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PSC 276 - The Tragic and the Ideal

Human Traditions courses introduce students to the broad range of human cultures from prehistory to the present, taking a thematic approach rather than a strictly chronological one. Its framework reflects our commitment, expressed in the second year theme of our core curriculum, to cultivate social and global awareness. We ask questions such as the following: what are the epochal developments in the history of the world? What are the forms of religious belief and practice? What are the artistic and literary achievements of the world? What yearnings do these traditions express? What are the political, literary, philosophical and cultural connections among them? What are the assumptions they make? What questions do they raise? For example, when does civilization arise? Where? Why? What are its characteristics and enduring challenges? What does the emergence of urban societies mean for relations between rich and poor, between men and women and between humans and their natural environment? These courses ask students to think critically about ideas within their historical contexts and to examine ways in which human expressions and responses relate to and reflect broad intellectual and cultural patterns. The title of the courses reflects a commitment to think globally, to acknowledge that the range and richness of the human experience carries beyond the narrow, binary scope of a worldview that too easily separates East from West and privileges the latter - and its traditions - over the former.
Human Traditions Begin-1500
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Fall 2022, Fall 2021, Fall 2020, Fall 2019, Fall 2018
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