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Spring 2018 Course Offerings

Our interdisciplinary program offers a variety of courses in areas including classics, law, philosophy and political science. This spring, we offer these classes:

PHIL 405 Ethics
Analysis of ethical theories and concepts of goodness, right, and obligation. Discussion of nature of justice, problem of justification of moral principles, and relation between facts and values. Recommended preparation: PHIL 101, PHIL 102 or PHIL 205. Offered as PHIL 305 and PHIL 405.

PHIL 466 Neuroethics
Ethics is traditionally a branch of Philosophy. However, research in neuroscience, psychology and behavioral economics is shedding new light on the underlying bases of ethical behavior and ethical thinking. The class will examine how this work informs and enriches traditional philosophical ethics. Topical focus of the class will depend on student interest, but potentially include: What determines how ethically we behave: our character or our situation? What role do and should emotions play in ethical thinking? Can science tell us whether utilitarian or deontological ethics is better? The dark tetrad: narcissism, Machiavellianism, psychopathy and; sadism. What is empathy and what roles does it play in generating both ethical and unethical behavior. Varieties of moral disengagement, including dehumanizing. Cognitive dissonance and the slide into unethical behavior. Radicalization into violent extremism. Promoting ethical behavior.
Offered as PHIL 311 and PHIL 411.

PHIL 436 Military Ethics, the Military Profession, and International Law
The aim of this course is to provide a foundational understanding of international law as it relates to war and to explore the relationship between international law, military ethics, and the military profession. In addition to traditional lectures and seminar-style discussions, this hybrid course will feature video lectures by international experts in the field of military ethics and online assignments, discussion sections led by the Visiting Distinguished Inamori Scholar in Military Ethics. Topics covered will concern the international legal framework pertaining to the use of force, viewed through the prism of a professional code of conduct that has been forged over centuries, across different warrior cultures. Offered as PHIL 336 and PHIL 436.

POSC 460 Revolts and Revolutions in Global Perspective
Arab protests of 2011 gripped the attention of the world. Young protestors succeeded in unseating some long time rulers but in other cases tense standoffs have evolved. This course takes those events as a starting point to examine the broader political history of revolts and revolutions in the global south. The first part of the course examines some of the classic social science debates about what constitutes revolution, what leads to revolution, and what the effects can be. The second part of the course analyzes specific cases in Europe, Latin America, Africa, and Asia to understand the causes and consequences of revolt and revolution. What drives everyday persons to brave the dangers of protest? When and why do political leaders decide to resist or reform? What happens when revolts fail? What happens when they succeed? Material for the course will include classic social science narratives, revolutionary polemics, popular analyses of events since 2011, examples of social media as political action, and first person narratives.
Offered as POSC 360 and POSC 460.

POSC 473 Politics of the European Union
Study of the origins, operations, and prospects for the European Union. This can include the historical context for the effort to restrict national rivalries (which fueled two world wars) and create common interests; the diplomatic challenges in finding common ground; the tasks and processes of governance within the EU, including its governing institutions, enforcement of terms for European Monetary Union and the operations of its bureaucracies; the social pressures that create policy challenges (such as agriculture policy and immigration); broad tensions within the enterprise (e.g., “broadening” vs. “deepening”), and the EU’s potential place in international politics, especially the efforts to create a common foreign and security policy and the possible implications of the Euro for international political economy. Offered as POSC 373 and POSC 473.

POSC 478 International Relations Theory
This course is a seminar in international relations theory. As such, we will bring a wide range of theoretical perspectives to bear on issues and debates in the area of international relations by systematically studying the evolution of the world system. The seminar is roughly divided into a first half focusing on war and the political system, and a second half focusing on trade, finance and the economic system. Each section devotes particular attention to ethical problems associated with political and economic issues. This course should develop students’ ability to read and critically evaluate academic literature in the field of international relations, and enable students to produce a scholarly paper on one substantive area of the field. Offered as POSC 378 and POSC 478.

LAWS 4105 Fundamentals of International Law
Fundamentals of International Law is a special intensive format course which provides students undertaking a summer international law internship, who have not previously taken International Law in law school, an introduction to the rules of treaty interpretation, principles of customary international law formation, and some of the major institutions in the international system.

LAWS 5116 International Human Rights
This course will cover a variety of issues in the area of international human rights. Issues covered will include the law of treaties and treaty interpretation; international organizations’ and non-governmental organizations’ roles in protecting human rights; the rights of women and minorities; critiques of the idea of “universal” human rights; and the Alien Tort Claims Act. In addition to covering the procedure and substance of the international system for protection of human rights, we will also discuss human rights under various domestic legal systems from a comparative perspective.

LAWS 5118 International Law Lab
Students in this unusual course undertake legal research projects designed at the request of various international law enforcement organizations. Recent clients include the International Criminal Court, the UN-affiliated tribunals in Cambodia and Sierra Leone, Interpol, U.S. Military Commissions, and the U.S.Coast Guard, among others. Course sessions explore the development and practice of international criminal law as well as developing jurisprudence relevant to the current students’ projects. Substantial time is devoted to in-class discussion of target issues, writing workshops, and individual presentation of findings. Completed projects are forwarded to the requesting clients and posted in the school’s international war crimes portal. Grades are based on the quality of students’ participation and the final written product.

CLSC420 Alexander the Great: Materials and Methods
This course is the Classics Departmental Seminar in the SAGES sequence (normally taken in the Spring semester of a major’s Junior year), though it can also be taken for regular credit in Classics or History by both undergraduate and graduate students. The seminar offers students a firm grounding in the discipline of Classics with an emphasis on the diverse materials (particularly primary source material), methods and approaches that can be brought to bear on the study of Greco-Roman antiquity. Students will read and discuss the ancient sources and contemporary scholarship on the enigmatic Alexander the Great drawn from various fields of classics, including history, archaeology, art history, philosophy, gender studies, epigraphy, numismatics, and the reception of Alexander. Based upon this, they will then write a research paper that employs conventions found in the field of Classics. Much of this training, however, will also be transferable to other fields and periods. Because the scope of the seminar moves (along with Alexander himself) beyond Europe and examines the historical foundations of the antagonism between East and West, this course qualifies as a Global and Cultural Diversity course. Offered as CLSC 320, CLSC 420, HSTY 320 and HSTY 420.

Page last modified: April 27, 2018