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HS syll spring 2011.2 - THE HUMAN SITUATION Spring 2011...

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THE HUMAN SITUATION Spring 2011 Lectures: ENGR 110 Discussions: 01 Yenor ILC 203 02 Gardner ED 416 03 Crowley B 222 04 Rayne ED 221 05 Waller ED 106 06 Wake ILC 402 Office Hours: by appointment. Contact information. Prof. S. Yenor: Office: PAAW 127A Email: [email protected] Phone: 426-2388 Prof. S. Crowley: Office: Rm. 106 Lincoln Hall 1019 Email: [email protected] Phone: 426-1786 Dr. Stewart Gardner: Office: PAAW 120 Email: [email protected] Phone: 426-1458 Andrew Wake: Office: Rm. 108 Lincoln Hall Email: [email protected] Phone: 426-3304 Kimberly Waller: Office: PAAW 120 Email: [email protected] Phone: 426-1458 Tyler Rayne: Office: PAAW 120 Email: [email protected] Phone: 426-1458 Course Description The Human Situation surveys ancient, modern, and contemporary debates on the question of how the individual relates to civil society. Most political and moral debates include a fundamental tension in this relationship. We see it clearly in times of national emergency or war when a country must restrict individual freedom to achieve the community’s purposes. Yet it arises in everyday life in ways that we do not even notice, such as in controversies about the level of taxation or the variety of social and economic regulation, or with regard to debates about the relative importance of nature versus nurture—all of these are iterations of this fundamental tension. The controversy will never cease as long as human beings are both individuals and members of communities, gaining their identities both through free choice and from their cultural surroundings. We are not without eminent guidance in thinking about this tension. Ancient thinkers—Sophocles, Plato, and St. Augustine among them—put forward an idea that human beings are by nature political animals; that they reach their highest level of perfection in the city. Modern thinkers—most notably John Locke and John Stuart Mill—emphasize the role of human choice in a good and free life. There is no shortage of wisdom in either of these perspectives, and that is why both survive and are elaborated in contemporary opinion and law. This class will illuminate and deepen our understanding of this controversy by carefully examining the wisdom and the limits in these opinions, over the ages.
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Required Texts Available for Purchase in Bookstore: Antigone , by Sophocles, Dover, ISBN 978-0486278049 Four Texts on Socrates: Plato's Euthyphro, Apology, and Crito and Aristophanes' Clouds by Plato, Cornell University Press, ISBN: 978-0801485749 Discourse on Method for Conducting One's Reason Well and for Seeking Truth in the Sciences , by Descartes, Hackett, ISBN: 978-0872204225 The Second Treatise of Government and A Letter Concerning Toleration, by Locke, Dover , ISBN: 978-0486424644 The Basic Political Writings , by Rousseau, Hackett, ISBN: 978-0872200470 On Liberty , by Mill, Hackett, ISBN: 978-0915144433 Online: Lycurgus , by Plutarch, http://classics.mit.edu/Plutarch/lycurgus.html “Moral Argument and Liberal Toleration,” by Michael Sandel, available through Albertson Library Website (JSTOR).
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