HONORS 250 - Honors Social Sciences Seminar
Fall 2020, Section 002 - Evolution of Cognition and Social Science Ways of Knowing
Instruction Mode: Section 002 is  Online (see other Sections below)
Subject: Honors Program (HONORS)
Department: LSA Honors
See additional student enrollment and course instructor information to guide you in your decision making.


Requirements & Distribution:
Waitlist Capacity:
Advisory Prerequisites:
Open to all Honors students.
May be elected twice for credit.
Primary Instructor:


There is now overwhelming evidence for the evolution of all known life. This course will focus on the evolution of human cognition and its implications for what we know and believe about cognition today, particularly social science knowledge.

Some questions we plan to address:

  • In what respects is sensory knowledge given to the brain passively versus constructed by the brain?
  • What does the brain “know” that it doesn’t tell our consciousness?
  • When did language evolve and why?
  • Does language reveal or hide the knowledge process?
  • What can and do we know consciously?
  • What is certainty and of what can we be certain?
  • How does science differ from ordinary experience and from art?
  • What is the role of imagination in the sciences?
  • How and why are social sciences so different from physical science and from one another?

In this course we will carefully review the philosophical foundations of modern physical and social sciences and compare their methods. The disciplines I will emphasize are economics, anthropology, sociology, and psychology; political science will not be neglected if there is interest among the students.

Course Requirements:

>P>Learning Mode-For the first weeks of the semester, one-to-one, tutorial style meetings with the faculty member will take place roughly synchronously with the meeting time stated in the course guide. The professor will arrange meetings with enrolled students in advance. For the remainder of the semester, small group meetings will take place synchronously, with times coordinated in advance.

Course Testing/Assessment-Assignments for this course will be asynchronous journal entries submitted via Canvas during a designated time frame prior to scheduled meetings.

Intended Audience:

This course welcomes entirely online participation. No part of this course requires you to be on campus or present in-person.

Class Format:

As a DC (Distance due to COVID) course, all aspects of this course will be fully compatible with remote online learning. Should students become ill with COVID. they will be accommodated by meeting-capture recordings which will enable them to keep up with class.


HONORS 250 - Honors Social Sciences Seminar
Schedule Listing
002 (SEM)
W 2:00PM - 5:00PM
Note: This is NOT an Honors Core Course.

Textbooks/Other Materials

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Syllabi are available to current LSA students. IMPORTANT: These syllabi are provided to give students a general idea about the courses, as offered by LSA departments and programs in prior academic terms. The syllabi do not necessarily reflect the assignments, sequence of course materials, and/or course expectations that the faculty and departments/programs have for these same courses in the current and/or future terms.

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