Honors | Ideas & Experience II
H212 | 17020 | Edward Gubar
“What then must we do?” Leo Tolstoy asked in 1886, writing about
greed, exploitation, and poverty in the slums of Moscow. Men and
women have been asking similar questions since men and women began
asking questions. How should we act? How should we behave? What
standards or schemes should we follow? What ideas, what motives,
what values should govern our actions?
We will see how some important writers, philosophers, artists,
historical figures, and others, mainly from the past two hundred
years, have addressed these questions.
Readings may include the Sermon on the Mount, Plato’s Crito,
Sophocles’ Antigone, excerpts from Robert Herrick, John Stuart Mill,
David Hume, Marx, Tolstoy, Rousseau, Nietsche, Freud, Bateson, and
We will also probably read a few of the following: a play by
Shakespeare, Forster’s Howard’s End, Andre Malraux’s Man’s Fate,
Gary Snyder’s Earth Household, Albee’s Zoo Story, and Ursula
Leguin’s The Dispossessed.
We may also view some films like I Heart Huckabees, A World Apart,
or Paths of Glory.
Class format: directed discussion.
Required work: A variety of writing assignments including some brief
responses, a few short essays, one longer essay, and a final
Honors College “H” course
Freshman Topics course
COAS Intensive Writing course