This course explores the role of rational thought-and lack
thereof-in shaping discourse in modern society. How is it that
thoughtful and intelligent people can come to vastly different
conclusions concerning controversial issues such as climate
change, the pro-life vs. pro-choice debate, and what exactly
constitutes "fake news"? In what ways does society stifle and/or
encourage careful, reasoned analysis of these issues? To what
extent do science and religion conflict with one another? How
does the discourse in modern American society compare to those
of other times and cultures? These questions will be explored
through readings, student research, and in-class discussions.
Students will develop their abilities as critical thinkers,
writers, and public speakers through a series of written
assignments and oral presentations.