Intro Level Core Courses

HON 1051, 1053, 1006 Interdisc II

Brooke Hunter (LIT)
Rachel Smith (Theology)
Alice Daily (see: One Credit Workshops)

MWF 8:30-10:20pm

 

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ACS 1001-H01 Moderns

Michael D. Thompson
MWF 11:30-12:20PM

The purpose of this course is to continue the student’s introduction to the intellectual life and spiritual values found within the traditions of the western humanities. The essential question posed by the humanities is “What does it mean to be human?” The central question posed by this ACS honors seminar is “Who am I?”  In many ways there is no viable and plausible response for the former without resolving the latter. In New & Collected Poems 2001, the poet Czeslaw Milosz claims that the purpose of poetry is to remind us how difficult it is to remain just one person.   We will attempt to address the concept of “person” and “Who Am I” through reading, studying and discussing some of the central works of the Western humanities tradition in the modern period. We will be guided in our task by the insights of the Christian theologian and philosopher St. Augustine of Hippo. St. Augustine claims that you are confronted with the choice of becoming whoever you are to be. This choice can be ignored but its consequences cannot be avoided. The focus of our seminar’s presentations will concern interpretations of the nature and meaning of this choice. Choosing who you are concerns relationships between the development of individual identity, truth, and the influences of those factors which you cannot easily change, or not at all, in your life, such as codes of expected behavior, the implications of transgression and the force of contextual, social, political, economic and historical circumstances.

 In conjunction with Augustinian themes, we will use the concepts of tragedy, transgression, resistance and what is thought to be “natural” conditions to illuminate our analyses of personal identity. We will evaluate the choice of self destruction in Shakespeare’s Macbeth. In Hobbes’ Leviathan we will evaluate the peculiar claim that choosing an absolute leader is the only way to ensure our individual rights. The issue of freedom to choose one’s meaning centers Dostoevsky’s Grand Inquisitor while Kierkegaard in Either/Or is convinced that choosing the meaning of one’s life is our destiny. Influenced by St. Augustine, Kierkegaard argues that the choices for individual meaning are founded in either sensuous pleasure or a career of dutiful responsibility, or ultimately, possibly, in the mystery of God’s love. S. Freud in Civilization and its Discontents argues that the egos of the world are in competition for scarce resources even though simultaneously driven by instincts, compulsions and desires while conjunctively are made increasingly more dangerous as civilization and technology proceed. We will then move to, in the words of St. John of the Cross, “the dark night of the soul” in the evaluation of racism and its rejection of both individual human being and choice. We will follow Rosenbaum’s presentation of significant attempts to understand the incomprehensible in Explaining Hitler. We will finish the semester in evaluating the arguments of Dr. Martin Luther King and El Hajj Malik Shabazz (Malcolm X), in their claims concerning choice, personal identity and race.

  The format for our seminar will be, primarily, student commentary, with discussion of texts and assigned questions. I will lecture periodically.

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ACS 1001-H02 Moderns

Gregory Hoskins 
MW 1:30-2:45PM

Restricted to Honors students in the Society & Human Behavior Cohort

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ACS 1001-H03 Moderns

Thomas W. Smith
MWF 10:30-11:20PM

Restricted to Honors students in the True Cohort

As the second in the “transcendentals” series, this course is a seminar organized around the “true.”  We will read both classic and contemporary texts that aim to raise the question of the nature of truth and to explore its essential connection with goodness and beauty.  We will begin with a consideration of the impoverishment of the notion of truth in contemporary discourse and then consider both the origins of this impoverishment and alternatives to it.  Along the way, students will learn to read texts closely, to engage in fruitful discussion of them with their classmates and to write compelling papers.

 

Open only to cohort students; students will be pre-registered.

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ACS 1001-H04 Moderns

Helena Tomoko
MWF 10:30-11:20

Restricted to Honors students in the True Cohort  

As the second in the “transcendentals” series, this course is a seminar organized around the “true.”  We will read both classic and contemporary texts that aim to raise the question of the nature of truth and to explore its essential connection with goodness and beauty.  We will begin with a consideration of the impoverishment of the notion of truth in contemporary discourse and then consider both the origins of this impoverishment and alternatives to it.  Along the way, students will learn to read texts closely, to engage in fruitful discussion of them with their classmates and to write compelling papers.

Open only to cohort students; students will be pre-registered.  

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ACS 1001-H05 Moderns

Jesse D. Couenhoven
MWF 10:30-11:20am

Restricted to Honors students in the True Cohort. 

As the second in the “transcendentals” series, this course is a seminar organized around the “true.”  We will read both classic and contemporary texts that aim to raise the question of the nature of truth and to explore its essential connection with goodness and beauty.  We will begin with a consideration of the impoverishment of the notion of truth in contemporary discourse and then consider both the origins of this impoverishment and alternatives to it.  Along the way, students will learn to read texts closely, to engage in fruitful discussion of them with their classmates and to write compelling papers.

Open only to cohort students; students will be pre-registered.

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ACS 1001-H06 Moderns

Mary Hirschfeld
MW 1:30-2:45pm 

Restricted to Honors students in the PPE Cohort. 

As the second in the “transcendentals” series, this course is a seminar organized around the “true.”  We will read both classic and contemporary texts that aim to raise the question of the nature of truth and to explore its essential connection with goodness and beauty.  We will begin with a consideration of the impoverishment of the notion of truth in contemporary discourse and then consider both the origins of this impoverishment and alternatives to it.  Along the way, students will learn to read texts closely, to engage in fruitful discussion of them with their classmates and to write compelling papers.

Open only to cohort students; students will be pre-registered.

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ACS 1001-H07 Moderns

Mary Hirschfeld 
MW 3:00-4:15 PM

Restricted to Honors students in the Business and Society cohort.

As the second in the “transcendentals” series, this course is a seminar organized around the “true.”  We will read both classic and contemporary texts that aim to raise the question of the nature of truth and to explore its essential connection with goodness and beauty.  We will begin with a consideration of the impoverishment of the notion of truth in contemporary discourse and then consider both the origins of this impoverishment and alternatives to it.  Along the way, students will learn to read texts closely, to engage in fruitful discussion of them with their classmates and to write compelling papers.

Open only to cohort students; students will be pre-registered.

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ACS 1001-H08 Moderns

Kristie Schlaruaff
MWF 12:30-1:20 PM

The well-known maxim “never let go of your dreams” suggests that altered states of consciousness hold an intrinsic value because they help us discover what is most important to us and therefore worthy of pursuit. How do our experiences in these moments shape our understanding of who we are? Throughout the semester we will examine how dreams shape the actions of dreamers from the fictional Victor Frankenstein to Ta-Nehisi Coates. Furthermore, we will explore how dream states, mesmeric states, and magical states serve as privileged modes of being that change the way individuals perceive and understand the world around them. What are the deeper implications of clinging tight to our dreams?

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PHI 1000-H01 Knowledge Reality Self

Walter Brogan
MW 3:00-4:15pm

We will study some of the greatest authors in the history of Western thought: Plato, Aquinas, Descartes, Locke, Marx, Freud and others.  We will examine and consider philosophical principles of reality, political life and morality.  We will wonder about what it means to be human and to claim that we are rational beings capable of true knowledge.  We will wonder about how philosophy can help to understand claims about God and we will examine proofs for God’s existence. We will ask basic questions such as: "What does it mean to be political and rational beings?  What is the ideal community for human beings? The class will aim to encourage sharing ideas and insights and expect that each of us will seriously confront the texts and ideas we encounter.  We will aim to raise critical questions and enhance our conversation and writing skills. Evaluation will be based on participation, short reflection assignments and several theme papers.

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PHI 1000-H02 Knowledge Reality Self

Georg Theiner
TR 2:30-3:45 PM

In most fields of study, people set out to acquire knowledge about the world.  But in philosophy, we take a step back and probe into knowledge itself – by asking questions about the sources of knowledge, its nature and limitations, and what methods we have for arriving at true knowledge.  Philosophers have thought hard about these questions, with the hope of gaining a more reflective understanding of the nature of reality and the capacities of the knowing self.  To illustrate the virtues of philosophical inquiry, and how it differs from both science and religion, we first look at a range of influential theories proposed by Plato, Anselm, Aquinas, Descartes, and Hume.  In the second half of the course, we turn to the emerging area of consciousness studies, in which philosophers collaborate with psychologists and brain scientists to examine puzzling topics such as how subjective experiences can arise from objective brain processes, the nature of free will, the unity of the self, dreams and meditation, and the possibility of machine consciousness.

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PHI 1000-H03 Knowledge Reality Self

Delia Popa
MW 1:30-2:45 PM

This introductory course will focus on our relation to the reality of our experience. What makes something real for us? What makes it unreal? How do we set apart reality from fiction in our everyday life? Instead of taking one determined reality for granted, we will progressively understand reality as a multiple process challenging each of us to work continuously on ourselves while being responsively engaged with the others.

Through intensive philosophical readings, discussions and reflection, this course invites you to get involved with issues arising at different moments in the history of philosophy. We will start with the study of some of Plato’s Dialogues investigating the means of our knowledge of reality and then follow the variations of this topic as it develops through Medieval, Modern and Contemporary Philosophy. As we will approach Modern and Contemporary philosophies, we will try to understand why our knowledge of reality is inseparable from an inquiry about self and identity.

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PSC 1200-H01 International Relations

LANCE KENNEY
TR 11:30-12:45pm

This course is an introduction to the study of international relations (IR), a distinct academic discipline that involves elements of political science, history, economics, sociology, and philosophy. The aim is to present the key concepts, theories, and paradigms that shape and influence world politics. Simply reporting on contemporary international events is NOT the goal: evaluating and critically assessing those events IS the goal.

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THL 1000-H01 Faith Reason and Culture

Brett Grainger
TR 1:00-2:15 PM

This course is an exploration of the religious impulse in human culture, as that impulse has been expressed in traditions of Christianity. After familiarizing ourselves with some of the distinctive methods (historical, theological, and social scientific) used by scholars in the study of theology and religion, we will attend to some of the central themes, movements, practices, and tensions that characterize Christianity as a “lived religion,” which is to say, religion as it is lived out in everyday life. Among other topics, we will explore the Christian conceptions of the sacred, ritual practice, religious authority, nature, and the human condition.

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THL 1000-H02 Faith Reason and Culture

Anna Moreland
MWF 11:30-12:20 PM

Throughout this course students will gain competence in Christian theological language in order to examine critically the theological claims of the Christian tradition.  The course is organized along doctrinal themes that, woven together, make up the vision of Christian living.  This course will also provide a basis for subsequent theological study.

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THL 1000-H03 Faith Reason and Culture

Timothy Hanchin
TR 4:00-5:15 PM

Theology may be understood as “faith seeking understanding” (Anselm of Canterbury). St. Augustine’s Confessions stands as an enduring contribution to the history of Christian theology (and Western thought) because of the way that his story of passionate self-discovery resonates with the universal journey of humanity. “My heart is the place where I am whoever I am” (10.3.4). Like Augustine, we are all people of restless, pilgrim hearts and minds. This course examines the foundations of Christian faith in light of its sources, intelligibility, and practice. This ongoing quest for meaning takes place in conversation with cultures past and present. 

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Honors Program Brochure

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Contact Us

Villanova University
Garey Hall 106
800 Lancaster Ave.
Villanova, PA 19085
Phone: 610.519.4650
Fax: 610.519.5405