TBB199H1

2017-18 First-Year Seminars | TBB199H1: Thought, Belief, and Behaviour (Category 2)

A few First-Year Seminars give preference during the first round of enrolment to students with membership in the college offering the course - if this is the case, the college name will be listed beside the course title. During the second round of enrolment, first-year students at any college may enroll if space is available.

Refer to the 2017-18 Arts & Science Timetable for the schedule information of each offering.

TBB 199H1F: Thought, Belief, and Behaviour (2): 2017 Fall Offerings

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Section

Title College
L0101 Archaeology in the Popular Imagination  
L0171 Nature, Human Nature and the Good Life  
L0281 Analyzing Speech Sounds  
L0282 Language in Canadian Society  
L0321 Ethics and Literature  
L0322 Representation, Art, and Photography: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Art  
L0323 Love, Desire, and Friendship  

TBB 199H1S: Thought, Belief, and Behaviour (2): 2018 Winter Offerings

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Section Title College
L0041 Boethius's Consolation of Philosophy Trinity
L0101 Tragically Unhip: Great Thinkers of the Late 19th and Early 20th Centuries  
L0131 Innovative Teaching Methods in Chemistry  
L0141 Praise and Blame  
L0282 Language and Mind  
L0283 Language in Canadian Society  
L0331 Cultural Literacy in the Information Age Woodsworth
L0361 The Individual and Society  
L0371 Utopia/Dystopia: Religion and Gender in Science Fiction  

TBB 199H1: 2017 Fall Offerings

TBB 199H1F | Section L0101

Archaeology in the Popular Imagination
This course explores popular conceptions of archaeology and the way archaeology has been used in modern culture and politics. From Nazi propaganda to Mother Goddesses and alleged extra-terrestrial pyramid builders, people have used archaeology and ideas about the ancient past to further imaginative but also sometimes nationalistic and even racist agendas. The goal of the course is to examine how such arguments are constructed and how to tell the difference between fanciful or misleading interpretations and ones well-grounded in evidence.

Instructor: E. Banning, Anthropology
Breadth category: 2 Thought, Belief, and Behaviour

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TBB 199H1F | Section L0171

Nature, Human Nature and the Good Life
This course examines how thinking about the natural world, and about the natural workings of human beings, has shaped and informed ideas about the properly lived human life in early China. We will study early Chinese philosophical and strategic texts (Confucian, Mohist, Daoist, Legalist, etc) and consider them alongside natural scientific treatises, technical manuals, medical manuscripts, and visual materials. We will also explore convergences and divergences in ancient Greek (Stoics, Aristotle) and modern/contemporary thought. The goal of the course is not only to situate early Chinese philosophy within a larger conceptual and historical context, but also to interrogate the very nature of philosophical inquiry, both past and present.

Instructor: C. Virag, East Asian Studies
Breadth category: 2 Thought, Belief, and Behaviour

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TBB 199H1F | Section L0281

Analyzing Speech Sounds
What are physical properties of speech sounds? How do vowels and consonants we produce differ from one another, as well as differ from those produced by speakers of other dialects or of different native language backgrounds? What can we learn about our own speech and the language in general by examining acoustic properties of speech sounds? The goal of this course is to address these and other related questions by providing students with hands-on experience in basic instrumental analysis of speech sounds. We will learn how to design a simple phonetic experiment, to record samples of speech in a phonetics lab, to perform acoustic analysis of the recordings using specialized software, and to write up and present experimental results.

Instructor: A. Kochetov, Linguistics
Breadth category: 2 Thought, Belief, and Behaviour

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TBB 199H1F | Section L0282
TBB 199H1S | Section L0283

Language in Canadian Society
We look at social change through two major themes: first, the linguistic and social consequences of Canadian multilingualism, and second, the impact on language (if any) of modern social forces such as immigration, mass media, literacy, mobility, urbanization, prolonged life expectancy including prolonged adolescence, and global communication.

Instructor: J. Chambers, Linguistics
Breadth category: 2 Thought, Belief, and Behaviour

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TBB 199H1F | Section L0321

Ethics and Literature
The goal of this seminar is to investigate ethical questions via works of fiction, primarily novels. The idea is not to see fiction as a pedantic vehicle for ethical argument, but rather to consider how, and with what effect, fiction functions as an ethical medium. We will not simply judge characters as ‘likeable’ or ‘relatable’; rather, we will reflect on what fiction can teach us about the pressing challenges of choice and responsibility, and how it can (perhaps) enhance empathy.

The focus is on issues of individual identity and integrity: creating and maintaining oneself as a moral whole within environments hostile or indifferent to that end. All the works considered are novels from the period between about 1900 and 2015—for convenience, the ‘modern’ age, though we will analyze that notion. Class discussions will be enriched by visits from practising novelists, who will address the role of ethical insight in their own work.

Instructor: M. Kingwell, Philosophy
Breadth category: 2 Thought, Belief, and Behaviour

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TBB 199H1F | Section L0322

Representation, Art, and Photography: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Art
This seminar will be a discussion-driven and case-study-based introduction to the Philosophy of Art. In the first part of the seminar we will look at classic philosophical accounts of the nature and value of art, and of the relation between art and representation. The second part of the seminar will be grounded in a number of key readings in the Theory of Photography (including Benjamin, Barthes, and Sontag). Starting from these readings and from examples taken from the work of twentieth and twenty-first century photographers and artists using the photographic medium we will attempt to answer questions such as the following: What is a photograph? What makes a photograph a work of art? What is the difference between the ways paintings and photographs represent the world? Are photographs inherently more realistic than paintings?

Instructor: F. Gagliardi, Philosophy
Breadth category: 2 Thought, Belief, and Behaviour

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TBB 199H1F | Section L0323

Love, Desire, and Friendship
Why do we want what we want, and love whom we love?  This course will explore the nature, varieties, and import of desire, love, and friendship primarily in the works of philosophers, but supplemented with insights from literature, science, and religion.  We will ask such questions as:  Is there such a thing as wanting something, or loving someone, for the right and wrong reasons?  Should we conceive of love as a kind of union with another person?  Can love be unconditional?  Is love forever?  Is love exclusive?  Is it possible to love all humanity?  Is love, at bottom, an expression of need or a gift bestowed on another?  Do love and desire differ for men and women?  Is love always a good thing?  Are romantic love and friendship human universals or do they differ from culture to culture?  And, most fundamentally, what place do love, friendship, and the satisfaction of desire have in a good life?

Instructor: A. Franklin-Hall, Philosophy
Breadth category: 2 Thought, Belief, and Behaviour

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TBB 199H1: 2018 Winter Offerings

TBB 199H1S | Section L0041 | Trinity College

Boethius’s Consolation of Philosophy
Anicius Manlius Severinus Boethius (died 524) was the greatest scholar and statesman of Rome after its conquest by the barbarian Ostrogoths. When he was unjustly sentenced to death for treason, he wrote one of the great classics of Western literature, The Consolation of Philosophy. C. S. Lewis remarked of the work that “until about two hundred years ago it would, I think, have been hard to find an educated man in any European country who did not love it.” Boethius confronts the most intractable questions of suffering humanity: Why do bad things happen to good people? What is the point of living a virtuous life? Do we really have free will, or is choice an illusion? In this seminar, we will learn about Boethius’s world his philosophical sources, and we will analyse the argument he offers in the Consolation. We will then see how Boethius’s ideas were taken up by medieval and modern writers. We will also spend time looking at manuscripts and early printed books in the Fisher Library. Assessment: three short papers and class participation.

Instructor: J. Billett, Trinity College
Breadth category: 2 Thought, Belief, and Behaviour

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TBB 199H1S | Section L0101

Tragically Unhip: Great Thinkers of the Late 19th and Early 20th Centuries
An in-depth look at great thinkers and ideas in anthropology that have influenced Western concepts of the Individual and Exotic Other. The course considers the paradox of classical ideas that pervade our view of the world yet remain controversial.

Instructor: G. Gillison, Trinity College
Breadth category: 2 Thought, Belief, and Behaviour

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TBB 199H1S | Section L0131

Innovative Teaching Methods in Chemistry
Good teaching is effective communication that engages the audience. Innovative methods, by definition, are engaging. To ensure that they also communicate effectively, we'll investigate the nature of science, how scientific knowledge is built, and what makes certain concepts in science problematic to the learner. We will then synthesize our understanding to develop communication tools for engaging our learners and communicating scientific ideas effectively. Students will read and discuss relevant articles in newsmagazines, popular science sources, and the educational literature. They will design and deliver mini lessons to communicate specified scientific concepts. As a major course project, students will eventually develop a communication tool that integrates pedagogical know-how with leading edge chemical discoveries to produce an accessible teaching unit that can be used by Ontario teachers.

Instructor: C. Kutas, Chemistry
Breadth category: 2 Thought, Belief, and Behaviour

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TBB 199H1S | Section L0141

Praise and Blame
Praise and blame were widely recognized within the ancient Greek and Roman world as two fundamental activities: they were not incidental elements of literary life or civic discourse, but essential elements of each. We will look at a selection of Greek and Roman texts in translation to explore both examples of praise and blame and also what they explicitly said about the practice: how do you do it? Who is singled out for each? Who is the audience? What sorts of things are the objects of valorization or condemnation? How do issues like social control and political conformity relate to these types of verbal production? Readings will include various poetic genres (epic poetry, victory poems, invective epigrams...), philosophical writings, public orations, rhetorical theory, and biographies.

In addition to ancient readings, students will be encouraged to think about the way praise and blame work in a contemporary setting and how and where we engage in each activity today. Written exercises will emphasize both analytical skills as well as more creative and synthetic activity: rewriting an ancient passage in a modern idiom, for example, or converting a modern one into a more Greco-Roman mode.

Instructor: E. Gunderson, Classics
Breadth category: 2 Thought, Belief, and Behaviour

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TBB 199H1S | Section L0282

Language and Mind
This seminar course will present a critical overview of the revolution in linguistics and cognitive science initiated by Noam Chomsky. We will look at how Chomsky rethought the foundations of linguistics as a science and its relation to cognitive science, philosophy of language, and psychology. In particular we will discuss the following related questions: (i) What is the human linguistic ability and how do we acquire it? (ii) To what extent is language innate and what is the relation between language and learning? (iii) Non-human communication: can we speak of “language”? (iv) What's the place of the “language faculty” in the architecture of the mind? (v) Can evolution tell us anything about the language faculty? The aim of this class is to provide students with a perspective on the goals and questions that the scientific study of language raises.

Instructor: M. Ippolito, Linguistics
Breadth category: 2 Thought, Belief, and Behaviour

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TBB 199H1S | Section L0283: Language in Canadian Society - see above.


TBB 199H1S | Section L0331 | Woodsworth College

Cultural Literacy in the Information Age
Despite the increasing general cultural acceptance of online information gathering, the university remains divided on its value. On the one hand, students enter university with considerable Internet expertise, gained from prior formal training and from their personal experience of going online to answer everyday questions; moreover, many cultural changes, such as the move from print to online publications, seem to confirm online resources are vital for staying informed. On the other hand, skepticism is routinely voiced in the university about the academic merits of some of the online resources favored by students, including Google searches and consultation of Wikipedia. This seminar examines the roots of this ongoing disagreement in two related debates about education: first, how to integrate modern technology into the process of learning (computer literacy), and, second, how to decide what knowledge is required for full cultural participation (cultural literacy). These issues will be examined through course readings from a range of academic, general interest and discipline-specific sources. Using this material and independent research, students will judge what role the Internet should play in higher education

Instructor: T. Moritz, Woodsworth College
Breadth category: 2 Thought, Belief, and Behaviour

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TBB 199H1S | Section L0361

The Individual and Society
How does one develop a sense of individuality? Can individual will and freedom be reconciled with the interests of society? Are we determined by society or culture or do we, in some important sense, determine our own behavior and futures? In this course, we will use classic and contemporary readings from psychology, sociology, anthropology, philosophy, and law to explore general characterizations of the individual and society. Basic questions will be examined in light of these characterizations such as: Is there a universal human nature? Who is a “person”?, and What is the ideal society? We will examine these questions in light of various social issues, such as debates about multiculturalism and democracy, whether children have rights to freedom of speech, and women’s equality in society. Throughout the course, the emphasis will be on the different views of the person underlying and informing contrasting perspectives on important social questions.

Instructor: C. Helwig, Psychology
Breadth category: 2 Thought, Belief, and Behaviour

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TBB 199H1S | Section L0371

Utopia/Dystopia: Religion and Gender in Science Fiction
This course will examine the “what ifs” and imagined worlds of ideal utopias and oppressive dystopias through the lens of religion and gender in Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale and Ursula K. Le Guin’s The Left Hand of Darkness. Because science fiction and utopian/dystopian literature expresses what an author sees as possible or hopes is possible, but also fears is possible, we will consider science fiction as a political and social critique. Themes to be covered include fundamentalism, totalitarianism, the relationship between technology and religion, religion and reproductive rights, and the potential relationship between religion, gender and oppression.

Instructor: L. Bugg, Study of Religion
Breadth category: 2 Thought, Belief, and Behaviour

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