This course will investigate a number of broad, highly subjective, inherently interesting questions about the nature of human perceptual experience. The broadest of these will be the question of cultural relativism: Do people from widely different cultures experience reality in fundamentally different ways? The alternative realities to be explored will be those attributable to cultures, subcultures, cults, historical eras, substances (i.e., drugs), and mental illness. Most importantly, the scientific enterprise itself, as one mode among others, of establishing an order of reality will also be presented in this context. Grades will be determined entirely by writing papers: a one page (or two) weekly “commentary” paper discussing ideas and issues that are currently under discussion in class, and one longer paper due at the end of the term, in which the student develops a concept about the nature of human perception and how it generically relates to some concept of “reality”.