College Honors Courses (Division 395)

251. Sophomore Seminar. Open to Honors students. (3). (HU).

SECTIONS 001 and 002 WORDS. This will be a seminar on words, and the social and philosophical implications of the best of them. Using the OXFORD ENGLISH DCTIONARY (OED) as our text, we will examine the etymological and historical significance of a number of important words in the English language. The course will begin with instruction, for example, in our method of studying; thereafter the class will first examine together a wide range of assigned words liberty and religion and justice, freedom and friendship, law and legislation, radicals and radishes, wisdom and happiness, truth and faith, belief and life, thanks and thoughts, etc. - and then explore the dictionary in search of other interesting words. Students will be expected to report in class their findings, and to write up one word per week. The text for the course will be, as we've mentioned, the OXFORD ENGLISH DICTIONARY; students will be required to buy their own copies; order forms available from Bert Hornback in March. No knowledge of languages other than English is required, though students with competence in any foreign languages will find such skills useful. In addition to class reports, a final essay will be required in which students will be asked to discuss what they have learned. THIS CLASS IS BY APPLICATION ONLY. APPLICATIONS AVAILABLE IN THE HONORS OFFICE, 1210 ANGELL HALL. (Hornback)

Section 003 IMAGINATION. The Romantics claimed that imagination was both an artistic and a cognitive faculty; the seminar will begin by considering both the structure of the Romantic literary imagination and the Romantic theory of knowledge in works by Wordsworth, Blake, and Coleridge. Attention will then shift to more general questions: Does artistic Imagination tell us anything about reality? Can Imagination become a rigorous mode of cognition? What is its relationship to rationality? Does some form of Imagination have a place in science and ethics? The nature of metaphorical thinking will be considered, as will the function of Imagination in scientific revolutions (Kuhn, Barfield, Goethe), ethics (Schiller), the psychology of perception, and the visual arts (Cezanne, Merleau-Ponty). (Amrine)

252. Sophomore Seminar. Open to Honors students. (3). (NS).

SECTION 001 ENVIRONMENTAL CHEMICAL IMPACT ON HUMAN HEALTH. This seminar will consider the influence of the chemical environment on public health. Retrospective studies of specific incidents of chemical contamination will be used to identify the potential for human disease resulting from the addition of synthetic chemicals to the environment. Attention will be focused on the conflicting political, economic and societal interests which have been compromised in order to deal successfully with such environmental health issues. Each case study will begin with a member of the faculty, who has expert knowledge of the incident, presenting an historical overview of the event concentrating on the paramount issues involved. Student presentations of the details of the incident, based upon the relevant literature and prepared with the guidance of the faculty member, will follow. Finally there will be a discussion among all members of the class in an attempt to derive general principles by which to minimize the danger of similar future incidents of human chemical contamination. A background in undergraduate introductory biology and chemistry would be useful but not required for participation in this seminar. (I. Bernstein)

Section 002 CONCEPTS IN TWENTIETH CENTURY PHYSICS. The revolutionary concepts which have developed within this century and which are now the basis for our understanding of the physical world are presented and discussed. Following a brief summary of older definitions and physical principles, relativity and quantum mechanics will be studied. Other topics will include the quark model, parity and time reversal non conservation, and some aspects of cosmology and of unified field theories. There are no college physics nor advanced mathematics prerequisites. (Jones)


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