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A few First-Year Seminars give preference during the first round of enrolment to students with membership in the college offering the course - if this is the case, the college name will be listed beside the course title. During the second round of enrolment, first-year students at any college may enroll if space is available.

TBB 199Y1Y: Thought, Belief, and Behaviour (Category 2)

Section

Title College Time
L0041 Great Ideas in Social and Political Thought Trinity Timetable
L0051 Communication and Consciousness St. Mike's Cancelled
L0052 Cloud of Witnesses: Saints, Ancient and Medieval St. Mike's Cancelled
L0321 Ethics, Fiction, and Film   Timetable
L0361 The Nature of Psychological Enquiry   Timetable
L0371 Embarrassment of Scriptures   Timetable
L5391 Abraham, Moses, Jesus and Muhammad: Sociology of the Monotheistic Religions   Timetable

 

TBB 199Y1 Thought, Belief, and Behaviour: Category 2

TBB 199Y1Y          
Section L0041      
Trinity College                               
Timetable

Great Ideas in Social and Political Thought

There is a tradition in social and political thought that has come to be called “classical” because the ideas constituting that tradition have stood the test of time. Among those ideas, some have acquired a timeless status and may be regarded as valid, trans-historical insights. Other ideas in the tradition have not necessarily proved themselves to be valid, but they too have stood the test of time, proving fruitful as perspectives and conceptual tools with which to approach significant questions, problems, and issues. With this in mind, we will read and discuss selected excerpts from the works of Plato, Aristotle, Machiavelli, Hobbes, Locke, Montesquieu, Rousseau, Kant, Hegel, Marx and Neitzsche.

Instructor: I. M. Zeitlin, Sociology and Trinity College
Breadth category: 2 Thought, Belief, and Behaviour

TBB 199Y1Y          
Section L0051      
St. Michael’s College   
Cancelled                   

Communication and Consciousness

How do we know what is real? How do we know we know? In his analogy of the cave, Plato asserts that we naturally accept a false representation of reality due to our limited experience. He postulates that scepticism about the world can uncover this illusion and help us discern what is actually real. Rene Descartes, however, warns that our senses are deceptive and therefore should not necessarily be trusted when determining the truth of reality. This course examines how one can achieve a better understanding of what is real by questioning the world around us. Through an interdisciplinary approach involving philosophy, psychology, religion, sociology, and science and technology, we investigate questions surrounding the nature of reality and the truth of the world around us in film, literature, and the writings of influential figures such as Augustine, Aquinas, Kant, Freud, Sartre, Harding, and Dawkins.

Instructor: TBA, St. Michael's College
Breadth Category: 2 Thought, Belief and Behaviour

TBB 199Y1Y          
Section L0052      
St. Michael’s College                     
Cancelled

Cloud of Witnesses: Saints, Ancient and Medieval

The specificity of Christianity, as of any other great religion, is expressed most clearly by charismatic figures who are widely recognized by the religious community to express what it most cares about.  Within Christianity, saints play this role.  It follows that the lives of saints are a uniquely rich source for the history of Christianity and its interaction with everything else.  This course traces the development of western Christianity, mostly ancient and medieval, through surviving original accounts of some of the figures that have proved most enduringly attractive within it.

Instructor: G. Silano, St. Michael’s College
Breadth Category: 2 Thought, Belief, and Behaviour

TBB 199Y1Y          
Section L0321                                                               
Timetable

Ethics, Fiction, and Film

This seminar investigates ethical questions by means of novels and films. The idea is not to see fiction and film as pedantic vehicles for ethical argument but to consider how, and with what effect, they function as ethical mediums. The main focus will be on issues of individual identity and integrity: creating and maintaining oneself as a moral whole within environments hostile or indifferent to that end. All the works considered are novels and feature films from the period between 1880 and 2013. Our discussions will be enriched by visits from practising novelists and filmmakers, who will address the role of ethical insight in their own work. Every two or three weeks the class meeting will consist of a film screening in the Robarts Media Commons, together with discussion of the films in question.

Instructor: M. Kingwell, Philosophy
Breadth category: 2 Thought, Belief, and Behaviour

TBB 199Y1Y          
Section L0361                                                               
Timetable

The Nature of Psychological Enquiry

Humans have always been curious about the causes of behaviour. Not Surprisingly, there are diverse views about behaviour causality as well as how we should determine the validity of those views. What exactly is a “science of behaviour” and how does it differ from the layperson's notion of psychology? We explore big picture explanations such as nature/nurture, psychoanalysis and the behaviourism movement along with specific examples of research and theory in psychology such as Attachment Theory and Learned Helplessness Theory along with the application of research to parenting and child abuse. Hands-on research projects and six critical analysis essays are written on the course-public web site where you also offer critical commentaries on your colleague’s essays. Weekly journals describing your transition to university are used as data for a narrative analysis of your experience in a final course paper. You are strongly encouraged to view the course web site prior to registering. It may be found at: http://psych.utoronto.ca/~courses/sci199/

Instructor: G. Walters, Psychology
Breadth category: 2 Thought, Belief, and Behaviour

TBB 199Y1Y          
Section L0371                                                               
Timetable

Embarrassment of Scripture

In this first year seminar we shall explore the concept of embarrassment as an emotion different from its common usage as a weaker cousin and synonym of shame. In our sense it will convey the feeling of discomfort elicited by a sense of superiority that someone other than ourselves has disappointed us, or done something unseemly in one way or another, eliciting from us embarrassment. In literature this sense of the word elicits a catalytic effect of causing texts to be ignored, or re-read so as to avoid the embarrassment. As a result we shall explore toxic texts, texts of terror, the process of canon formation, mainly in the Jewish tradition. Students will be encouraged to explore taboo topics which often hide the embarrassment tradition has had with embarrassing texts.  These will include such topics as sexuality, anthropomorphism, election, polygamy, genocide, slavery, and the environment. Six short writing assignments (three each semester, some of which will be presented orally), will be used in the grading process as well as at class participation.

Instructor: H. Fox, Study of Religion
Breadth category: 2 Thought, Belief, and Behaviour

TBB 199Y1Y          
Section L5391                                                               
Timetable

Abraham, Moses, Jesus and Muhammad: Sociology of the Monotheistic Religions

Max Weber has been described as the greatest social scientist of the 20th century. That he is fully deserving of that accolade for both his substantive and methodological contributions there can be no doubt. In one of his most famous works, The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism, he was the first writer to document the impact of ascetic Protestantism on the early development of capitalism. He was also among the first to analyze the fundamental differences between Eastern and Western religions and to assess their consequences for the social, cultural and economic development of Asian and European societies. According to Weber, the world-historical importance of Judaism lies primarily in the fact that it was the mother of Christianity and Islam. His essays on world religions were published under the following titles: The Sociology of Religion, The Religion of China, The Religion of India, and Ancient Judaism. In this seminar, we shall study the social origins of Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Seminar participants will learn to distinguish between legendary narrative and historically plausible material as we treat Abraham, Moses, Jesus and Muhammad as historical personalities. Students will gain a first-hand acquaintance with primary sources by reading selections from Genesis, Exodus and Deuteronomy of the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament); the Gospels, Paul's Letters and The Book of Acts of The New Testament; the Koran; and the biography of Muhammad by Ibn Hisham. In addition, students will read selections from the writings of Muslim and Western scholars, including the writings of Irving M. Zeitlin on the subject.

Instructor: I. M. Zeitlin, Sociology                                 
Breadth category: 2 Thought, Belief, and Behaviour