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171 - 180 of 186 results for: all courses

RELIGST 17N: Love, Power, and Justice: Ethics in Christian Perspective

From its inception, the Christian faith has, like all religions, implied an ethos as well as a worldview, a morality and way of life as well as a system of beliefs, an ethics as well as a metaphysics. Throughout history, Christian thinkers have offered reasoned accounts of the moral values, principles, and virtues that ought to animate the adherents of what eventually became the world's largest religion. We will explore a variety of controversial issues, theological orientations, and types of ethical reasoning in the Christian tradition, treating the latter as one 'comprehensive doctrine' (John Rawls) among many; a normative framework (actually a variety of contested religious premises, moral teachings, and philosophical arguments) formally on par with the religious ethics of other major faiths as well as with the various secular moral theories typically discussed in the modern university. We will learn to interpret, reconstruct, criticize, and think intelligently about the coherence and persuasiveness of moral arguments offered by a diverse handful of this religious tradition's best thinkers and critics, past and present.
Last offered: Spring 2016 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, WAY-A-II, WAY-ER

RELIGST 119: Religion, Violence, and Nonviolence

College courses and public events often address "religion and violence"--an important topic, but one-sided. We will study ways in which religious leaders, movements, and discourses have (1) promoted violent conflict, aggression, and oppression; and (2) contributed to nonviolence, peacebuilding, and liberation of the oppressed. An overarching theme will be a view of religions as fields of interpretation. No religion is essentially violent or peaceful; intricately connected to the world around them, religions become what they become through interpretation and action. Each week will have two meetings: one featuring an outstanding guest lecturer and one to discuss the lecture topic, with assigned readings and films. Topics under consideration include: Buddhism and Violence; Dorothy Day and Catholic Nonviolent Resistance to Nuclear Weapons; Just War and Jihad; The Contribution of Negro Spirituals to Liberation; The Quakers: Pacifist Convictions and Activism; Violence/Nonviolence in Jainism; The Role of Christian Faith in M.L. King's Political Work; Spirituality and Religious Peacebuilding. For lecture series with required attendance and written reflections for 2 units, take RELIGST 29.
Last offered: Winter 2016 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, GER:EC-GlobalCom, WAY-A-II, WAY-ER

SIMILE 93: Science in the Making Integrated Learning Environment

SIMILE is a new residentially-based program organized around the question of when something we might call "science" identifiably began, what it became, and what it might become. While we may believe that science, technology and medicine represent some of the powerful tools we have for making a difference in the world, SIMILE challenges students to consider these as dynamic and changing fields of knowledge which must be understood in their historical, cultural and social contexts. Only then can we consider how new ideas, interpretations, technological artifacts and systems respond to societal needs within the limits of what is possible but also, importantly, in light of what might even become plausible.
Last offered: Spring 2015 | UG Reqs: THINK, WAY-ER, WAY-SI

SLE 92: Structured Liberal Education

Focusing on great works of philosophy, religion, literature, painting, and film drawn largely from the Western tradition, the SLE curriculum places particular emphasis on artists and intellectuals who brought new ways of thinking and new ways of creating into the world, often overthrowing prior traditions in the process. These are the works that redefined beauty, challenged the authority of conventional wisdom, raised questions of continuing importance to us today, and¿for good or ill¿created the world we still live in. Texts may include: Augustine, the Qur'an, Dante, Rumi, Machiavelli, Montaigne, Shakespeare, Cervantes, Las Casas, Descartes, Locke, Mill, Schleiermacher, and Flaubert.
Terms: Win | Units: 8 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, GER:IHUM-2, THINK, WAY-A-II, WAY-ER, Writing SLE

SOC 8: Sport, Competition, and Society

This course uses the tools of social science to help understand debates and puzzles from contemporary sports, and in doing so shows how sports and other contests provide many telling examples of enduring social dynamics and larger social trends. We also consider how sport serves as the entry point for many larger debates about the morality and ethics raised by ongoing social change.
Terms: Aut | Units: 5 | UG Reqs: WAY-ER, WAY-SI

SYMSYS 122: Artificial Intelligence: Philosophy, Ethics, & Impact

Recent advances in computing may place us at the threshold of a unique turning point in human history. Soon we are likely to entrust management of our environment, economy, security, infrastructure, food production, healthcare, and to a large degree even our personal activities, to artificially intelligent computer systems. The prospect of "turning over the keys" to increasingly autonomous systems raises many complex and troubling questions. How will society respond as versatile robots and machine-learning systems displace an ever-expanding spectrum of blue- and white-collar workers? Will the benefits of this technological revolution be broadly distributed or accrue to a lucky few? How can we ensure that these systems respect our ethical principles when they make decisions at speeds and for rationales that exceed our ability to comprehend? What, if any, legal rights and responsibilities should we grant them? And should we regard them merely as sophisticated tools or as a newly emerging form of life? The goal of this course is to equip students with the intellectual tools, ethical foundation, and psychological framework to successfully navigate the coming age of intelligent machines.
Last offered: Autumn 2014 | UG Reqs: WAY-ER

THINK 2: The Art of Living

Where do our ideals for living come from, and how should they be structured? How do we justify them in the face of criticism? What role do great works of art play in this creative process?nnnOur lives are not simply given to us, but also something we make: as we examine the circumstances of our existence, recognizing certain facts as immutable and others as subject to our control, each of us faces the challenge of fashioning out of them a way of living that is both meaningful and justifiable. The Art of Living will explore different ways to think about the nature of that challenge ¿ how to accommodate conflicting demands and values, how to make our choices ¿artfully,¿ how we might use works of imaginative literature to inspire us. We will read important works of literature and philosophy, each of which implies a different value by which to live, whether reason, authenticity, community, art, or faith. In each case, you will be presented with different perspectives and asked to work out for yourself what you find most persuasive, thereby fine-tuning skills essential to your own lifelong project of self-construction.
Last offered: Autumn 2012 | UG Reqs: THINK, WAY-A-II, WAY-ER

THINK 5: Justice and the Constitution

How does justice incorporate the ideals of liberty, equality, and security? How are these ideals balanced against each other? How are they made concrete in the US Constitution and law? What is the relationship between justice and the law? In this course we consider three core ideals that animate the idea of liberty: freedom, equality and security. We explore the relationship between these different ideals through an interdisciplinary inquiry that includes political philosophy, history and law. In your reading, writing and thinking, you will move between the realm of abstract ideas and actual legal cases. We begin with the philosophical roots of the ideals of liberty, equality and security and then focus on their articulation in the US Constitution and the overarching US legal framework and public policy. Students will learn to analyze the distinctive challenges posed to the ideals of liberty, equality and security by twenty-first century developments such as the emergence of the internet and the rise of non-state warfare.
Last offered: Autumn 2014 | UG Reqs: THINK, WAY-ER, WAY-SI

THINK 7: Journeys

Is death final or only the beginning of another journey? How do the mysteries of destination give rise to our most basic questions of purpose, meaning, and faith, and challenge us to consider our proper relation to others? Journeys will examine works written across a span of some 2,300 years, from Chinese philosophy to American short stories. Each of these forms and genres presents some essential aspect of the journey we all share, and of the various passages we make within that one great journey that relentlessly challenge and transform us even as we advance toward what the poet Thomas Gray called our "inevitable hour." By reading, discussing, and interpreting these works, we will ask you to consider how each text compels us, by the penetration of its vision and the power of its art, to make part of our own journey in its company.
Last offered: Autumn 2014 | UG Reqs: THINK, WAY-A-II, WAY-ER

THINK 9: Technological Visions of Utopia

How do science and technology shape the frameworks for imagining utopian or dystopian societies? Sir Thomas More gave a name to the philosophical ideal of a good society - a word that is now a part of common language: utopia. In the almost 500 years since More's Utopia appeared, changes in society - including enormous advances in science and technology - have opened up new possibilities for the utopian society that More and his predecessors could not have envisioned. At the same time science and technology also entail risks that suggest more dystopian scenarios - in their most extreme form, threats to humanity's very survival. We will look at several works that consider how literary visions of society have evolved with the progress of science and technology. The readings begin with More and include examples of more technologically determined visions of the late 20th century, as imagined in works of fiction.
Last offered: Autumn 2014 | UG Reqs: THINK, WAY-A-II, WAY-ER
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