Humanities and Science
Term: Fall 2021 - Full Term (08/30/2021 - 12/13/2021)
Grade Mode: Letter Grading
Times & Locations
|Start Date||End Date||Days||Time||Location|
|8/30/2021||12/13/2021||TR||3:40pm - 5:00pm||MURK G01|
Are human beings naturally good or bad? Aggressive or sociable? Competitive or cooperative? Do men and women have essentially the same natures? Do humans share the same nature as animals? Will machines ever replace us?
In this course, we explore how these questions have been answered during the last three centuries. We will look at how ideas of human nature have been affected by the theory of evolution, by new technologies, and by discoveries in genetics. We will study literary works, including Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and stories by H. G. Wells, and we will situate them in relation to scientific and philosophical theories about the nature of human beings. We will also discuss scientific theories of gender, race, and sexuality. In the twenty-first century, with computers apparently displaying artificial intelligence, and genes found for many human characteristics, some people claim we have become “posthuman.” This course provides a historical perspective on these exciting but troubling developments.