History | Struggle, Competition, and Conflict
J300 | 3001 | Pace
A portion of the above section reserved for majors
Above section open to undergraduates only
Above section COAS intensive writing section and also requires
registration in COAS W333
TOPIC: STRUGGLE, COMPETITION, AND CONFLICT IN WESTERN THOUGHT
Struggle, conflict, and competition have been the subject of some of
the most important works of Western culture in the last two
centuries. Competition between producers in the marketplace,
struggles for survival among natural species, conflicts between races
or nationalities, war between the sexes, rivalry between different
ideas – these issues have absorbed the energies of some of our best -
- and our worst -- minds. Some have judged conflict to be a creative
force which has allowed our species to progress. Others have viewed
it as a threat to very existence of humanity.
This great debate about the role of conflict in human life remains at
the core of many of the most important issues facing us today.
Therefore, in this seminar we will explore notions of conflict
produced by a diverse group of writers, including Thomas Hobbes, Adam
Smith, Charles Darwin, Karl Marx, Adolf Hitler, and E.F. Schumacher,
and we will consider how basic changes in European society which set
the stage for these ideas.
In the process students, working closely with the instructor, will be
given an opportunity to develop their skills at thinking and at oral
and written expression. Discussion of the assigned readings with be
combined with mini-lectures on historical background and debates over
various interpretations of conflict.
This course will have a maximum of 20 students and may be used to
fulfill the intensive writing requirement