Writing Seminars: Me, Myself(ie), and A.I.

The meaning and value of racial, sexual, and political identities are hotly contested in our world today.  Who and what we are, however, does not begin and end with our identification with a group.  We also tend to think of ourselves as possessed of something that is uniquely ours, an intangible thing we call the self.  On the face of it, this idea is as plain as can be (for we all know that we are selves, after all), but, on closer examination, it becomes apparent that the nature of the self is vague and indeterminate.  This course confronts the paradox that the closest thing to us is the most obscure of all.  What is the self?  Over the semester, through works of philosophy, fiction, film, and self-portraiture, we will explore the seminal questions of selfhood: identity, free will, subjectivity, morality, and the nature of consciousness.  We will also take up novel perspectives on the self offered by new disciplines, technologies, and trends, turning to neuroscience, artificial intelligence, and, yes, selfies.

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Students who wish to enroll in this seminar should participate in online preregistration, which opens at 9:00 a.m. on Wednesday, August 23 and closes promptly at 5:00 p.m. on Monday, August 28, 2017.

Instructor: 
Undergraduate Course #: 
114
Section #: 
29
WF 11:35am–12:50pm
WR
Fall
2017