Fall Semester 2013
The Power of Place: Storytelling About the Value and Values of Community Life
HONR 300A: Humanities Seminar
Professor Robert Steele
What is it about place that makes it so special? So important? How do we choose the place we want to live? The place for our first job? To start a family? To open a business? To grow old? How important is the connection between our personal values and the values of a community we could call home? And what about the people who populate this place? How can their stories charm us even as they confound us? We’ll examine the sense of place through essays and ethnographies, poetry and photography. We’ll explore the power of place in northern Maine villages and in the neighborhoods of Chicago. In Florida beach communities and in New England college towns. And we’ll explore place here in small town, rural Indiana, from front porch swings and kitchen tables to farms and factories. We’ll read and hear stories from others, and we’ll tell and write our stories.
Evolution and Human Nature
HONR 300B: Science Seminar
Professor Kevin Moore
The Philosopher Daniel Dennett once called evolution “the single best idea anyone ever had.” If this claim has any merit, then surely evolutionary perspectives can shed light on important questions about human nature in general, and issues like cooperation, aggression, sex and gender, aesthetics, emotion, cognition, moral judgments, and environmental concerns in particular. We will look at current and historical attempts to develop scientific accounts of human nature, and examine their strengths, weaknesses, and motivations. The course offers an opportunity to explore how the “single best idea anyone ever had” can be applied human nature and important contemporary concerns.
Law and Economics
HONR 300C: Social Science Seminar
Professor Humberto Barreto
An examination of Posner's claim that the common law bears the stamp of economic reasoning. Each student will judge to what extent economics is a driving force in property, contract, and tort law. By its very nature interdisciplinary, this course is based on articles from Economics journals and law reviews. Students discuss, write essays, and participate in a moot court. Specific topics include the emergence of private property rights (including trademarks), the Coase Theorem, liability rules, and constitutional law.