Transcendentalism is a very formal word that describes a very simple idea. People, men and women equally, have knowledge about themselves and the world around them that "transcends" or goes beyond what they can see, hear, taste, touch or feel.
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Democracy. Philosophy. Sculpture. Dramatic tragedies. The Olympic Games. Many of the fundamental elements of Western culture first arose more than 2000 years ago in ancient Greece.
2,500 years ago, most humans were concerned with providing food and protection for their families and little else. Most of them were ruled by kings or pharaohs who had supreme decision-making power. The Athenian democracy encouraged countless innovative thoughts among its citizens.
The 6th century B.C.E. was an amazing time of philosophical growth for ancient China. It was during that time that the two most influential spiritual leaders native to China, Confucius and Lao-tzu, are thought to have lived and taught. The philosophies that they practiced, Taoism and Confucianism, existed simultaneously in dynastic China, attracting countless numbers of followers over the past 2,500 years. The fascination of both the Eastern and Western worlds with these two legendary figures and the philosophies that they created remains strong.
Advances in artificial intelligence are triggering discussions about our future and potential consequences, both good and bad. World leaders are engaging in the conversation as well. Wired Editor-in-Chief, Scott Dadich, and MIT Media Lab Director, Joi Ito, conducted an interview with President Obama on artificial intelligence and society.
In this case study, you will explore an article and video from Wired's conversation with President Obama; then you will be asked to reflect on the core ideas and details of the conversation. As engaged and informed citizens, we must begin to consider the relationship between artificial intelligence and society.
This course will present advanced topics in Artificial Intelligence (AI), including inquiries into logic, artificial neural network and machine learning, and the Turing machine. Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to: define the term 'intelligent agent,' list major problems in AI, and identify the major approaches to AI; translate problems into graphs and encode the procedures that search the solutions with the graph data structures; explain the differences between various types of logic and basic statistical tools used in AI; list the different types of learning algorithms and explain why they are different; list the most common methods of statistical learning and classification and explain the basic differences between them; describe the components of Turing machine; name the most important propositions in the philosophy of AI; list the major issues pertaining to the creation of machine consciousness; design a reasonable software agent with java code. (Computer Science 408)
In this course, the student will study the emergence of the major civilizations of the ancient world, beginning with the Paleolithic Era (about 2.5 million years ago) and finishing with the end of the Middle Ages in fifteenth century A.D. The student will pay special attention to how societies evolved across this expanse of time - from fragmented and primitive agricultural communities to more advanced and consolidated civilizations. By the end of the course, the student will possess a thorough understanding of important overarching social, political, religious, and economic themes in the ancient world, ranging from the emergence of Confucian philosophy in Asia to the fall of imperial Rome. Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to: Identify and define the world's earliest civilizations, including the Neolithic Revolution, and describe how it shaped the development of these early civilizations; Identify, describe, and compare/contrast the first advanced civilizations in the world - Mesopotamia and Egypt; Identify and describe the emergence of the earliest civilizations in Asia: the Harappan and Aryan societies on the Indian subcontinent and the Shang and Zhou societies in China; Identify and describe the emergence of new philosophies - Daoism and Confucianism - during the Warring States period in China. Identify and describe the subsequent rise of the Qin and Han dynasties; Identify and describe the different periods that characterized ancient Greece - Archaic Greece (or the Greek Dark Ages), classical Greece, and the Hellenistic era; Identify and describe the characteristics of the Roman Kingdom, the Roman Republic, and Imperial Rome; Analyze the emergence of the Mauryan and Gupta empires during the 'classical age' in India; Identify and analyze the Buddhist and Vedic (Hindu) faiths; Identify and describe the rise of civilizations in the Americas, particularly in Meso and South America; Analyze and describe the rise of Islam in the Middle East; Identify and describe the emergence of the Arab caliphate, the Umayyad dynasty, and Abbasid dynasty; Identify and describe the rise and fall of the Byzantine Empire; Identify and analyze key facets of medieval society in Western EuropeĺÎĺĚ_ĺÜthe Catholic Church, feudalism, and the rise of technology and commerce; Analyze and interpret primary-source documents that elucidate the exchanges and advancements made in civilizations across time and space. (History 101)
This course will acquaint the student with some of the ancient Greek contributions to the Western philosophical and scientific tradition. We will examine a broad range of central philosophical themes concerning: nature, law, justice, knowledge, virtue, happiness, and death. There will be a strong emphasis on analyses of arguments found in the texts.
This website offers resources for those who are studying or teaching about the Arab world and Islam in general. Its language section contains information in English about the Arabic language including readings about the history of Arabic, the development of MSA and Arabic's importance in Islam. The website also has a series of video lectures by the well-known Arabic scholars Mahmoud Al-Batal, Kristen Brustad, and Said Badawi about the language.
The Art of the Probable" addresses the history of scientific ideas, in particular the emergence and development of mathematical probability. But it is neither meant to be a history of the exact sciences per se nor an annex to, say, the Course 6 curriculum in probability and statistics. Rather, our objective is to focus on the formal, thematic, and rhetorical features that imaginative literature shares with texts in the history of probability. These shared issues include (but are not limited to): the attempt to quantify or otherwise explain the presence of chance, risk, and contingency in everyday life; the deduction of causes for phenomena that are knowable only in their effects; and, above all, the question of what it means to think and act rationally in an uncertain world. Our course therefore aims to broaden students’ appreciation for and understanding of how literature interacts with--both reflecting upon and contributing to--the scientific understanding of the world. We are just as centrally committed to encouraging students to regard imaginative literature as a unique contribution to knowledge in its own right, and to see literary works of art as objects that demand and richly repay close critical analysis. It is our hope that the course will serve students well if they elect to pursue further work in Literature or other discipline in SHASS, and also enrich or complement their understanding of probability and statistics in other scientific and engineering subjects they elect to take.
This course will introduce the student to the international relations of the Asia-Pacific region. Globalization, economic ties, national security issues, and politico-military alliances with the U.S. make an understanding of this region important to any political science student or participant in American government. This course will examine the differences between Western political thought and the general philosophical outlooks of the Asian population, which have been molded by societal forces for thousands of years. It will also address politics in Asia by examining pre-colonial systems of government, Western imperialism, national liberation movements, and proxy wars fought by the Superpowers in the Cold War. This course is important because the Asia-Pacific has given rise to several of the U.S.'s major security concerns: financial support of the U.S. economy by China and Japan through the purchase of U.S. government debt securities, conflict with China over Taiwan, North Korea's nuclear weapons program, separatist movements in several of the smaller Pacific Rim nations, and the growth and support of transnational terrorism within the region. Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to: explain how religion and culture impact government and political systems in Eastern Asia; discuss philosophies of government in Eastern Asia from ancient times to the present; identify the ways in which Western imperialism has impacted Eastern Asia; demonstrate an understanding of systems of governance currently in existence in Eastern Asia; analyze contemporary political and security issues in Eastern Asia that may impact U.S. national interests; assess the relationship that exists between economic development, systems of governance, and political stability of a Third World nation. (Political Science 322)
With recent advances in physics (and philosophy), we are finally able to make some headway into some of the most pressing questions of the universe. We will explore such topics as the big bang theory, time travel, relativity, extraterrestrial life, and string theory. We will attempt to answer some big questions such as: Was there a beginning of time? Will there be an end? Is time travel possible?
An introductory series by Marianne Talbot exploring bioethical theories and their philosophical foundations. These podcasts will explain key moral theories, common moral arguments, and some background logic.
This course is an introduction to economics for non-majors and political economy, with an emphasis on the moral and ethical problems that markets solve, and fail to solve. Taught by Professor Michael Munger of Duke University, this course includes full length lectures, links to readings, and a sample final exam.
This course will serve as both an introduction to contemporary political philosophy and a way to explore issues of pluralism and multiculturalism. Racial and ethnic groups, national minorities, aboriginals, women, sexual minorities, and other groups have organized to highlight injustice and demand recognition and accommodation on the basis of their differences. In practice, democratic states have granted a variety of group-differentiated rights, such as exemptions from generally applicable laws, special representation rights, language rights, or limited self-government rights, to different types of groups. This course will examine how different theories of citizenship address the challenges raised by different forms of pluralism. We will focus in particular on the following questions: - Does justice require granting group-differentiated rights? - Do group-differentiated rights conflict with liberal and democratic commitments to equality and justice for all citizens? - What, if anything, can hold a multi-religious, multicultural society together? Why should the citizens of such a society want to hold together?
Concentrates on specific periods of Classical Greek and Roman Literature in translation with attention to cultural, political, and social influences. Topics vary from year to year chosen from among fifth-century Athens, the Golden Age of Latin Literature, the Silver Age, and Late Antiquity. Roman Literature of the Golden Age of Augustus Caesar, produced during the transition from Republican to Imperial forms of government, was to have a profound and defining influence on Western European and American societies. These writings ultimately established lasting models of aesthetic refinement, philosophical aspiration, and political ambition that continue to shape modern cultures. This class will be exploring the Golden Age of Latin Literature from an historical perspective in order to provide an intensive examination of the cultural contexts in which these monumental works of classical art were first produced. Readings will emphasize the transition from a Republican form of government to an Empire under the rule of Augustus Caesar and the diversity of responses among individual authors to the profound structural changes that Roman society was undergoing at this time. Particular attention will be devoted to the reorganization of society and the self through textuality, the changing dimensions of the public and the private, the roles of class and gender, and the relationship between art and pleasure. Writings covering a wide variety of literary genres will include the works of Caesar, Cicero, Catullus, Livy, Virgil, Horace, and Ovid, with additional readings from Cassius Dio for background.
This course will introduce you to the Western philosophical tradition, through the study of major figures such as Plato, Aristotle, Descartes, Hume, and Kant. You will get to grips with questions that have been significant to philosophy from its beginnings: questions about the nature of the mind or soul, the existence of God, the foundations of knowledge, ethics and the good life. In the process of evaluating the arguments of these philosophers, you will develop your own philosophical and analytical skills. You will also observe changes of intellectual outlook over time, and the effect of scientific, religious and political concerns on the development of philosophical ideas.
This course will consider the claim that there is no such thing as race, with a particular emphasis on the question whether races should be thought of as natural kinds: is our concept of race a natural kind concept? Is the term 'race' a natural kind term? If so, is Appiah right to conclude that there are no races? How should one go about "analyzing" the concept of race?