Fall 2008

Having Arguments

Listed in: English, as ENGL-01


Michele Barale (Section 01)


(Also English 01, section 01.) This course will study some of the arguments that structure our thinking about four contemporary concerns-punishment, censorship, animal rights, the right to die--and how those concerns are inextricably shaped by gender and race, class and sexuality. While we might have strong opinions about these topics, it is nonetheless the case that all of our judgments about the “rightness” of our ideas, feelings, and behaviors can be (and undoubtedly will be) questioned by someone else with very different opinions. The goal of this course is not to discover the “right” way to think about, for example, euthanasia or vegetarianism. Instead, we will examine the kinds of evidence and authority, logic and structure that produce strong arguments in favor of thinking one way or another. Readings will include such authors as Kazuo Ishigura, Toni Morrison, George Orwell, Peter Singer, and Charles Johnson. Limited to 12 students. Preference given to sophomores. Fall semester. Professor Barale.