Upcoming Honors Courses
Authenticity: Is There a True Self? (SOC)
T/ TH 10:30-12:10
Dr. Alexis Franzese
For centuries, philosophers have debated the existence of a ‘true’ self- a self that transcends context and circumstances. The main question that will be addressed in this course is: Is there a true self? The question of a true self has been considered in varying ways over time and place. In the last century, Western society has been marked by a more conscious self-awareness. However, the concept of the self has changed over time and self-awareness may be considered as a distinctly modern topic. Sub-questions that will be explored in conjunction with this larger question include (1) How has thinking about the self changed over time? (2) How does religious thought shape and intersect with thinking about the self? (3) How has technology (over time from the printing press to transportation to the computer) shaped self-presentation and notions of a true self?, and (4) Is there an ethical imperative to present a true self, and what is at stake in presenting a fraudulent self to the world or in presenting a genuine self to the world?
Science of Death (SCI)
Dr. Jessica Merricks
What is death, exactly? What is the precise moment that gives way to its terminal state? How have modern medical advances helped or hindered the transition between life and death, and challenged our definition of personhood? This course will take an interdisciplinary approach to address questions about death and dying. Beginning with a discussion of the physiological requirements for sustaining life, we will examine the mechanisms that underlie the dying process, discuss the environmental and economic factors related to methods of preservation of life, and the various issues surrounding deposition of the body. We will also search the globe for a glimpse into the diverse attitudes and beliefs towards the dead and dying. Ultimately, this class will challenge our understanding of death and provide students with the opportunity to revise their own perspectives on what it means when life is “lost”.