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ESF 15: Education as Self-Fashioning: College and the Good Life

Academic study was once concerned with one overriding question: what is the best way to live our lives? What are the ultimate goals and values we should privilege over others? Today we often assume that value choices are personal. But many teachers in Antiquity (and beyond) thought that these choices needed to be debated, and that education demanded that we debate and think them through. In this class, we ask questions about the good life, but we also consider whether college is still designed to raise such questions. We will read thought-provoking, influential texts from Antiquity and modern times, by such writers as Plato, Marcus Aurelius, Montaigne, Voltaire, DuBois, and Martha Nussbaum.nFriday lectures will be held 9:30am-10:50am in Bishop Auditorium.
Last offered: Autumn 2019 | UG Reqs: THINK, WAY-A-II, Writing 1

ESF 15A: Education as Self-Fashioning: College and The Good Life

Academic study was once concerned with one overriding question: what is the best way to live our lives? What are the ultimate goals and values we should privilege over others? Today we often assume that value choices are personal. But many teachers in Antiquity (and beyond) thought that these choices needed to be debated, and that education demanded that we debate and think them through. In this class, we ask questions about the good life, but we also consider whether college is still designed to raise such questions. We will read thought-provoking, influential texts from Antiquity and modern times, by such writers as Plato, Marcus Aurelius, Montaigne, Voltaire, DuBois, and Martha Nussbaum.
Last offered: Autumn 2019 | UG Reqs: THINK, WAY-A-II, Writing 1

ESF 16: 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.
Last offered: Autumn 2019 | UG Reqs: THINK, WAY-A-II, Writing 1

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.
Last offered: Autumn 2019 | UG Reqs: THINK, WAY-A-II, Writing 1

ESF 17: What Can You Do for Your Country?

What does it mean to serve your country? All ethical systems train the individual to relinquish self-interest in favor of a larger communal good. When you applied to Stanford, you answered many application questions designed to elicit evidence of your ability to serve others, which is considered a sign of good character, leadership, and ability to thrive beyond the confines of your family and private world. Knowing you¿ve wrestled with this question at length, showing sacrifice, endurance, empathy, and understanding of higher goods, this course asks you to examine the nation¿s view. How can the nation present itself as worthy of your personal sacrifice? Do you need to believe in the greatness of your nation to serve? What kind of cause demands your devotion? Nations have differently articulated such a commitment. Some make modest demands and promise you your own sovereignty. Others request only that you dream of national greatness as your own and that you lend a hand. But all nations r more »
What does it mean to serve your country? All ethical systems train the individual to relinquish self-interest in favor of a larger communal good. When you applied to Stanford, you answered many application questions designed to elicit evidence of your ability to serve others, which is considered a sign of good character, leadership, and ability to thrive beyond the confines of your family and private world. Knowing you¿ve wrestled with this question at length, showing sacrifice, endurance, empathy, and understanding of higher goods, this course asks you to examine the nation¿s view. How can the nation present itself as worthy of your personal sacrifice? Do you need to believe in the greatness of your nation to serve? What kind of cause demands your devotion? Nations have differently articulated such a commitment. Some make modest demands and promise you your own sovereignty. Others request only that you dream of national greatness as your own and that you lend a hand. But all nations require at some point, everything from you. What and when are you prepared to give?nnThis course begins with the shortest and most powerful demand for the last full measure your devotion. President Abraham Lincoln¿s ¿Gettysburg Address,¿ which presents the ideals of the American nation as worthy of returning to war. Following this question of devotion to your nation, the course moves to President JF Kennedy¿s ¿What can you do for your nation¿ speech, and then to diverse periods and perspectives around the globe.
Terms: Aut | Units: 7 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II

ESF 17A: What Can You Do for Your Country?

What does it mean to serve your country? All ethical systems train the individual to relinquish self-interest in favor of a larger communal good. When you applied to Stanford, you answered many application questions designed to elicit evidence of your ability to serve others, which is considered a sign of good character, leadership, and ability to thrive beyond the confines of your family and private world. Knowing you¿ve wrestled with this question at length, showing sacrifice, endurance, empathy, and understanding of higher goods, this course asks you to examine the nation¿s view. How can the nation present itself as worthy of your personal sacrifice? Do you need to believe in the greatness of your nation to serve? What kind of cause demands your devotion? Nations have differently articulated such a commitment. Some make modest demands and promise you your own sovereignty. Others request only that you dream of national greatness as your own and that you lend a hand. But all nations r more »
What does it mean to serve your country? All ethical systems train the individual to relinquish self-interest in favor of a larger communal good. When you applied to Stanford, you answered many application questions designed to elicit evidence of your ability to serve others, which is considered a sign of good character, leadership, and ability to thrive beyond the confines of your family and private world. Knowing you¿ve wrestled with this question at length, showing sacrifice, endurance, empathy, and understanding of higher goods, this course asks you to examine the nation¿s view. How can the nation present itself as worthy of your personal sacrifice? Do you need to believe in the greatness of your nation to serve? What kind of cause demands your devotion? Nations have differently articulated such a commitment. Some make modest demands and promise you your own sovereignty. Others request only that you dream of national greatness as your own and that you lend a hand. But all nations require at some point, everything from you. What and when are you prepared to give?nnThis course begins with the shortest and most powerful demand for the last full measure your devotion. President Abraham Lincoln¿s ¿Gettysburg Address,¿ which presents the ideals of the American nation as worthy of returning to war. Following this question of devotion to your nation, the course moves to President JF Kennedy¿s ¿What can you do for your nation¿ speech, and then to diverse periods and perspectives around the globe.
Terms: Aut | Units: 7 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II

ESF 18: Between Gods and Beasts: The Struggle for Humanity

Centuries ago, Plotinus famously wrote that humanity was ¿poised midway between gods and beasts¿ (Enneads 3.2.8). Some individuals ¿grow like to the divine,¿ he asserted, and ¿others to the brute.¿ Since antiquity, many different societies, east and west, have understood education as a fundamental factor in determining whether individuals became fully realized as human beings, or something less. Considered a civilizing force for individuals and societies, education aimed not only at the acquisition of knowledge and skills, but also at the cultivation of goodness, the attainment of wisdom, and the achievement of happiness. In short, the goal of learning was to live well. nnWhat does it mean to live well? How does one cultivate one¿s nature or become one¿s best possible self? What kind of personal and intellectual development does this presuppose? Are there limits to the human capacity for self-development and change? In this course we will ponder such questions as we reflect critically on human nature and on historical and contemporary ideas regarding education, self-development, and living well.
Terms: Aut | Units: 7 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II

ESF 18A: Between Gods and Beasts: The Struggle for Humanity

Centuries ago, Plotinus famously wrote that humanity was ¿poised midway between gods and beasts¿ (Enneads 3.2.8). Some individuals ¿grow like to the divine,¿ he asserted, and ¿others to the brute.¿ Since antiquity, many different societies, east and west, have understood education as a fundamental factor in determining whether individuals became fully realized as human beings, or something less. Considered a civilizing force for individuals and societies, education aimed not only at the acquisition of knowledge and skills, but also at the cultivation of goodness, the attainment of wisdom, and the achievement of happiness. In short, the goal of learning was to live well. nnWhat does it mean to live well? How does one cultivate one¿s nature or become one¿s best possible self? What kind of personal and intellectual development does this presuppose? Are there limits to the human capacity for self-development and change? In this course we will ponder such questions as we reflect critically on human nature and on historical and contemporary ideas regarding education, self-development, and living well.
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

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
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