Preview Workflow

Viewing: HON 347 : Freedom and the Self

Last approved: Tue, 12 May 2015 15:21:18 GMT

Last edit: Tue, 12 May 2015 15:21:18 GMT

Catalog Pages referencing this course
Change Type
HON (Honors)
347
032183
Dual-Level Course
Cross-listed Course
No
Freedom and the Self
Freedom and the Self
Division of Academic and Student Affairs
Honors Program (24HON)
Term Offering
Fall and Spring
OTHER
Based on availability of instructor
Fall 2015
Previously taught as Special Topics?
Yes
3
 
Course Prefix/NumberSemester/Term OfferedEnrollment
HON 296-001Fall 201418
HON 296-001Fall 201316
HON 296-001Fall 201218
Course Delivery
Face-to-Face (On Campus)

Grading Method
Letter Grade Only
3
16
Contact Hours
(Per Week)
Component TypeContact Hours
Seminar3.0
Course Attribute(s)
GEP (Gen Ed)

If your course includes any of the following competencies, check all that apply.
University Competencies

Course Is Repeatable for Credit
No
 
 
Dr. Timothy Hinton
Professor of Philosophy

Open when course_delivery = campus OR course_delivery = blended OR course_delivery = flip
Enrollment ComponentPer SemesterPer SectionMultiple Sections?Comments
Seminar2020Non/a
Open when course_delivery = distance OR course_delivery = online OR course_delivery = remote
R: University Honors Program Students; others by permission of the University Honors Program
Is the course required or an elective for a Curriculum?
No
This course explores the complex and interrelated concepts of freedom and the self. The bulk of our time will be devoted to a close reading of several philosophical texts in which these concepts loom large. The course ends with a careful examination of three novels that, in various ways, take up the central themes of the class. Our intention in doing so is to reflect on the way that imaginative novelists treat these themes. This will enable us to ask broader and more interesting questions about freedom and selfhood.

The University Honors Program seeks to offer an array of interdisciplinary seminars to provide students with choice across the spectrum of GEP categories, therefore enabling them to satisfy simultaneously General Education requirements and the UHP HON seminar requirements (each student must complete four HON seminars with a grade of B- or better). Each HON seminar is first offered through one of our Special Topics “shells.” Courses that meet the needs of students (as shown by enrollment history, course evaluations, and evaluations of our overall HON seminar program) are then proposed to be established as permanent courses.


“Freedom and the Self” has proven to be popular with a cross-section of majors in the University Honors Program and would be a valuable addition to our permanent course offerings.


No

Is this a GEP Course?
Yes
GEP Categories
Humanities
Interdisciplinary Perspectives
Humanities Open when gep_category = HUM
Each course in the Humanities category of the General Education Program will provide instruction and guidance that help students to:
 
 
By the end of the course, students will be able to relate important philosophical accounts of freedom and the self to the human experience.
 
 
Questions on the homeworks, the short papers, as well as the final paper. Final paper topics might include the following: “To what extent does the character of Meursault in Camus’s The Stranger exemplify the kind of existentialist antihero criticized by Iris Murdoch?”; “Examine how the character of Stuart Cuno embodies Iris Murdoch’s ideal of ‘an austere and unconsoled love of the good.’” ; “To what extent does Sarah Miles’s life demonstrate an Augustianian turn from the love of temporal goods to a love of the eternal?”
 
 
By the end of the course, students will be able to reconstruct the arguments offered by the philosophers we study in this course.
 
 
Questions on the homeworks, the short papers, as well as the final paper. Sample homework questions might include: “What is Augustine’s account of evildoing in book one of On Free Choice of the Will?” Sample short paper topics might include: “Critically evaluate Hume’s attempt to reconcile freedom and determinism.”
 
 
By the end of the course, students will be able to produce their own philosophical arguments about freedom and the self.
 
 
The short papers, as well as the final paper. Questions might include: “Is Locke’s account of personal identity more plausible than Reid’s?” and “How does Murdoch’s Platonism compare with that espoused by Socrates in the Republic?”
Mathematical Sciences Open when gep_category = MATH
Each course in the Mathematial Sciences category of the General Education Program will provide instruction and guidance that help students to:
 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

Natural Sciences Open when gep_category = NATSCI
Each course in the Natural Sciences category of the General Education Program will provide instruction and guidance that help students to:
 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

Social Sciences Open when gep_category = SOCSCI
Each course in the Social Sciences category of the General Education Program will provide instruction and guidance that help students to:
 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

Interdisciplinary Perspectives Open when gep_category = INTERDISC
Each course in the Interdisciplinary Perspectives category of the General Education Program will provide instruction and guidance that help students to:
 
 
By the end of the course, students will be able to distinguish between the critical analysis of novels (the discipline of Literature) and the argumentative approach of the discipline of Philosophy.
 
 
The summaries of the novels and the final paper. Final paper topics might include the following: “What literary techniques does Camus use in creating the character of Meursault in The Stranger so as to exemplify the kind of existentialist antihero criticized by Iris Murdoch?”; “How does Greene tell the story of Sarah Miles’s life in order to demonstrate an Augustinian turn from the love of temporal goods to a love of the eternal?”
 
 
By the end of the course, students will be able to draw connections between the critical analysis of novels (the discipline of Literature) and the argumentative approach of the discipline of Philosophy.
 
 
Questions on the homeworks, the short papers, the summaries of the novels and the final paper. Final paper topics might include the following: “Examine how the character of Stuart Cuno embodies Iris Murdoch’s ideal of ‘an austere and unconsoled love of the good’.”
 
 
By the end of the course, students will be able to interpret the novels we study through the lenses provided by the philosophical and literary accounts of freedom and the self that we will have examined.
 
 
Measures: Final paper topics might include the following: “Examine how the character of Stuart Cuno embodied Iris Murdoch’s ideal of ‘an austere and unconsoled love of the good’.”; “How does Greene tell the story of Sarah Miles’s life in order to demonstrate an Augustinian turn from the love of temporal goods to a love of the eternal?”
 
 
Philosophy and Literature
 
 
The course is organized into two main sections. The first part discusses important philosophical texts that engage with the issues of freedom and the self. The second main segment is devoted to an examination of three novels: The Stranger, The End of the Affair, and The Good Apprentice. During the first part of the course, I teach the material from three points of view. The first is provided by an overall historical picture of the emergence of our modern conception of human beings as self-determining agents. The second is a detailed analysis of some of the key arguments offered by philosophers in the text we study (such as Descartes’s cogito ergo sum argument). The third point of view is provided by the three novels the students are reading for the class. Here, I make important connections between philosophical themes and aspects of the novels (for instance, in the discussion of Augustine, I mention the importance of the theme of purifying one’s love and connect it to the development of the character of Sarah Miles in The End of the Affair. In the discussion of freedom and determinism, I discuss the idea of being responsible for the unforeseen consequences of one’s actions and connect it to the first part of The Good Apprentice). In the second part of the class we focus on the novels themselves. Here I shape my presentations to focus on aspects of literary style—symbolism, narrative form, various novelistic points of view, and so on—in the novels that make possible a distinctive way of understanding freedom and the self.
Visual & Performing Arts Open when gep_category = VPA
Each course in the Visual and Performing Arts category of the General Education Program will provide instruction and guidance that help students to:
 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

Health and Exercise Studies Open when gep_category = HES
Each course in the Health and Exercise Studies category of the General Education Program will provide instruction and guidance that help students to:
 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
&
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

Global Knowledge Open when gep_category = GLOBAL
Each course in the Global Knowledge category of the General Education Program will provide instruction and guidance that help students to achieve objective #1 plus at least one of objectives 2, 3, and 4:
 
 

 
 

 
Please complete at least 1 of the following student objectives.
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

US Diversity Open when gep_category = USDIV
Each course in the US Diversity category of the General Education Program will provide instruction and guidance that help students to achieve at least 2 of the following objectives:
Please complete at least 2 of the following student objectives.
 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

Requisites and Scheduling
0
 
a. If seats are restricted, describe the restrictions being applied.
 
Open to University Honors Program students across all majors; all students by permission of the University Honors Program.
 
b. Is this restriction listed in the course catalog description for the course?
 
Yes
 
List all course pre-requisites, co-requisites, and restrictive statements (ex: Jr standing; Chemistry majors only). If none, state none.
 
Open to University Honors Program students across all majors; all students by permission of the University Honors Program.
 
List any discipline specific background or skills that a student is expected to have prior to taking this course. If none, state none. (ex: ability to analyze historical text; prepare a lesson plan)
 
None
Additional Information
Complete the following 3 questions or attach a syllabus that includes this information. If a 400-level or dual level course, a syllabus is required.
 
Title and author of any required text or publications.
 

 
Major topics to be covered and required readings including laboratory and studio topics.
 

 
List any required field trips, out of class activities, and/or guest speakers.
 

This course requires no new hires of staff or faculty, nor does it require additional operating dollars. The anticipated enrollment is 20 students per semester and 20 per year. The frequency of course offering is based on availability of instructor. Allocation of funds to offer this seminar has been approved the Director of the University Honors Program.

Student Learning Outcomes

By the end of the course, students will be able to relate important philosophical accounts of freedom and the self to the human experience. 


By the end of the course, students will be able to reconstruct the arguments offered by the philosophers we study in this course.  


By the end of the course, students will be able to produce their own philosophical arguments about freedom and the self.  


By the end of the course, students will be able to distinguish between the critical analysis of novels (the discipline of Literature) and the argumentative approach of the discipline of Philosophy. 


By the end of the course, students will be able to draw connections between the critical analysis of novels (the discipline of Literature) and the argumentative approach of the discipline of Philosophy.


By the end of the course, students will be able to interpret the novels we study through the lenses provided by the philosophical and literary accounts of freedom and the self that we will have examined.


Evaluation MethodWeighting/Points for EachDetails
Attendance5%Attendance in class is mandatory. Points for attendance are allocated as follows: 0-2 unexcused absences: 5%; 3-4 unexcused absences: 4%; 5 unexcused absences: 3%; 6 unexcused absences: 2%; 7 unexcused absences: 1%; more than 7 unexcused absences: 0%. Excuses must be provided within one week of the missed class.
Homework20%Ten randomly chosen homework assignments will be graded, each out of a possible 2 percentage points, with the remainder being graded credit/no credit. Failure to submit answers on time causes you to receive a 0/2% or else a no credit. For each no credit you incur, your overall homework grade will be penalized by about 0.5%.
Short Paper35%Students will be assigned two short papers during the semester. Questions might include: “Is Locke’s account of personal identity more plausible than Reid’s?” and “How does Murdoch’s Platonism compare with that espoused by Socrates in the Republic?”
Major Paper30%Students will be assigned one major term paper during the semester. Final paper topics might include the following: “Examine how the character of Stuart Cuno embodied Iris Murdoch’s ideal of ‘an austere and unconsoled love of the good’.”; “How does Greene tell the story of Sarah Miles’s life in order to demonstrate an Augustinian turn from the love of temporal goods to a love of the eternal?”
Other10%Synopsis of novels

kkharris (Thu, 19 Feb 2015 18:06:55 GMT): Rollback: Notes from DASA CCC Meeting 2/16/15: A member noted objective number three from the Interdisciplinary Perspectives GEP felt inexplicit when using “explore and synthesize,” and suggested using “draw connections between…” instead. Another member noted each outcome seemed to have a sentence after, which provided further explanation, and noted it may not be necessary. The member suggested for the sake of simplicity removing any unnecessary sentences from the outcome. Another member noted an error on page five of the syllabus.
Key: 7137