First Year Core
CORE 179F CORE: Know Thyself
Knowing the self requires a personal life-long journey. In this course we will look at how a number of great thinkers, from ancient to modern times, writing in a number of different genres, all with different world views, have come to know themselves. In turn, students will consider how one goes about following the aphorism, “Know thyself,” inscribed at the Temple of Apollo at Delphi.
CORE 179J CORE: The Great Debate
By studying and discussing some outstanding works of Philosophy, Literature, Theology, and the natural sciences, we will enter the ongoing conversation about what defines our common nature as humans. Questions that we will discuss include: Can we survive after our bodies die? Can we be truly happy without belonging to society? Do we have non-physical souls? What is the relationship between emotions and reason?
CORE 179L CORE: Heroes, Sages, and Madmen
This seminar examines the dimensions of the self by exploring the human desire to be remembered. The course will approach the question of the seminar through a consideration of humanity’s literary, artistic and material achievements: from early epic to modern biography, from the building of temples and pyramids to the construction of modern architectural wonders. Attention will also be paid to the writing of history as a reflection of identity.
CORE 179U CORE: Applied Storytelling
The stories we tell—and what we take from them—reflect what is important to us. Story becomes the framework for how we experience and define our world. When a group listens to a story, a common, shared experience transforms listeners into community members building identity and cooperation. Humans are the only species that tells stories. In addressing the question, “What is human nature?” one place we can turn to answer the question is narrative. We tell stories to question, reflect, compare, and contrast our identity and relationship with others and the world. This seminar examines written and oral stories, old and new, as they serve to help us contemplate our place in the world. Drawing from examples such as parables to nationally-known StoryCorps narratives, we examine how stories are used and how we might apply them to our lives. Students will also create their own stories for performance.
CORE 179Z CORE: The Tragic Vision of Human Nature
This section of CORE 179 will read and discuss some of the fundamental literary works that present human life as continually under the threat of injustice, suffering and death.