Chapter One

Chapter One - What is a Good Society? 2009 Editors Macelle...

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Unformatted text preview: What is a Good Society? 2009 Editors Macelle Mahala Sarah Mathis Marisela Ramos Stacy Rilea Susan Sample Caroline Schroeder Preface Dear Students: Go figure: Youre in the first few weeks of your college career and your instructors expect you to answer the question, What is a Good Society? Sure, its a short, straight-forward question. And its only five words. But isnt that kind of a Big Question for the first week of college? Can college seniors even answer that question? Gosh, if they hit you with this now, what will you have to do in Pac 3, improve rocket science or brain surgery? Solve world poverty? Where would you even start to wrap your head around such a Big Question? If theres any consolation about tackling this course, it may be this: its not an individually-designed independent study course. Instead, youll be in the good company of all the other first-year students at the University of the Pacific who also are probably a bit intimidated by the scope of this course. AND youll have the guidance of your faculty seminar leaders to help you navigate your way through the enduring and complicated issues that underlie this Big Question. At least they arent shaking their heads and walking away saying, Well, good luck with that. In my office, I have framed posters of two of Charles Schultz cartoons. In the first, the dog Snoopy is eagerly anticipating his dinner; the caption reads: Great thoughts require great food for thought. In this course, you will be served a rich banquet of good food for thought, including readings that trigger a range of reactions: you may find them provocative, insightful, and reassuring, but also disturbing, outrageous, possibly offensive. But this metaphorical banquet may not be filling. Hopefully, these readings will leave you hungry for more, hungry to come up with better insights based on a deeper understanding of why you think of them as you do, and better able to articulate the basis of your initial reaction and subsequently, the basis of your reasoned evaluation. The second poster features the cartoon character Linus, who observes: Im always sure about things that are a matter of opinion. In this course, you have the opportunity to think hard about some of Lifes Enduring Questions, especially those that are a matter of opinion. How does a conscientious, hard-working college student learn to develop good opinions? Accurately representing the facts of the case is essential, but is only a starting point. Developing good interpretations about these questions requires the skills of critical thinking, but also a sense of responsibility for your own point of view. In addition, you will be asked to demonstrate intellectual integrity, drawing from your own personal values as you learn to apply them in this new context. In other words, this course will ask you to think well about these Big Questions in the context of the University of the Pacific and will teach you how to do so. in the context of the University of the Pacific and will teach you how to do so....
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Chapter One - What is a Good Society? 2009 Editors Macelle...

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