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ESF 16A: Education as Self-Fashioning: Curiosity

Curiosity is a personal interest about something that often has no specific application in the real world or is not part of an overarching goal. Curiosity is often dismissed as irrelevant, useless, and even unethical, but it is just as often touted as the foundation to an intellectually rich life. Albert Einstein once remarked, "I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious," and he insisted that only curiosity makes life worth living. Thomas Fuller, by contrast, warned: "Curiosity is a kernel of the forbidden fruit, which still sticks in the throat of a natural man, sometimes to the danger of his choking." Is it possible to reconcile these opposing views on curiosity? What role does curiosity play in a liberal education? What is the role of curiosity in technology and "progress?" What is the relationship between curiosity and individualism? How does curiosity help us develop as critical thinkers? How does curiosity coexist with (or enable) intellectualism? In this course w more »
Curiosity is a personal interest about something that often has no specific application in the real world or is not part of an overarching goal. Curiosity is often dismissed as irrelevant, useless, and even unethical, but it is just as often touted as the foundation to an intellectually rich life. Albert Einstein once remarked, "I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious," and he insisted that only curiosity makes life worth living. Thomas Fuller, by contrast, warned: "Curiosity is a kernel of the forbidden fruit, which still sticks in the throat of a natural man, sometimes to the danger of his choking." Is it possible to reconcile these opposing views on curiosity? What role does curiosity play in a liberal education? What is the role of curiosity in technology and "progress?" What is the relationship between curiosity and individualism? How does curiosity help us develop as critical thinkers? How does curiosity coexist with (or enable) intellectualism? In this course we¿ll examine cabinets of curiosities, and read a wide variety of texts spanning from Antiquity to today, including the legend of Faust, and texts by Goethe, Kafka, Hoffmann, Aristotle, Plato, and Augustine, that explore the nature of curiosity, its pitfalls and possibilities, as well as its importance for living a fulfilled and interesting life.
Terms: Aut | Units: 7 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II

ETHICSOC 20: Introduction to Moral Philosophy (PHIL 2)

What should I do with my life? What kind of person should I be? How should we treat others? What makes actions right or wrong? What is good and what is bad? What should we value? How should we organize society? Is there any reason to be moral? Is morality relative or subjective? How, if at all, can such questions be answered? Intensive introduction to theories and techniques in contemporary moral philosophy.
Terms: Spr | Units: 5 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, GER:EC-EthicReas, WAY-A-II, WAY-ER
Instructors: Maguire, B. (PI)

ETHICSOC 130A: Classical Seminar: Origins of Political Thought (CLASSICS 181, CLASSICS 381, PHIL 176A, PHIL 276A, POLISCI 230A, POLISCI 330A)

Political philosophy in classical antiquity, centered on reading canonical works of Thucydides, Plato, Aristotle against other texts and against the political and historical background. Topics include: interdependence, legitimacy, justice; political obligation, citizenship, and leadership; origins and development of democracy; law, civic strife, and constitutional change.
Terms: Win | Units: 3-5 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, WAY-A-II, WAY-ER

ETHICSOC 131S: Modern Political Thought: Machiavelli to Marx and Mill (POLISCI 131L)

This course offers an introduction to the history of Western political thought from the late fifteenth through the nineteenth centuries. We will consider the development of ideas like individual rights, government by consent, and the protection of private property. We will also explore the ways in which these ideas continue to animate contemporary political debates. Thinkers covered will include: Niccolò Machiavelli, Thomas Hobbes, John Locke, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Edmund Burke, John Stuart Mill, and Karl Marx.
Terms: Spr | Units: 5 | UG Reqs: GER:EC-EthicReas, WAY-A-II, WAY-ER

ETHICSOC 170: Ethical Theory (PHIL 170, PHIL 270)

This course serves as a rigorous introduction to moral philosophy for students with little or no background. We will examine ideas from four important figures in moral thought: Plato, David Hume, Immanuel Kant, and John Stuart Mill. Each of these philosophers played an integral role in the development of moral philosophy, because each offers thoughtful, compelling answers to some of the discipline¿s most central questions. These questions include: What is involved in being a good person or living a good life? What should we value, and why? How are we motivated by morality? How (if at all) is morality a matter of what is customary or conventional? How (much) do the consequences of our actions matter? Importantly, this course is not only about learning what others have thought about the answers to these (and related) questions. By considering and criticizing the ideas and arguments of these philosophers, the aim is to cultivate our own ability to think systematically, rationally, and reflectively, and to make up our own minds about how to answer these kinds of questions.
Terms: Win | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, GER:EC-EthicReas, WAY-A-II, WAY-ER

ETHICSOC 172: History of Moral Philosophy (PHIL 172)

prerequisites: Phil 2 and Phil 80. Not for graduate students.
| UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, WAY-A-II, WAY-ER

ETHICSOC 175B: Philosophy of Law (PHIL 175, PHIL 275)

This course will explore foundational issues about the nature of law and its relation to morality, and about legal responsibility and criminal punishment. Prerequisite: graduate student standing in philosophy or, for others, prior course work in philosophy that includes Philosophy 80.
Terms: Spr | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, WAY-A-II, WAY-ER
Instructors: Bratman, M. (PI)

ETHICSOC 176: Political Philosophy: The Social Contract Tradition (PHIL 176, PHIL 276, POLISCI 137A, POLISCI 337A)

(Graduate students register for 276.) Why and under what conditions do human beings need political institutions? What makes them legitimate or illegitimate? What is the nature, source, and extent of the obligation to obey the legitimate ones, and how should people alter or overthrow the others? Study of the answers given to such questions by major political theorists of the early modern period: Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, and Kant.
Last offered: Winter 2019 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, WAY-A-II, WAY-ER

ETHICSOC 233R: The Ethics of Religious Politics

Is it possible for a deeply committed religious person to be a good citizen in a liberal, pluralistic democracy? Is it morally inappropriate for religious citizens to appeal to the teachings of their tradition when they support and vote for laws that coerce fellow citizens? Must the religiously committed be prepared to defend their arguments by appealing to 'secular reasons' ostensibly accessible to all 'reasonable' citizens? What is so special about religious claims of conscience and expression that they warrant special protection in the constitution of most liberal democracies? Is freedom of religion an illusion when it is left to ostensibly secular courts to decide what counts as religion? Exploration of the debates surrounding the public role of religion in a religiously pluralistic American democracy through the writings of scholars on all sides of the issue from the fields of law, political science, philosophy, and religious studies.
Last offered: Winter 2015 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, GER:EC-EthicReas, WAY-A-II, WAY-ER

FEMGEN 13N: Women Making Music (MUSIC 14N)

Preference to freshmen. Women's musical activities across times and cultures; how ideas about gender influence the creation, performance, and perception of music.
Terms: Aut | Units: 3 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, GER:EC-Gender, WAY-A-II, WAY-ED
Instructors: Hadlock, H. (PI)
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