Folklore | Cosmology & Worldview
F545 | 16349 | Schrempp

The terms cosmology and worldview point to overarching, summarizing
visions of the physical universe and/or the human moral condition.
In this course we will discuss a variety of approaches to cosmology
and worldview--historical, ethnographic, and cognitive--considering
such issues as the relationship between science and religion, and of
fact and value, in cosmological discourse; the uses of folkloric
genres in characterizing worldview; and the epistemological,
psychological, and sociological genesis of totalizing perspectives.
A concern throughout will be the uses and problems associated with
worldview and cosmology as categories of ethnographic description and
analysis, particularly within our allegedly fragmented postmodern
condition.  Special attention will be given to the recent "Sokal's
hoax" incident (dealing with postmodern critiques of science), and
the meltdown issue of the journal Critical Inquiry (Winter 2004) on
the topic of critical theory and liberation.

The reading load will be heavy.  The main assignments will be a
research paper and two class presentations.