█ PHILOSOPHY OF RELIGION John Visvader Course limit: 20 This course examines the nature and justification of religious beliefs concerning the existence of God, the soul, and the afterlife. A wide range of views from both eastern and western traditions are explored and the writings of several philosophers such as William James and Martin Buber are examined in detail. Particular attention is paid to the nature of mysticism and problems concerning the use and limits of reason.
█ PHILOSOPHY OF SCIENCE John Visvader Course limit: 20 This course examines both the nature of science and its role in molding the modern world. The historic origins of science are explored from the late Middle Ages through the 18th century, to present clearly the development of key concepts, and to contrast science with other views of the world it displaced. Particular attention is paid to the work of Galileo and Newton. General issues covered include: theory formation, laws, confirmation and evidence, reductionism, determinism, and teleology. Philosophical problems raised by such areas as evolution theory, quantum mechanics, feminist theory, and modern cosmology provide additional topics.
█ POETRY & THE AMERICAN ENVIRONMENT Bill Carpenter Since Anne Bradstreet in the seventeenth century, American poets have responded to the natural environment and its human transformation. Poets have learned to see by their exposure to nature, and in turn have used their techniques of vision, music, and metaphor to teach humans how to see who and where we are. This class considers poets of the Romantic and Transcendental movements, spends time with Walt Whitman and Emily Dickinson, then focuses on the twentieth century, especially T.S. Eliot, Wallace Stevens, Robert Frost, Robinson Jeffers, and Elizabeth Bishop. We end with some contemporaries: Robert Hass, Charles Simic, Gary Snyder, and Mary Oliver. Students may write either an analytical paper or a collection of their own poetry. Class meetings are supplemented by additional workshop sessions for student poets.
PERSUASION & █ POLITICAL MESSAGING FUNDAMENTALS Jamie McKown Course limit: 15 Cost: $25 This class provides a broad introductory overview of the history, practice, and core concepts that encompass political messaging and persuasion through an empirical examination of grounded applications of such strategies. In order to capitalize on the saliency of the fall election cycle, course materials are based on a series of historical case studies directly tied to American presidential campaigns. Instead of studying various theories of political persuasion in the abstract, we extract principles commonly appearing in political messages from case examples. In addition, students participate in two collaborative projects. The first involves tracking political persuasion techniques in campaigns that occur during the term. The second involves students working in teams to produce their own political messaging materials for a hypothetical campaign. The overall goals of the course are threefold. First, to provide a broad survey of the history of political campaign communication and advertising as it has developed in the United States. Second, to confront some of the pragmatic issues that go into producing messaging strategies for electoral candidates. Third, to help students cultivate a more critical approach to analyzing the political messages they confront in their daily lives. The class is highly interactive with discussion being the primary mode of instruction. However, there is also a lecture component that provides the historical basis for the case studies we examine. Final evaluations are based on a combination of participation, several take home essay assignments, the contemporary tracking assignment, and a final creative project in which student produce their own campaign materials. The class is open to all students, regardless of their experience in politics or their knowledge of American history. It is well suited for introductory students who are interested in politics, human persuasion, and mass communication. However, it is also equally valuable for advanced students seeking to deepen their understanding of political persuasion.
█ POPULAR PSYCHOLOGY Rich Borden Course limit: 15 Cost: $25 Humans have an inherent need to make sense of their lives. Their search may be simply to improve everyday experience or it may involve a life long quest for meaning and wisdom. Nonetheless, in every age, they have found written advice to
This is the College of the Atlantic Guidebook prospectus for 2014