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ESF 1: Education as Self-Fashioning: The Active, Inquiring, Beautiful Life

Moving through history from the Rome of the Emperor Hadrian, to the city-states of Renaissance Italy, to the 18th century republic of the United States, we will examine how self-made men fashioned themselves and their surroundings by educating themselves broadly. We will ask how a liberal education made their active careers richer and more transformational. We will also take up the great debate on whether a liberal education or vocational training is the surest path to advancement. We will engage this debate through the works of W.E.B. Du Bois and Booker T. Washington but consider today's struggle over the same issues ¿ a struggle that engrosses both highly industrialized and developing societies.
Terms: Aut | Units: 7 | UG Reqs: THINK, WAY-ER, Writing 1 | Grading: Letter (ABCD/NP)
Instructors: ; Hoxby, B. (PI); Hoxby, C. (PI)

ESF 1A: Education as Self-Fashioning: The Active, Inquiring, Beautiful Life

Moving through history from the Rome of the Emperor Hadrian, to the city-states of Renaissance Italy, to the 18th century republic of the United States, we will examine how self-made men fashioned themselves and their surroundings by educating themselves broadly. We will ask how a liberal education made their active careers richer and more transformational. We will also take up the great debate on whether a liberal education or vocational training is the surest path to advancement. We will engage this debate through the works of W.E.B. Du Bois and Booker T. Washington but consider today's struggle over the same issues ¿ a struggle that engrosses both highly industrialized and developing societies.
Terms: Aut | Units: 7 | UG Reqs: THINK, WAY-ER, Writing 1 | Grading: Letter (ABCD/NP)
Instructors: ; Hoxby, B. (PI); Hoxby, C. (PI)

ESF 2: Education as Self-Fashioning: The German Tradition of Bildung or How to Become a Global Citizen

This course considers education not as training in external knowledge or skills but as a lifelong process of development and growth in which an individual cultivates her or his spiritual, cultural and social sensibilities. This concept of education¿education as a formative and transformative process in the development of the self¿is called Bildung in German and has a long tradition reaching back to the Middle Ages. The term first appears in the writings of the mystic Meister Eckhart who defines it as self-composure which he regards as a crucial stage in our spiritual development. The concept of Bildung takes on a secular meaning in the Reformation, when Ulrich von Hutten first coined the phrase that has become Stanford¿s motto: ¿Die Luft der Freiheit weht¿ (The wind of freedom is blowing.¿). What he meant is that the cultivation of oneself leads to the freedom of thought, freedom to act, freedom to assert oneself as an individual, freedom to access knowledge, and freedom to determine one¿s own role in society. This idea of education as an internal and transformative process is central to debates in the nineteenth century¿both in Germany and the United States¿in which self-reflection is seen as key to the cultivation of an individual¿s identity and to her or his role as a member of society. In this course we will read reflections on education as self-fashioning by some of the greatest German thinkers spanning from the Middle Ages to the present. We will also enjoy some contemporary parodies of such reflections. These readings and our discussions will help us to understand Stanford undergraduate education as a transformative process of self-realization in our global society.
Terms: Aut | Units: 7 | UG Reqs: THINK, WAY-A-II, Writing 1 | Grading: Letter (ABCD/NP)
Instructors: ; Starkey, K. (PI)

ESF 2A: Education as Self-Fashioning: The German Tradition of Bildung or How to Become a Global Citizen

This course considers education not as training in external knowledge or skills but as a lifelong process of development and growth in which an individual cultivates her or his spiritual, cultural and social sensibilities. This concept of education¿education as a formative and transformative process in the development of the self¿is called Bildung in German and has a long tradition reaching back to the Middle Ages. The term first appears in the writings of the mystic Meister Eckhart who defines it as self-composure which he regards as a crucial stage in our spiritual development. The concept of Bildung takes on a secular meaning in the Reformation, when Ulrich von Hutten first coined the phrase that has become Stanford¿s motto: ¿Die Luft der Freiheit weht¿ (The wind of freedom is blowing.¿). What he meant is that the cultivation of oneself leads to the freedom of thought, freedom to act, freedom to assert oneself as an individual, freedom to access knowledge, and freedom to determine one¿s own role in society. This idea of education as an internal and transformative process is central to debates in the nineteenth century¿both in Germany and the United States¿in which self-reflection is seen as key to the cultivation of an individual¿s identity and to her or his role as a member of society. In this course we will read reflections on education as self-fashioning by some of the greatest German thinkers spanning from the Middle Ages to the present. We will also enjoy some contemporary parodies of such reflections. These readings and our discussions will help us to understand Stanford undergraduate education as a transformative process of self-realization in our global society.
Terms: Aut | Units: 7 | UG Reqs: THINK, WAY-A-II, Writing 1 | Grading: Letter (ABCD/NP)
Instructors: ; Starkey, K. (PI)

ESF 3: Education as Self-Fashioning: How to be a Public Intellectual

Can education impart more than bookish learning? This is the question that critics have posed since the European Renaissance. Through their reflections, these critics posited an alternative ideal of education that prepared the student for life outside the academy. Over the centuries, this ideal would evolve into what we would today call an ¿intellectual¿ ¿ but this modern concept only captures a part of what earlier writers thought learning could achieve. In this course, we will focus on how education can prepare students to engage in public debates and the role that the university can play in public learning.
Terms: Aut | Units: 7 | UG Reqs: THINK, WAY-A-II, Writing 1 | Grading: Letter (ABCD/NP)
Instructors: ; Edelstein, D. (PI)

ESF 3A: Education as Self-Fashioning: How to be a Public Intellectual

Can education impart more than bookish learning? This is the question that critics have posed since the European Renaissance. Through their reflections, these critics posited an alternative ideal of education that prepared the student for life outside the academy. Over the centuries, this ideal would evolve into what we would today call an ¿intellectual¿ ¿ but this modern concept only captures a part of what earlier writers thought learning could achieve. In this course, we will focus on how education can prepare students to engage in public debates and the role that the university can play in public learning.
Terms: Aut | Units: 7 | UG Reqs: THINK, WAY-A-II, Writing 1 | Grading: Letter (ABCD/NP)
Instructors: ; Edelstein, D. (PI)

ESF 4: Education as Self-Fashioning: Learning to Change

Does education entail changing the self? How much? Why should I change my life? How do I discover that I need to change? Who can rightly tell me how to change? What difference does it make? These and related questions have been around for a long time, yet that makes them no easier to answer today than 2500 years ago. In the 5th century BCE, Socrates found that his answers--based on his own will to change--proved troublesome, and ultimately fatal. His follower, the philosopher Plato, transformed the Socratic exploration into idiosyncratic utopian visions that sought to change the conditions of life--and so make Socrates' fate unrepeatable. Plato's own followers, from Aristotle onward, found new ways to explain, enact, or evade change. Not until the end of antiquity, however, do we find, in Augustine of Hippo (354-430 CE), someone as explicitly and passionately committed to personal change as the early Greek thinker. Bookended by the major figures of the Athenian seeker and the North African, this course will lead students to analyze and compare their own tentative answers with the ideas on self-fashioning that can be found in a range of ancient texts. Students will demonstrate their grasp of the material through a variety of exercises, including a research paper, discourse analyses, and responses in persona.
Terms: Aut | Units: 7 | UG Reqs: THINK, WAY-A-II, WAY-ER, Writing 1 | Grading: Letter (ABCD/NP)
Instructors: ; Martin, R. (PI)

ESF 4A: Education as Self-Fashioning: Learning to Change

Does education entail changing the self? How much? Why should I change my life? How do I discover that I need to change? Who can rightly tell me how to change? What difference does it make? These and related questions have been around for a long time, yet that makes them no easier to answer today than 2500 years ago. In the 5th century BCE, Socrates found that his answers--based on his own will to change--proved troublesome, and ultimately fatal. His follower, the philosopher Plato, transformed the Socratic exploration into idiosyncratic utopian visions that sought to change the conditions of life--and so make Socrates' fate unrepeatable. Plato's own followers, from Aristotle onward, found new ways to explain, enact, or evade change. Not until the end of antiquity, however, do we find, in Augustine of Hippo (354-430 CE), someone as explicitly and passionately committed to personal change as the early Greek thinker. Bookended by the major figures of the Athenian seeker and the North African, this course will lead students to analyze and compare their own tentative answers with the ideas on self-fashioning that can be found in a range of ancient texts. Students will demonstrate their grasp of the material through a variety of exercises, including a research paper, discourse analyses, and responses in persona.
Terms: Aut | Units: 7 | UG Reqs: THINK, WAY-A-II, WAY-ER, Writing 1 | Grading: Letter (ABCD/NP)
Instructors: ; Martin, R. (PI)

ESF 5: Education as Self-Fashioning: Thinking Like a Philosopher

The Ancient Greek aphorism ¿Know thyself¿ is a centerpiece of wisdom. But knowing one¿s own mind is not easy, in part because it is not a matter of simply looking inward to find one¿s proclivities and beliefs; it seems one must look outward to the issues and questions the world presents, and know what one thinks about them. Knowing oneself is in part a matter of knowing one¿s way around as a thinker, where that is a matter of knowing how to think about issues, when to trust one¿s judgment and when to withhold it. Fashioning or making oneself into a better (more acute, more sensitive, more judicious) reasoner is something philosophy as a discipline holds out as a promise. In this course, we will take up the first task of becoming better reasoners about a select handful of persistent problems; we will at the same time reflect on what it is that philosophical thinking is, and how it might shape us as thinkers.
Terms: Aut | Units: 7 | UG Reqs: THINK, WAY-A-II, WAY-ER, Writing 1 | Grading: Letter (ABCD/NP)
Instructors: ; Lawlor, K. (PI)

ESF 5A: Education as Self-Fashioning: Thinking Like a Philosopher

The Ancient Greek aphorism ¿Know thyself¿ is a centerpiece of wisdom. But knowing one¿s own mind is not easy, in part because it is not a matter of simply looking inward to find one¿s proclivities and beliefs; it seems one must look outward to the issues and questions the world presents, and know what one thinks about them. Knowing oneself is in part a matter of knowing one¿s way around as a thinker, where that is a matter of knowing how to think about issues, when to trust one¿s judgment and when to withhold it. Fashioning or making oneself into a better (more acute, more sensitive, more judicious) reasoner is something philosophy as a discipline holds out as a promise. In this course, we will take up the first task of becoming better reasoners about a select handful of persistent problems; we will at the same time reflect on what it is that philosophical thinking is, and how it might shape us as thinkers.
Terms: Aut | Units: 7 | UG Reqs: THINK, WAY-A-II, WAY-ER, Writing 1 | Grading: Letter (ABCD/NP)
Instructors: ; Lawlor, K. (PI)

ESF 6: Education as Self-Fashioning: The Wind of Freedom

Stanford's unofficial motto, "the wind of freedom blows," engraved in German on the university seal, invites us the ponder freedom in the context of education. What is the relation between freedom and the "liberal" arts? Does studying free your mind? Does free will even exist? If so, how does education help you develop its potential? This course will look at various authors -- from antiquity through the 20th century -- who have thought about the blessings, burdens, and obligations of human freedom. Beginning with Eve in the Garden of Eden, we will explore how exercising freedom in your personal choices and conduct not only determines your fate as an individual but carries with it a measure of responsibility for the world. We will place special emphasis on the implications of such responsibility in our own time.
Terms: Aut | Units: 7 | UG Reqs: THINK, WAY-A-II, WAY-ER, Writing 1 | Grading: Letter (ABCD/NP)
Instructors: ; Harrison, R. (PI)

ESF 6A: Education as Self-Fashioning: The Wind of Freedom

Stanford's unofficial motto, "the wind of freedom blows," engraved in German on the university seal, invites us the ponder freedom in the context of education. What is the relation between freedom and the "liberal" arts? Does studying free your mind? Does free will even exist? If so, how does education help you develop its potential? This course will look at various authors -- from antiquity through the 20th century -- who have thought about the blessings, burdens, and obligations of human freedom. Beginning with Eve in the Garden of Eden, we will explore how exercising freedom in your personal choices and conduct not only determines your fate as an individual but carries with it a measure of responsibility for the world. We will place special emphasis on the implications of such responsibility in our own time.
Terms: Aut | Units: 7 | UG Reqs: THINK, WAY-A-II, WAY-ER, Writing 1 | Grading: Letter (ABCD/NP)
Instructors: ; Harrison, R. (PI)

ESF 50: Education as Self-Fashioning Lecture Series

One-unit lecture series featuring prominent intellectuals lecturing on the nature and meaning of liberal education (associated with Education as Self-Fashioning.) NOTE: students enrolled in the 7-unit ESF course should NOT add this course to their study list; this 1-unit course is only for non-ESF students who wish to enroll in the lecture series only. Lectures will constitute an ongoing, campus-wide conversation about the aims of liberal education that extends the ''First Lecture'' featured in New Student Orientation.
Terms: Aut | Units: 1 | Grading: Satisfactory/No Credit
Instructors: ; Hoxby, B. (PI)
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