|Time||Days||Location||Instructor||GER||Credit||OPUS Class Number||Syllabus (Tentative)|
White Hall 103
|Jimenez Rodriguez Valdes, Marta.||HAP.||4||1493||TBA.|
What is human nature? What makes humans different from animals? Are there uniquely human characteristics? And if so, are they universal and belong to us innately or are they culture-relative and depend on our upbringing? This course will provide a philosophical analysis of several classical responses to these questions and will reveal the mythological character of some of them. We will read the accounts of human nature by some ancient sources and modern philosophers, and we will consider contemporary criticism of them. In the second part of the course, we will examine the significance of the evolution theory for our conception of human nature, and we will learn some lessons from evolution concerning the nature of our emotions. Finally, we will deal with the contemporary debate between situationism and character-based theories regarding the existence of character traits.
The course will be organized in two relatively independent sections: the first section of the course will focus on classical myths concerning (a) the origins of human beings, (b) the relationship between nature and civilization and (c) the egoism vs. altruism question; and the second part of the course will deal with two contemporary debates on human nature, namely, the debate on the universality of human emotions and the debate on the existence of character.
Required Textbooks, Articles, and Resources
- All the texts required for the course will be posted in the course webpage on Blackboard. We will read texts by Plato, Aristotle, Diogenes the Cynic, N. Machiavelli, Th. Hobbes, D. Hume, J.-J. Rousseau, Joseph Butler, A. Smith, Ch. Darwin, M. Mead, P. Ekman, S. Milgram, Ph. Zimbardo, G. Harman..
|Assignment/Exam||Details||% of Total Grade|
|Course Paper (6-7 pages)||30%|
The schedule of courses on O.P.U.S. is the official listing of courses, including days and times they meet and the General Education Requirements they satisfy. Students should use course descriptions as general guidelines. Course requirements, grading details, book lists, and syllabi are subject to change.