Lecture Schedule [O: Ogilvie, H: Hamilton, M: Mussolino, G: Guest]
 
  

Dates

Lecture Topics

Reading Assignments

Recitation Assignments
(See Sakai site for additional details)

THU SEP 01

O&H: Introduction to the Course; Questionnaire

 

See and download assignment 1 on Sakai assignments page NOW.  You will need the extra time in order to prepare for first recitation meeting.

TUE SEP 06

O: Class Discussion of Soul Beliefs

 

 

THU SEP 8

---------NO CLASS--------

 

 

TUE SEP 13

O: Foundations of Soul Beliefs Part 1

Ogilvie, A Partial History of Soul Beliefs (Pages 1-20) (Link) 

 

THU SEP 15

O: Foundations of Soul Beliefs Part 2

 Ogilvie, A Partial History of Soul Beliefs (Pages 21-37)

 (Link) 

Week 1 -- Sep 15-19
Views about the soul (available on Sakai) (15 pts)

TUE SEP 20

O: Functions of Religion

Wade The Faith Instinct (Chapter 1 in the Course Reader)

 

THU SEP 22

O: Religion Under Attack

DawkinsMilitant Atheism TED Lecture (First 15 minutes)

Week 2 -- Sep 22-26
Historians/Anthropologists say that no society has existed without religion. Why do you think this is so? Be sure to include some element of Wade’s argument in your 1-page paper. (5 pts)

TUE SEP 27

H: Big Ideas and Big Controversies: When Earth Was No Longer the Center

 The Crime of Galileo and Scientific Revolution  

.

THU SEP 29

H: Darwin’s Dangerous Idea

Gould, Ever Since Darwin, Essays (1) Darwin’s Delay, (2) Darwin’s Sea Change, (3) Darwin’s Dilemma: The Odyssey of Evolution, and (4) Darwin’s Untimely Burial. (Chapter 2 in Course Reader)

Week 3 -- Sept 29-Oct 3
Charles Darwin refused to make a distinction between “higher” and “lower” species in his theory of evolution, arguing that all species, including human beings, are products of natural selection.  He delayed publishing The Origin of Species because he knew that his ideas severely challenged basic assumptions about how human beings “arrived” on Earth.  

Write a 2-page paper that 1) summarizes Darwin’s theory of “descent by modification”, 2) how “natural selection” contradicted the prevailing worldviews of his time, and 3) provide evidence that resistance to the theory of evolution remains strong in some sectors of our society 150 years after his seminal work was published.

(10 pts)

TUE OCT 04

H: The Mind-Body Problem

Eliasmith, The Mind-Body Problem.

Bloom, Religion is Natural. (Chapter 3 in the Course Reader)

 

 

THU OCT 06

H: Free Will vs. Lawful Behavior 

Gazzaniga, My Brain Made Me Do It (Chapter 4 in the Course Reader)

Week 4 -- Oct 6-10
In his Meditations, Rene Descartes sums up his central dualisti thesis when he states: "There is a vast difference between the mind and the body, in that the body...is always divisible, while the mind is completely indivisible"   Although his  I   sdlk  

Although Paul Bloom also posits a sort of dualism in his work, it is somewhat different, as can be understood when he states: "'[Children] are dualists in the sense that they naturally see the world as containing two distinct domains...'physical objects and real events' and 'mental states and entities'." 

Although they may seem similar at first, consider the full implications of their stances.  Then, in a 2-page paper, compare Descartes’ version of dualism with the dualism of children proposed by Paul Bloom, using this week's readings as your primary sources.  (10pt)

TUE OCT 11

O: Internalized Beliefs I

Ogilvie, Anatomy of Internalized Beliefs (Pages 1-21) (Link)

Damasio, Unpleasantness in Vermont, (Chapter 5 in the Course Reader)

 

 

THU OCT 13

O: Internalized Beliefs II

Ogilvie The Anatomy of Internalized Beliefs (Pages 21-33)  (Link)

Week 5 -- Oct 13-17
Core Belief Essay (See Sakai for full assignment) (10 pt)

TUE OCT 18

G: Terror Management (Prof. Solomon)

Video Lecture if Prof. Solomon cannot attend.

Solomon et al., Tales from the Crypt.

 

THU OCT 20

H: Anatomy of Emotion

 

Week 6 Oct 20-24
Review Session

TUE OCT 25


-----EXAM 1----

 

 

THU OCT 27

M: After-Life, Out of Body, and Disembodied: What’s the evidence? Part 1

 Richard Dawkin’s Letter to his Daughter

Week 7 Oct 27-31
No Recitation, TA’s will be grading exams

TUE NOV 01

M: After-Life, Out of Body, and Disembodied: What’s the evidence? Part 2

Mooney, The Science of Why We Don't Believe Science

 

THU NOV 03

M: After-Life, Out of Body, and Disembodied: What’s the evidence? Part 3

Scott O; Lilienfeld et allPsychology and Scientific Thinking (Chapter 6 in Course Reader)

Week 8 -- Nov 3-7
We will provide a selection of news articles.  Choose one to use in preparing a short paper which discusses how to verify whether or not the finding in the article is real. (5pt) 

TUE NOV 08

H: The Evolution of the Human Brain 

Mirror Neurons and Imitation Learning as the driving force behind “the great leap forward” in human evolution.

 

THU NOV 10

H: Traveling Self

Carlson et al., Evolution Heredity & Behavior. (Chapter 7 in Course Reader)

Week 9 -- Nov 10-19

Using the article by Ramachandran as your primary reference, write a 1 page paper on how the use of language and the ability to imitate others probably contributed to the emergence of culture.  (5 pt)

TUE NOV 15

H: Human Spark

 Carlson et al., Evolution Heredity & Behavior. (Chapter 7 in Course Reader) 

Richard Leaky Interview on NPR

 

THU NOV 17

O:  The Undesired Self

Ogilvie, Cohen, & Solomon
The Undesired Self: Deadly Connotations

Week 10 -- Nov 17-21

Review

TUE NOV 22

(THU SCHED)

 

----EXAM 2----

 

 

THU NOV 24

Happy Thanksgiving!

 

Week 11 -- Nov 24-29
No recitations this week. Happy Thanksgiving!

TUE NOV 29

G:  Evolutionary Psychology (Azi)

Cosmides & ToobyEvolutionary Psychology: A Primer

 

THU DEC 01

H: The Scopes Trial: Human Origins and the Public Classroom

 

The Scopes Trial 

Week 12 -- Dec 1-5
Cosmides and Tooby present the example that dung flies like the smell of dung, while humans hate the smell. Behind this example is an insight into the processes of evolution, both in terms of its time course and in terms of what adaptations do for us. Using the dung example or another one, explain, in a 2 page paper, why the time course and function of evolutionary adaptations are relevant for understanding why some of our thought processes are adapted to a hunter-gatherer society instead of to the industrial, technological age that we live in.

(10 pts) 

TUE DEC 06

H: The Dover Board of Education: Intelligent Design and the Public Classroom

Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District

 

THU DEC 08

O&H: Where Do We Go From Here?

 

Last classes; No recitations.

 TUE DEC 13

***FINAL EXAM?***