HONR 219Q: Perspectives on the Cosmos:
From the Ancient Philosophers to Modern Science
- Weekly Reading Responses
- One page written response to assigned reading.
A good response will include a concise description of the topic
covered, and your reaction to it. Your reaction should be critical
(though not necessarily negative)
and may be emotional (do you find the idea compelling? stupid?),
but must be well argued. To help focus your response, a particular
question related to the reading may be posed.
- Group Discussions.
- Considerable class time will be devoted to discussion.
You may use your Reading Response as the launching point for your
contribution to the discussion.*
We will also pose specific questions to debate, and discuss
some issues in small groups prior to wider class discussion.
- Term project, culminating in a term paper and an oral presentation.
- Term paper: 10 pages, on a topic of your choice.**
- Oral presentation: 10 minute talk to the class.***
- Midterm and Final Exams.
- Exams will be a mixture of essays, fact based knowledge, and
challenges of critical reasoning.
- Grading and due dates:
- 10% Participation in Class Discussions****
- 20% Reading Responses
- weekly, as
2/5, 2/12, 2/19, 2/26, 3/4, 3/25, 4/1, 4/8, 4/15, 4/22
- 20% Midterm exam
- March 11, in class
- 20% Term paper**
- Due May 6. Select a topic by
- 10% Oral presentation***
- 20% Final exam
- date & time TBD
*For the terribly shy: don't worry, this is not
onerous. With 20 people in the class, the challenge is to get a word in
edge-wise. For the loquacious: good - please express yourself. But also
be respectful of your fellow students and don't overly monopolize the
**Dig into something that interests you.
The possibilities are endless.
You could choose to explore the cosmology of a particular Ancient Philosopher,
investigate the conflict between Galileo and the Catholic Church, or learn
about modern ideas about multiverses. Please discuss your interests directly
with Professor McGaugh.
***Ten pages may seem like a long paper, but ten
minutes is a very short time in which to discuss your topic. Keep focussed!
A schedule will be posted when topics are chosen: we will have our own
mini-conference, organized by subject (to the extent possible).
****Examples of class participation include,
but are not limited to,
engaging in class discussion with substantive ideas, questions, and
insights; contributions to group projects; and posting to a course
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