Page 23 - ETerm 2013 Course Listing

Meeting Time:
Tu W Th 10:00-11:30am, 12:30-2:00pm
According to a recent survey, atheists are Americans’ least trusted minority, below Muslims, recent immigrants and
homosexuals. And yet, since the 9/11 attacks, atheist concerns with the potential dangers of religious belief have
received prominent public attention. Books such as Richard Dawkins’
The God Delusion
have been bestsellers. We
appear to be curious about this minority of which we are otherwise so wary. In this course, we will attempt to satisfy
some of that curiosity through a reading of Dawkins’
The God Delusion
in which he argues that religious belief is
both irrational and, as evidenced by recent religiously inspired forms of terror, dangerous. We will also examine a
Christian response to Dawkins through a reading of Alister McGrath’s
The Dawkins Delusion?
Is religious belief
really the irrational and dangerous thing Dawkins makes it out to be? Do atheists really merit the mistrust so many
Americans feel toward them? The course will be devoted to raising and discussing these questions.
Three meetings per week (T,W,Th), 10-11:30 and 12:30-2, pop quizzes on readings, oral presentations of
readings, 3 five page papers reflecting on readings.
Twilight of the Idols: Led Zeppelin and Philosophy
Daniel Coyle
Open To:
All Students
Grading System:
Max. Enrollment:
Meeting Time:
M Tu W Th 10:00am-12:30pm, one evening
I haven’t liked a single thing that [Led Zeppelin] have done. . . . I never, ever liked them.”
Pete Townshend
I don’t trust anybody who doesn’t like Led Zeppelin.”
Jack White
Often called the last band of the Sixties and the first band of the Seventies, Led Zeppelin continues to evoke
competing valuations. Philosopher Theodore Gracyk argues that Led Zeppelin demand a “distinctively musical
understanding” that enhances the education of taste and listening practice, and, that a proper philosophy of (their)
music must recognize musical intelligence, diversity, and instrumental virtuosity (
Arguing About Art
, 2007).
project will use “the Apollinian and Dionysian,” both Plato and Nietzsche’s perspectival metaphors of aesthetic
interpretation, to explore the music, life, reception, and influence of Led Zeppelin. We will critically trace the roots
and trajectory of the band, the light and shade, reason and emotion, intellect and sex of the music. Our goal is to
gain a better understanding of the music, its reception, and the efficacy of select aesthetic theories. Students will
spend at least 35 hours per week reading, listening, watching, and researching. Evaluations will be based on
attendance, participation, quizzes and either: (1) a ten page research paper, or (2) a twenty minute oral
presentation, or (3) a fifteen minute musical performance and analysis. Readings include selections from Plato’s
Birth of Tragedy
Twilight of the Idols
Led Zeppelin: 1968-1980
Zeppelin and Philosophy
Travels in Spacetime
Mark Rupright
Algebra proficiency or MA 115
Open To:
All Students
Grading System:
Max. Enrollment:
Meeting Time:
M Tu W Th 1:00-3:30pm