the idea of folklore?nnnFor the past two centuries, elite writers, composers, and artists have found inspiration in the stories, songs, and beliefs of their grandparents, their servants (or their slaves), and their neighbors. This class asks what ¿folklore¿ means and what purposes ¿ political and philosophical as well as artistic ¿ it can serve. We begin with examples from around the world: the German Brothers Grimm as well as the Americans Alan and John Lomax. Then we turn to Eastern Europe and the role it has played in the Western European and American imagination as the home of the archaic and the authentic, from the vampires of Transylvania to the oral epics of the Bosnian Serbs to the nostalgic idea of the Jewish shtetl to the fantasy of Soviet communism as a survival of a pre-capitalist order. Students will analyze both folk and elite texts, and will experiment with gathering oral texts and transforming them just as the writers we study did.
Terms: Win | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: THINK, WAY-A-II, WAY-CE | Grading: Letter (ABCD/NP)

THINK 22: Who Owns the Past? Archaeology, Heritage and Global Conflicts

Who owns the past? Is cultural heritage a universal right?nnThis course interrogates the relationship between the past and the present through archaeology. Increasingly, heritage sites are flash points in cultural, economic, and religious conflicts around the globe. Clearly history matters ¿ but how do certain histories come to matter in particular ways, and to whom? Through close study of important archaeological sites, you will learn to analyze landscapes, architecture, and objects, as well as reflect on the scholarly and public debates about history and heritage around the world. Far from being a neutral scholarly exercise, archaeology is embedded in the heated debates about heritage and present-day conflicts.
Terms: Win | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: THINK, WAY-ED, WAY-SI | Grading: Letter (ABCD/NP)

THINK 40: A Transition Toward Sustainability

What are the most critical sustainability challenges facing us in this century? How can natural and social sciences, humanities, and technology fields interact to contribute to their solution? How do we balance the needs and desires of current generations with the needs of future generations?nnThe term ¿sustainability¿ seems to be everywhere. Businesses, cities, non-governmental organizations, individuals, and universities such as Stanford use the term to characterize decisions that make sense for the well-being of people as well as the environment. Beyond the popular use of the term is an emerging field of study that focuses on the goals of sustainable development¿improving human well-being while preserving Earth¿s life support systems (air, water, climate, ecosystems) over the long run¿and explores how science and technology can contribute to the solution of some of the most critical problems of the 21st Century. The goal of this course is to engage you in critical thinking and analysis about complex sustainability challenges and to encourage you to consider the need for integrative solutions that draw on different disciplines. We will examine some of the major problems of sustainable development (including issues related to food, water, and energy resources, climate change, and protection of ecosystem services), grapple with the complexities of problem solving in complex human-environment systems, and participate in the design of effective strategies and policies for meeting sustainability goals. You will learn to develop policy briefs addressing sustainability issues in the university, local communities, state and the nation as well as work on team projects with decision makers that address real-life challenges in your local area.
Terms: Win | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: THINK, WAY-SMA | Grading: Letter (ABCD/NP)
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