HON 272 is the second of a series of two seminars that all incoming freshmen have to take to fulfill their requirements as members of Barrett, the Honors College at ASU. It is a Socratic seminar, emphasizing close textual reading, critical thinking, discussion and argumentative writing. Chronologically, it covers from ~1600 CE to modern times.

Prior to Spring 2007, it was offered as HON 172. Until Spring 2013, I offered the course as HON 273 (“The Human Event: Science Focus”). I’m now teaching it as HON 272 (“The Human Event”). Confusing, I know. Think how I feel.

Since Spring 2000, I have taught the following texts (in whole or part [p]):

Achebe, Things Fall Apart
Achebe, Girls at War
Anouih, Antigone
Arendt, Eichmann in Jerusalem [p]
Bacon, Novum Organon
Bakunin, Anarchism [p]
Baldwin, Sonny’s Blues
Beaumarchais, The Marriage of Figaro
Bettelheim, Behavior in Extreme Situations [p]
Brecht, Galileo
Burke, Reflections on the Revolution in France [p]
Byatt, Morpho Eugenia
Camus, The Guest
Camus, The Myth of Sisyphus [p]
Camus, The Stranger
Cather, Paul’s Case
Condorcet, The Progress of the Human Mind [p]
Dali Lama, The Universe in a Single Atom
Darwin, Origin of Species
Darwin, Descent of Man [p]
Dawkins, The Selfish Gene
Dennett, Darwin’s Dangerous Idea
De Beauvoir, The Second Sex [p]
Descartes, Discourse on Method
Descartes, Mediations on the First Philosophy
De Tocqueville, Democracy in America [p]
Dostoevsky, The Brothers Karamazov [p]
Douglass, Narrative
Einstein, Relativity
Fanon, The Wretched of the Earth [p]
Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning
Franklin & Lavoisier, Report of the Commissioners Charged by the King to Examine Animal Magnetism
Freud, Civilization and its Discontents
Galileo, Letter to the Grand Duchess
Galileo, The Starry Messenger
Galileo, Letters on Sunspots
Gericault, The Raft of the Medusa
Gilman, The Yellow Wallpaper
Goethe, Faust
Herschel, Preliminary Discourse [p]
Hume, Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion
Hume, Of Suicide
Hume, Of the Immortality of the Soul
Hume, On Miracles
Huxley, Brave New World
Huxley, Evolution and Ethics
Hobbes, Leviathan [p]
Ibsen, A Doll’s House
Ibsen, Hedda Gabler
Various jazz tracks
Kant, Critique of Pure Reason [p]
Kant, What is Enlightenment?
Kant, Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals
Kuhn, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions [p]
Levi, Survival in Auschwitz
Lewontin, The Triple Helix
Lightman, Einstein’s Dreams
Locke, Essay Concerning Human Understanding [p]
Locke, On Civil Government [p]
Marx, The Communist Manifesto
McEwan, Enduring Love [p]
Mill, On Liberty
Newton, Principia [p]
Newton, Optics [p]
Nietzsche, Genealogy of Morality
Nietzsche, On Truth and Lie in the Extra Moral Sense
Nietzsche, The Gay Science [p]
O’Connor, A Good Man is Hard to Find
Orwell, Shooting an Elephant
Paine, Age of Reason
Paley, Natural Theology [p]
Postman, Five Things We Need To Know About Technological Change
Resnais, Night & Fog
Rushdie, Step Across This Line
Sartre, Existentialism is a Humanism
Schiller, Ode (to Joy) with Beethoven, Ninth Symphony
Shelly, Frankenstein
Solzhenitsyn, The Gulag Archipelago [p]
Soyinka, The Bacchae of Euripides
Soyinka, Death and the King’s Horseman
Stephenson, Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde
Stoppard, Arcadia
Stoppard, Rosencrantz & Guildenstern are Dead
Stoppard, Jumpers
Thoreau, On Civil Disobedience
Tolstoy, The Death of Ivan Ilyich
Tolstoy, The Kreutzer Sonata
Tyndall, The Belfast Address
Voltaire, Candide
Vonnegut, Galapagos
Watson, The Double Helix
Wells, The Island of Dr. Moreau
Wiesenthal, The Sunflower
Wilson, Sociobiology [p]
Woolf, A Room of One’s Own [p]
Various short pieces on eugenics, quantum mechanics, the nature of mathematics, and multiverses.