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1 - 7 of 7 results for: THINK

THINK 15: How Does Your Brain Work?

How do the biology and chemistry of the brain create the mind that lets us talk, walk, laugh, love, learn, remember, and forget? What can neuroscience say about what makes us human? How can we ask questions about the brain that are observable, testable, and answerable? The human brain is the most complex organ we know. To understand the biology of brain function, this course will use highly interactive lectures and discussions to examine the validity of common beliefs about the brain, discuss how the brain and the nervous system are organized, how individual elements of the brain function, and how together these units produce action. The brain, like all other biological structures, has evolved over time in response to natural selection by adapting to diverse behavioral and environmental constraints. We use evolutionary comparisons to illuminate important questions about brain function, including what the origins and consequences of brain damage are, how and where drugs act, and how you collect, interpret, and understand information about the world. You will learn both how the science of the brain has emerged through understanding important experiments and observations and how you can formulate and test your own experimental questions about the brain.
Terms: Aut | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: THINK, WAY-SMA

THINK 43: What is Love?

Is love a spiritual or a bodily phenomenon? Is the concept of love timeless or ever changing? How does thinking about love lead us to ask other important philosophical and social questions? In this course we will examine the classical roots, medieval developments, and contemporary permutations of Western ideas of romantic love. With an eye to thinking about representations of love in our own culture, we consider some of the foundational love books of the Western tradition. From Plato's Symposium to Chester Brown's graphic novel Paying For It, we ask the fundamental question of whether and how we might distinguish between spiritual and physical desire. We consider how medieval and contemporary writers dealt with the relation of love to sex, power, money, marriage, and gender. We discuss these works of the past, for example the illicit love in the courtly romance Tristan, in tandem with representations of clandestine love from the present day, such as the portrayal of same-sex love in Brokeback Mountain.
Terms: Aut | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: THINK, WAY-A-II, WAY-ED

THINK 49: Stories Everywhere

Do we perceive the world through stories? Are we made of stories? Can we make sense of the world without narrative? The telling of stories is not just a form of entertainment but an essential human activity that moves and persuades us, compelling us to action and reflection. In this course, we will probe how moral, cognitive and historical forces give stories their power. You will be introduced to the basic theory and art of storytelling, enabling you to understand and master the fundamentals of narrative structure, plot, and character. This will allow you to practice producing your own stories through both interpretative and creative writing assignments. The class will also give students the chance to participate in various story-making activities and work with the Stanford Storytelling Project, San Francisco StoryCorps, School of the Arts and the Stanford Innocence Project to create assignments that would be useful to both private and nonprofit organizations.
Terms: Aut | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: THINK, WAY-A-II, WAY-CE

THINK 51: The Spirit of Democracy

This course provides an overview of the challenges and aspirations facing ideals of democracy. It deals both with competing visions of what democracy might be, and their actual realization not only in the US but around the world. It will begin with the debate over the American founding and move eventually to the "third wave" of democratization around the world in the late 20th century as well as its more recent retrenchment. The problems of democratic reform are continuing and recurrent around the world. Democratic institutions are subject to a living dialogue and we intend to engage the students in these debates, at the level of democratic theory and at the level of specific institutional designs.
Terms: Aut | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: THINK, WAY-SI

THINK 60: American Enemies

It would seem that an enemy should be easy to identify, but this course proposes that this involves deliberation, choice, and an assessment of consequences. We will explore modern American experiences in defining enemies, here defined as mortal threats to the state and the national collective. We will focus on ideas, thinking and assumptions rather than historical chronology. Who are enemies? How are they defined and by whom? How are enemies characterized and perceived? The narrative content of the course would be a historical study of the American engagement with enemies from 1942 to 1990. We will begin with the war or terror, return to consider the experience of the Japanese enemy of World War II, and then come up through the years of the Cold War and beyond.
Terms: Aut | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: THINK, WAY-A-II, WAY-ED

THINK 63: Justice and the University

How do the fundamental purpose of the university, the pursuit of knowledge, and the pursuit of justice coincide? Or do they conflict and pull us in different directions? Our goal in this class will be to focus on the intersection of justice and knowledge by examining how issues of liberty, equality, and security arise on college campuses. University campuses have a long history as sites of activism across a wide variety of domains and this course will cover a number of them including trigger warnings and safe spaces; free speech; ethics in research; Dreamer Act and college access for undocumented persons. Our goal in this course is to get students to think critically about tradeoffs among society's most treasured goals. When these goals come into tension, how should decisions be made about which goal must give way? We aim to teach students how to identify and think about these conflicts and how to craft arguments, both written and oral, in support of their positions, using a variety of source materials.
Terms: Aut | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: THINK, WAY-ER

THINK 67: What Makes Music Classical?

This course asks a question that can elicit a variety of responses. Classical music means different things to different people. For some it connotes Western art music of a particular historical era. According to this understanding, classical music follows baroque music and is superseded by romantic music; it develops a style, the classical style, as perfected by Haydn and Mozart. For others classical music has broader significance, referring to a cultural practice that predates the eighteenth century, going as far back as Gregorian chant and extending through the present. There are a variety of factors that define that practice, some more enduring than others: transmission through musical notation, theories of tonal systems, techniques of composition. Formal analysis, though often considered a sub-discipline of music theory and hence purely descriptive and objective, is hardly value free. Aesthetic interests and prejudices come into play, whether implicitly or explicitly.
Terms: Aut | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: THINK, WAY-A-II
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