Honors | Ideas & Experience I
H211 | 17530 | Richard Burke
This section is Intensive Writing.
In this seminar we will examine the concepts of justice, fairness
and equality. We will begin with Greek ideas of justice as expressed
in The Oresteia by Aeschylus, The Theban Plays of Sophocles, Plato's
Republic, and selections from Aristotle's Ethics. We will consider
retributive and distributive justice in the Bible through readings
from the Old Testament and the New Testament. We will consider the
medieval notions of justice and fairness as expressed in morality
plays, and we will read Dante's Inferno in its entirety. We will
study several interpretations of justice through selected plays of
Shakespeare, including Measure for Measure, and Merchant of Venice.
Toward the end of the semester we will read Bertolt brecht's play
Galileo, and Voltaire's Candide. Some of the questions to be
considered throughout the semester are:
--How have the concepts of justice and fairness changed over time?
--What constitutes a 'just' society, and what is our role in that
--How can reasonable human beings ensure themselves and others that
they are engaged in building the just society?
--Is a certain amount of injustice and unfairness inevitable?
Grading will be based on three or four short essays that analyze the
different concepts of justice that are found in the seminar readings.
Richard C. Burke specializes in applied communications and the role
of mass media in social change. Much of his research has examined
the role of mass media in formal and non-formal education. He also
teaches courses on media ethics and has a lifelong interest in drama.