LS 800: Reflections on Reason and Passion I

Fall 2013  | Dr. Stephen Duguid

This course explores a variety of texts that express or reflect upon the human passions and upon the relationship between those passions and the realms of action, will, and reason.  While there is some chronological coherence in the ordering of the texts, the primary intent is to examine issues and themes that reflect human experiences, feelings and behaviours.

Course Requirements:

Following an introduction and a review of contextual issues by the instructors, each week one or more students will be asked to present the salient points or issues (as they relate to passion and reason) raised in one of the readings, followed by general discussion and debate.  The week after the class, the student responsible for the animation of the discussion will submit (via e-mail to the class) a two/three page summary of the presentation and the class discussion. In addition there will be two short (5-10 pp) written assignments over the course of the term and students will keep a journal of responses to texts and seminars.

Course Readings:

Week 1 Bible, Genesis
Bhagavad Gita

Week 2 Plato, Symposium
               Sappho, Poetry

Week 3 Aristotle, Ethics

Week 4 Sophocles, Antigone
               Euripides, Medea

Saturday –  Lucretius, On The Nature of Things

Week 5 Marcus Aurelius, Meditations
               Mencius

Week 6 Augustine, Confessions

Week 7 Rumi, Love Is A Stranger
               Julian of Norwich, Revelations of Divine Love

 Week 8 Dante, Inferno
                Machiavelli, The Prince   

Saturday   Descartes, Discourse on Method
                    Francis Bacon, The New Atlantis

Week 9 Montaigne, Apology for Raymond Sebond
              Moliere, The Misanthrope

Week 10 Kant, “What Is Enlightenment"
                 Rousseau, Origins of Inequality

Week 11 Hume, Enquiry Concerning the Principles of Morals

Week 12 Mary Wollstonecraft, A Vindication of the Rights of Women and Travels in Sweden and Norway

Week 13 Anatole France, The Gods Will Have Blood