HUMS 382, Modernities: Nature and Human Nature

Meeting Time: 
M 3:30p-5:20p

This course explores the Western conception of the human place in the natural world as it has shifted across four centuries. It features, alongside corollary readings, close study of three classic texts: Galileo’s Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems (1632), Giambattista Vico’s New Science (1744), and Darwin’s Origin of Species (1859)―fundamental texts locating humans in the cosmos, in society, and in natural history, respectively. It finishes with a new work, Terrence Deacon’s Incomplete Nature (2011), an attempt to explain the emergence of mind from the natural world.