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Core Seminars I and II

The Concept of Human Nature: The Elusive Image

Each of the two Core Seminars studies the concept of human nature as seen by three disciplines such as religion, philosophy, drama, psychology, literature, art, film, archaeology, anthropology, linguistics, history, sociology, computer science, and biology.  Different historical periods and various cultures are included.  Seminar topics are as numerous and diverse as the disciplines from which they derive. 

Sample Units From


        Computer Science

        Drama and Film



        Political Science



Sample Topics

How major religions treat the human ideal.

Modern information-processing technology and its effects upon society.

Study of the sources of moral authority.

The self as private property: Discussions of possession.

The life course and aging in historical perspective.

The commercialization of sex in 20th-century America

Artificial and natural intelligence. The mind / body problem.

Women's conceptions of self and morality.

Evolutionary adaptation in relation to race and society.

The life course and aging in historical perspective.

The limits of eugenics: problems raised by artificial versus natural selection.

Studies in technology, pseudo-science and paranoid science.

Self-deception and its ramifications.

Human nature in film and television.

The interaction of the natural sciences, thought, and experience.