Honors | Ideas & Experience I (HON)
H211 | 25065 | Karen Hanson
What do we have to know to know how to live our lives? Are there
principles of human virtue on a par with laws of physical nature,
and if there are, how can we discover these moral rules? Is there
some sort of wisdom that can help us find happiness— or is ignorance
In this class we will explore questions at the intersection of
ethics and epistemology (the theory of knowledge). We will think
about how we gather guidance for life, how we form our deepest
beliefs, and how those beliefs shape our conduct. To spur our
thinking, we will read and evaluate some texts that speak to these
issues, texts that help define some portion of the Western cultural
tradition on these topics.
Reading assignments will include passages from the Bible, as well as
three Platonic diaglogues (Apology, Crito, and Phaedo), Marcus
Aurelius’s Meditations, Augustine’s Confessions, Descartes’s
Meditations, and Pascal’s Pensees.
Students will be expected to do all assigned readings, to
participate actively in class discussions, and to complete some
short and medium-length writing assignments.