History | Struggle, Competition, Culture since the Middle Ages
J300 | 27301 | Pace
Above class COLL intensive writing section
Above class open to undergraduates only
A portion of the above class reserved for majors
Struggle, conflict, and competition have been the subject of some of
the most important works of Western culture in the last two
centuries. Competition between producers in the marketplace,
struggles for survival among natural species, conflicts between
races or nationalities, war between the sexes, rivalry between
different ideas – these issues have absorbed the energies of some
of our best -- and our worst -- minds. Some have judged conflict to
be a creative force which has allowed our species to progress.
Others have viewed it as a threat to very existence of humanity.
This great debate about the role of conflict in human life remains
at the core of many of the most important issues facing us today.
Therefore, in this seminar we will explore notions of conflict
produced by a diverse group of writers, including Thomas Hobbes,
Adam Smith, Charles Darwin, Karl Marx, Adolf Hitler, and E.F.
Schumacher, and we will consider how basic changes in European
society which set the stage for these ideas.
In the process students, working closely with the instructor, will
be given an opportunity to develop their skills at thinking and at
oral and written expression. Discussion of the assigned readings
with be combined with mini-lectures on historical background and
debates over various interpretations of conflict.