Is Human Nature Changing?
In this course, we will explore some ways in which human nature, which we long took for unchangeable, is in fact, changing in our time with momentous consequences for our political, social and cultural life. We will contrast former ideas of human nature with some emerging ideas in four areas: 1) the place of human beings in the chain of living things, 2) new concepts and experiences of sex and gender, 3) the intelligence of human beings in relation to the minds of the machines we have created, and 4) changing notions of the purpose and direction of a human being’s life. We will highlight how new works of nonfiction, fiction and media are driving and illustrating changes in our understanding of what it means to be human.
Donna Engelmann is recently retired from the philosophy department at Alverno College, where she taught ethics, political philosophy and introduction to philosophy for 28 years. She earned her PhD in political philosophy and a graduate certificate in alternative dispute resolution ... read more