A&S logo

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.

2015-2016 TBB 199H1F: Thought, Belief, and Behaviour (2): Fall Offerings

Section

Title College Time
L0281 Language and Politics   Timetable
L0282 Language and Diversity   Timetable
L0283

Languages of Canada: Identity and Culture

  Timetable
L0321 The Puzzle of Human Cooperation   Timetable
L0322 A History of Knowledge   Timetable

2015-2016 TBB 199H1S: Thought, Belief, and Behaviour (2): Spring Offerings

Section Title College Time
L0041 The Age of Love: An Invitation to Medieval Culture Trinity Timetable
L0101 Animality: The Social Anthropology of Humans and Animals   Timetable
L0131 Innovative Teaching Methods in Chemistry   Timetable
L0141 Nomos Basileus ('Law the King'): The Idea of Law in Ancient Greek Thought   Timetable
L0281 Exploring Heritage Languages   Timetable
L0361 The Individual and Society   Timetable
L0381 The Criminal Mind   Timetable

 

2015-2016 TBB 199H1 Thought, Belief, and Behaviour (Category 2): Fall Offerings

TBB 199H1F
Section L0281
Timetable

Language and Politics

The way people speak and write is often subject to overt commentary, most of it negative. Due to this fact, linguistic discrimination is rampant in the world, and it is often used to marginalize certain sectors of the population, particularly youth, sexual, racial and ethnic minorities. When the media, press and governments get involved, language issues can have personal, cultural and economic consequences. Sociolinguistics, the study of language and society, will give us a lens to examine this situation in the world, to try to understand it more clearly and to generate possible tools for change.

Instructor: S. Tagliamonte, Linguistics
Breadth categories: 2 Thought, Belief, and Behaviour

TBB 199H1F
Section L0282
Timetable

Language Diversity

There are estimated to be about 5000 languages currently spoken in the world. What do they have in common? In what ways are they different? This course will explore these questions, covering such topics as meaning, sound systems, the structure of words, the order of words in sentences, question formation, concepts such as subject and object, tense systems, pronoun systems among others. We will also address issues such as language loss and revival, and attitudes to language variation. Examples will be drawn from a wide range of languages, but there will be a focus on Austronesian, Canadian, and European languages.
Instructor: D. Massam, Linguistics
Breadth categories: 2 Thought, Belief, and Behaviour

TBB 199H1F
Section L0283
Timetable

Languages of Canada: Identity and Culture

Canada is extraordinarily rich in languages: over 60 aboriginal languages, two official languages, and a multitude of heritage languages brought by more recent immigrants. Language rights have played an important role in this nation's history and speakers have strong feelings about the preservation of their own language. In this course we will explore the relationship between language, culture and identity with respect to the languages of Canada.

Instructor: E. Gold, Linguistics
Breadth category: 2 Thought, Belief, and Behaviour

TBB 199H1F
Section L0321
Timetable

The Puzzle of Human Cooperation

Most animal species, with a few notable exceptions, are extraordinarily uncooperative. Social insects, such as ants, bees and wasps, are among the exceptions. So are human beings. However, in the case of social insects, there is a relatively straightforward biological explanation for the high levels of sociality that they exhibit. The case of humans, on the other hand, represents something of an evolutionary mystery. There is nothing in our reproductive biology that distinguishes us in any important respect from other primates. Yet other primates are unable to sustain cooperation in groups of more than about 100. This course will examine the puzzle of human cooperation from a naturalistic perspective, focusing upon the role that culture, language and rationality play in sustaining large-scale human societies.

Instructor: J. Heath, Philosophy
Breadth category: 2 Thought, Belief, and Behaviour

TBB 199H1F
Section L0322
Timetable

A History of Knowledge

For thousands of years a major topic of intellectual inquiry has been the question "What is knowledge?" Although no consensus has been reached, scientific investigation has proceeded to the point where we now claim to have knowledge of things like galaxy formation as well as many other entities that lay beyond the realm of the senses. Part of this 'knowledge' is grounded in methods that involve computer simulations to generate and interpret data about physical systems that are difficult to access or understand. The focus of the course will be an historical examination of how the concept of knowledge has evolved from it religious origins through to the emphasis on human reasoning and ending with the contemporary reliance on the computer as a source of knowledge that is otherwise inaccessible to humans. We will consider such questions as whether computer based knowledge can or should replace more traditional accounts grounded in human reasoning and the senses, and whether knowledge in any absolute sense is even possible.

Instructor: M. Morrison
Breadth categories: 2 Thought, Belief, and Behaviour

2015-2016 TBB 199H1 Thought, Belief, and Behaviour (Category 2): Winter Offerings

TBB 199H1S
Section L0041
Trinity College
Timetable

The Age of Love: An Invitation to Medieval Culture

How do human beings respond when it feels like their world is falling apart? The complex culture that we call "medieval" (c.500–c.1500) arose out of the ruins of the late Roman Empire. The medieval response to the passing away of all that seemed good and civilized can be traced through three paths, each emphasizing different virtues: the way of the warrior (strength and courage), the way of the monk (humility and renunciation), and the way of the philosopher (learning and reason). This course will examine representative writers from each of these strands, exploring how these three ways converged, despite the reality of violence and apparent futility, in a vision of love as the path of true human fulfilment. We will begin with two foundational texts written in the midst of the Roman collapse: the Consolation of Philosophy by Boethius (d. c.524), the principal source for medieval philosophy; and the roughly contemporary Rule of St. Benedict, the principal text for western monasticism. A study of the "way of the warrior" (and the related culture of feudalism) will focus on the career and literary afterlife of Charlemagne. We will then move to the twelfth century, when all three strands begin to converge on "love" as a supreme value: in war, the romances of Chretien de Troyes; in monasticism, the writings of St. Bernard of Clairvaux; and in philosophy, the career of Peter Abelard and his lover Heloise. This medieval "triumph of love" finds its synthesis in Dante's Vita Nuova, which strongly recalls the Consolation of Boethius, functioning as a "book-end" for the course. We will look at these writings alongside other contemporary artistic products, especially manuscript art (illustrated from University of Toronto collections) and music.

Instructor: J. Billett, Trinity College
Breadth categories: 2. Thought, Belief, and Behaviour

TBB 199H1S
Section L0101
Timetable

Animality: The Social Anthropology of Humans and Animals

What place do animals occupy in the study of the human condition? This course addresses that question by exploring the complex interconnections of animal and human life in the contemporary world. We, for instance, interact with animals daily in loving them, eating them, wearing them, or watching them for entertainment. People also rely on their labour, sacrifice them, hunt them, worship them, breed them, cage them, or rescue them. How are our conceptions of humans, of animals, and of the difference between us produced and disrupted? This course draws on ethnography, literary essays, feminist social theory, philosophy, novels, current debates, and film to engage anthropologically with the meaning of "human" through a focus on how we interact with animals.

Instructor: N. Dave, Anthropology
Breadth Requirement: 2 Thought, Belief, and Behaviour

TBB 199H1S
Section L0131
Timetable

Innovative Teaching Methods in Chemistry

Good teaching is effective communication that engages the audience. Innovative methods, by definition, are engaging. To ensure that they also communicate effectively, we'll investigate the nature of science, how scientific knowledge is built, and what makes certain concepts in science problematic to the learner. We will then synthesize our understanding to develop communication tools for engaging our learners and communicating scientific ideas effectively. Students will read and discuss relevant articles in newsmagazines, popular science sources, and the educational literature. They will design and deliver mini lessons to communicate specified scientific concepts. As a major course project, students will eventually develop a communication tool that integrates pedagogical know-how with leading edge chemical discoveries to produce an accessible teaching unit that can be used by Ontario teachers.

Instructor: C. Kutas, Chemistry
Breadth categories: 2 Thought, Belief, and Behaviour

TBB 199H1S
Section L0141
Timetable

Nomos Basileus ('Law the King'): The Idea of Law in Ancient Greek Thought

Nomos ('law') was a rich and controversial concept in the ancient Greek world. We will read poets (Aeschylus, Hesiod), philosophers (Plato, Aristotle, Diogenes the Cynic), and sophists (Antiphon, Critias) as they debate questions which are still worth thinking about: Where does law come from, and what gives it authority? What is the difference between law and justice? How is law related to the family, to the city, and to religion? What is the task of the lawgiver? What makes something a 'natural law'? If different societies have very different laws, what does that show?
We will read the ancient texts slowly and in detail, and the course will be writing-intensive. Note that though the questions we will discuss are still philosophically important, they are very remote from the Canadian legal code: the course will not be any particular help to students who are 'pre-law', but is aimed at those who are curious about ancient ideas. All readings will be in English.

Instructor: R. Barney, Classics
Breadth category: 1 Creative and Cultural Representations

TBB 199H1S
Section L0281
Timetable

Exploring Heritage Languages

We will explore how speakers use Heritage Languages in Toronto. We will examine newly collected data from Cantonese, Korean, Russian, Italian, Ukrainian and Faetar speakers in the GTA. We will look for speech patterns that differentiate first, second and third generation speakers in Toronto from corresponding speakers in their countries of origin, and look at the effects of language attitudes and usage (who do you talk to? what do you use the language for?).

Instructor: N. Nagy, Linguistics
Breadth categories: 2 Thought, Belief, and Behaviour

TBB 199H1S
Section L0361
Timetable

The Individual and Society

How does one develop a sense of individuality? Can individual will and freedom be reconciled with the interests of society? Are we determined by society or culture or do we, in some important sense, determine our own behavior and futures? In this course, we will use classic and contemporary readings from psychology, sociology, anthropology, philosophy, and law to explore general characterizations of the individual and society. Basic questions will be examined in light of these characterizations such as: Is there a universal human nature? Who is a "person"?, and What is the ideal society? We will examine these questions in light of various social issues, such as debates about multiculturalism and democracy, whether children have rights to freedom of speech, and women's equality in society. Throughout the course, the emphasis will be on the different views of the person underlying and informing contrasting perspectives on important social questions.

Instructor: C. Helwig, Psychology
Breadth category: 2 Thought, Belief, and Behaviour

TBB 199H1S
Section L0381
Timetable

The Criminal Mind

In the second half of the nineteenth century, fiction on both sides of the Atlantic became obsessed with the subject of criminals and criminality. This course examines the nature of this preoccupation and explores the reasons behind it as well as its literary and social ramifications. Topics include the criminal as social deviant, the novelistic narrator as criminologist, crime in the city and in the provinces, political crimes, sexual crimes, and changing interpretations of the causes of crime. Readings include novels by Dostoevsky and Zola, stories by Poe and Stevenson and non-fictional writings by the Italian criminologist Lombroso. No knowledge of languages other than English is required.

Instructor: K. Holland, Slavic Languages and Literatures
Breadth category: 2 Thought, Belief, and Behaviour