Honors | Ideas & Experience II (HON)
H212 | 21144 | Norm Furniss

MW 1:00-2:15pm

The general aim of all our H212 seminars is to “study some of the
sources of our modern mentality and discover how the great writers
from the Enlightenment to the present have shaped our views.” This
is a goal worthy of life-long learning; I hope this seminar will
prove a useful first step on this intellectual journey. To give
focus to our efforts in the seminar, we will orient our work around
the ideas given primacy in the Declaration of Independence: “We hold
these truths to be self-evident, that all men are endowed by their
creator with certain inalienable rights, that among these are Life,
Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.”

For the idea of “life” our major text will be Charles Darwin, On the
Origin of Species; for “liberty”, John Stuart Mill, On Liberty;
for “(the pursuit of) happiness” probably selections from
Montaigne’s Essays. These readings will be supplemented by a number
of current accounts and debates. The ideas presented by these
writers resonate today; one task of the seminar is to draw out

There will be a number of written assignments and two noncumulative
examinations. There will be no final examination. I would be pleased
to discuss details with anyone who might be interested in taking the
seminar. My email is furniss@indiana.edu, phone 5-9100.