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11 - 19 of 19 results for: ESF

ESF 6: Education as Self-Fashioning: The Wind of Freedom

Stanford's unofficial motto, "the wind of freedom blows," engraved in German on the university seal, invites us the ponder freedom in the context of education. What is the relation between freedom and the "liberal" arts? Does studying free your mind? Does free will even exist? If so, how does education help you develop its potential? This course will look at various authors -- from antiquity through the 20th century -- who have thought about the blessings, burdens, and obligations of human freedom. Beginning with Eve in the Garden of Eden, we will explore how exercising freedom in your personal choices and conduct not only determines your fate as an individual but carries with it a measure of responsibility for the world. We will place special emphasis on the implications of such responsibility in our own time.
Terms: Aut | Units: 7 | UG Reqs: THINK, WAY-A-II, WAY-ER, Writing 1 | Grading: Letter (ABCD/NP)

ESF 6A: Education as Self-Fashioning: The Wind of Freedom

Stanford's unofficial motto, "the wind of freedom blows," engraved in German on the university seal, invites us the ponder freedom in the context of education. What is the relation between freedom and the "liberal" arts? Does studying free your mind? Does free will even exist? If so, how does education help you develop its potential? This course will look at various authors -- from antiquity through the 20th century -- who have thought about the blessings, burdens, and obligations of human freedom. Beginning with Eve in the Garden of Eden, we will explore how exercising freedom in your personal choices and conduct not only determines your fate as an individual but carries with it a measure of responsibility for the world. We will place special emphasis on the implications of such responsibility in our own time.
Terms: Aut | Units: 7 | UG Reqs: THINK, WAY-A-II, WAY-ER, Writing 1 | Grading: Letter (ABCD/NP)

ESF 7: Education as Self-Fashioning: The Transformation of the Self

Socrates famously claimed that the unexamined life is not worth living. Socrates and other ancient thinkers examined themselves and found that they did not match up to their own ideals. They thus set out to transform themselves to achieve a good and happy life. What is the good life? How do we change ourselves to live a good and happy life? How do literature and philosophy help us to understand ourselves and to achieve our social, ethical, and personal ideals? In this class, we examine Socrates and Augustine¿s lives and ideas. Each struggled to live a good and happy life. In each case, they urge us to transform ourselves into better human beings. The first half of the course focuses on the Athenian Socrates, who was put to death because he rejected traditional Greek ideals and and proclaimed a new kind of ethical goodness. The second half focuses on the North African Augustine, an unhappy soul who became a new man by converting to Christianity. These thinkers addressed questions and problems that we still confront today: What do we consider to be a happy life? Do we need to be good and ethical people to live happily? Is there one correct set of values? How do we accommodate other people¿s beliefs? Is it possible to experience a transformation of the self? How exactly do we change ourselves to achieve our higher ideals?
Terms: Aut | Units: 7 | UG Reqs: THINK, WAY-ER, Writing 1 | Grading: Letter (ABCD/NP)

ESF 7A: Education as Self-Fashioning: The Transformation of the Self

Socrates famously claimed that the unexamined life is not worth living.  Socrates and other ancient thinkers examined themselves and found that they did not match up to their own ideals.  They thus set out to transform themselves to achieve a good and happy life.  What is the good life?  How do we change ourselves to live a good and happy life?  How do literature and philosophy help us to understand ourselves and to achieve our social, ethical, and personal ideals? In this class, we examine Socrates and Augustine¿s lives and ideas.  Each struggled to live a good and happy life.  In each case, they urge us to transform ourselves into better human beings.  The first half of the course focuses on the Athenian Socrates, who was put to death because he rejected traditional Greek ideals and and proclaimed a new kind of ethical goodness.  The second half focuses on the North African Augustine, an unhappy soul who became a new man by converting to Christianity.  These thinkers addressed questions and problems that we still confront today:  What do we consider to be a happy life?  Do we need to be good and ethical people to live happily?  Is there one correct set of values?  How do we accommodate other people¿s beliefs?  Is it possible to experience a transformation of the self?  How exactly do we change ourselves to achieve our higher ideals?
Terms: Aut | Units: 7 | UG Reqs: THINK, WAY-ER, Writing 1 | Grading: Letter (ABCD/NP)

ESF 8: Education as Self-Fashioning: Recognizing the Self and Its Possibilities

Some philosophers have argued that we have privileged and direct access to our inner selves. If this were true, it would make self-knowledge perhaps the easiest sort of knowledge to obtain. But there are many considerations that mitigate against this view of self-knowledge. Consider, for example, the slave who is so oppressed that he fully accepts his slavery and cannot even imagine the possibility of freedom for himself. Such a slave fails to recognize his own capacity for freedom and autonomous self-governance. Though the slave is perhaps the extreme case, many people, it seems, fail to recognize the full range of possibilities open to them. In this course, we shall examine both some of the ways in which one¿s capacity for self-recognition may be distorted and undermined and the role of education in enabling a person to fully recognize the self and its possibilities. What constrains the range of possibilities we see as really open to us? Contrary to the Cartesian, we shall argue that full self-recognition is an often a hard-won achievement. And we shall ask how education might function to give us a less constricted and more liberating sense of the self and its possibilities. We will consider such questions through the lens of philosophy, literature and psychology.
Terms: not given this year | Units: 7 | UG Reqs: THINK, WAY-A-II, WAY-ER, Writing 1 | Grading: Letter (ABCD/NP)

ESF 8A: Education as Self-Fashioning: Recognizing the Self and Its Possibilities

Some philosophers have argued that we have privileged and direct access to our inner selves. If this were true, it would make self-knowledge perhaps the easiest sort of knowledge to obtain. But there are many considerations that mitigate against this view of self-knowledge. Consider, for example, the slave who is so oppressed that he fully accepts his slavery and cannot even imagine the possibility of freedom for himself. Such a slave fails to recognize his own capacity for freedom and autonomous self-governance. Though the slave is perhaps the extreme case, many people, it seems, fail to recognize the full range of possibilities open to them. In this course, we shall examine both some of the ways in which one¿s capacity for self-recognition may be distorted and undermined and the role of education in enabling a person to fully recognize the self and its possibilities. What constrains the range of possibilities we see as really open to us? Contrary to the Cartesian, we shall argue that full self-recognition is an often a hard-won achievement. And we shall ask how education might function to give us a less constricted and more liberating sense of the self and its possibilities. We will consider such questions through the lens of philosophy, literature and psychology.
Terms: not given this year | Units: 7 | UG Reqs: THINK, WAY-A-II, WAY-ER, Writing 1 | Grading: Letter (ABCD/NP)

ESF 9: Education as Self-Fashioning: Chinese Traditions of the Self

In this class we explore thinking about the self and its cultivation that took root and flourished in China. Chinese civilization was centrally concerned with issues of the self, but it developed methods and ideals of cultivation that have no obvious parallel in the European tradition. We will be concerned primarily with two clusters of Chinese thought and expression. First, we will look at major philosophical traditions (Confucianism, Daoism, Buddhism) to see how they structured thinking about education and self-cultivation. The three ¿schools¿ of thought staked out different ideals for the self that provided China with range and flexibility in concepts of personhood. Second, we will examine Chinese aesthetic traditions, especially those of qin music, calligraphy and painting, to understand how the arts were used as a platform for self-cultivation and to communicate the artist¿s essential nature to others. The course also gives attention to the gendering of concepts of the self and to the tradition of martial arts as self-discipline and self-strengthening. Students should emerge from the course with an understanding of how a major civilization located outside Western traditions developed its own answers to these questions of universal human concern.
Terms: Aut | Units: 7 | UG Reqs: THINK, WAY-A-II, WAY-ED, Writing 1 | Grading: Letter (ABCD/NP)

ESF 9A: Education as Self-Fashioning: Chinese Traditions of the Self

In this class we explore thinking about the self and its cultivation that took root and flourished in China. Chinese civilization was centrally concerned with issues of the self, but it developed methods and ideals of cultivation that have no obvious parallel in the European tradition. We will be concerned primarily with two clusters of Chinese thought and expression. First, we will look at major philosophical traditions (Confucianism, Daoism, Buddhism) to see how they structured thinking about education and self-cultivation. The three ¿schools¿ of thought staked out different ideals for the self that provided China with range and flexibility in concepts of personhood. Second, we will examine Chinese aesthetic traditions, especially those of qin music, calligraphy and painting, to understand how the arts were used as a platform for self-cultivation and to communicate the artist¿s essential nature to others. The course also gives attention to the gendering of concepts of the self and to the tradition of martial arts as self-discipline and self-strengthening. Students should emerge from the course with an understanding of how a major civilization located outside Western traditions developed its own answers to these questions of universal human concern.
Terms: Aut | Units: 7 | UG Reqs: THINK, WAY-A-II, WAY-ED, Writing 1 | Grading: Letter (ABCD/NP)

ESF 50: Education as Self-Fashioning Lecture Series

One-unit lecture series featuring prominent intellectuals lecturing on the nature and meaning of liberal education (associated with Education as Self-Fashioning.) NOTE: students enrolled in the 7-unit ESF course should NOT add this course to their study list; this 1-unit course is only for non-ESF students who wish to enroll in the lecture series only. Lectures will constitute an ongoing, campus-wide conversation about the aims of liberal education that extends the ''First Lecture'' featured in New Student Orientation.
Terms: Aut | Units: 1 | Grading: Satisfactory/No Credit
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