COURSE SYLLABI
The following are the course syllabi for the last two courses Dr. Davison taught at Northern Arizona University.

THESE ARE CONTINUALLY UPDATED.

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HUMANITIES 371 HUMANISTIC VALUES IN A TECHNOLOGICAL SOCIETY (3 credits)

    This course was an examination of the meaning and role of humanistic values (e.g., tolerance, love and freedom) and of methods of moral decision making in relation to our technological society.
     This section was configured to enable the professor and the students to seek in the sacred crucible of human history the person's interface with self and circumstance and as that transpired the subsequent creation of a self perception as well as the creation of technology. We attempted to get a coherent view of this interface as it lends itself to an appreciation of the truly human and that which is "good" for the species as well as our current planet home.
      We looked at historical and current moral values, as well as some personal points of departure that we have taken personally and as a species, as we interfaced interpersonally and technologically. We also covered examples of the participation in cultural and linguistic derivatives that encompass moral issues. This was done so that we could gain some appreciation of the universality of various moral tenets as well as a measure of insight into some of the historical technological achievements that have blessed and cursed humankind. We also looked to the need to have some personal as well as global point of departure that presents a coherent weltanschauung (world view) when we choose to exercise moral values in a technological society.

FROM THE INTRO OF INTEGRAL HUMANISM BY
JACQUES MARITAIN
  
   "...let us say that humanism (and such a definition can itself be developed along very divergent lines) tends essentially to render a person more truly human, and to manifest humanity's original greatness by having the person participate in all that which can enrich the self in nature and in history (by "concentrating the world in person," as Schiller said approximately, and by "dilating the person to the world"); it at once demands that a person develop the virtualities contained within the self, one's creative forces and the life of reason, and work to make the forces of the physical world instruments of humanity's freedom. Thus understood, humanism is inseparable from civilization or culture, these two words being themselves taken as synonymous."

  COURSE OBJECTIVES:
      
The objectives of this course were manifold: We looked at human history as the hominid made tracks upon the land as well as the social interface that accompanied the person's explosion and implosion upon the planet. The purpose here was to gain some background that would enable us to formulate a sense of human nature and morality as well as a sense of the role of technology in human history. This laid the groundwork for a personal point of departure that each of us spent time constructing and defending. We did this by speaking about it with our classmates and writing critically about it so that further discussion could be had.
Participation in the discussions was paramount, and maintaining a current knowledge of the readings along with the class notes was expected so that we could cite responses to sources and discussions.

COURSE FORMAT:

Generally each class was divided into three parts:
  1. "Meshing" open discussion about what we have come to believe about the              species and our personal understanding of our participation in recorded history.
  2. "Bits and pieces" of the story of humankind and technology.
  3. Discussion of the required texts and other material will be used to sketch the          ingredients of our moral and technological history. To deepen our understanding      of this journey, the course will be divided into three parts:
The trail of the past
The development of a critical mass
Understanding and owning an informed participation in the current                  moment.
    
What are some of the moral consequences of "advancements" in the perception of the self and others as well as some of the "accomplishments" in the creation of technology? This will be a "Meshing" with #1 as we discuss the history and the effects of personal, social, and technological development.
     
A complete review of the Required Texts:
The Nature of Man, Fromm & Xirau
The Game of Life: A Player’s Manual for Executives and Others , Don                   Davison
The World is Flat, Thomas L. Friedman
The Blank Slate - The Modern Denial of Human Nature, Steven Pinker
Data Smog, Shenk    

This review will be a critique of the texts as well as our own current perception of the human moral and technological condition.

  Select one of the following:

Fromm, Between Being and Having (Psychology of Being Human)
Fromm, Escape From Freedom (Social Psychology - Humanity's                           Responsibilities)
Fromm,  Man for Himself, - An Inquiry into the Psychology of Ethics                   (Ethics)
Maslow, The Farther Reaches of Human Nature (Humanistic Psychology)
Hillman, The Soul's Code, In Search of Character and Calling                   (psychology)
Pearce, The Biology of Transcendence, A Blueprint of the Human Spirit               (Humanistic/Organic Psychology of Spirituality)
Myss, Anatomy of The Spirit (Trans-cultural Spirituality and Personal                    Relationships)
Oz, Healing from the Heart (Transcultural Psychology of Health)
Rieff, A Bed for the Night (Humanistic Humanitarianism)
Mumford, The Transformation of Man (Historic Humanism)
Bobbit, The Shield of Achilles (History of Peace and War)
Benjamin and Simon The Age of Sacred Terror (Conflicting Human                      Values)
Mills and Brunner, Editors The New Killing Fields (Genocide and                          Humanitarian Assistance)
Schor, Born to Buy: The commercialized Child and the New Consumer                 Culture (Humanism and Commercialism)
Kohn, Journalistic Fraud: How The New York Times Distorts the News                 and Why It Can No Longer Be Trusted (Humanistic Values and                             information)
Bowers, Let Them Eat Data: How Computers Affect Education, (Culture               Diversity and the Prospects of Human and Ecological Sustainability)
Tagore,  Religion of Man (Transcultural Spirituality – poetic exposition)
Tyler, The Unspeakable, Discourse, Dialogue, and Rhetoric in the                          Postmodern World
Diamond, Guns, Germs, and Steel, The Fates of Human Societies (A                      multidisciplinary anthropology)
De Becker, Fear Less, Real Truth About Risk, Safety, and Security in a                 Time of Terrorism (Looking at real fears)
Gifford, China Road, A Journey into the Future of a Rising Power                        (Transcultural imperialism)

NOTE: As the professor, I wanted to wonder with the class in waves of reflection - to pause and ruminate - to close my eyes with my fellow students and feel the depth of the human purpose as well as the significance of our current personal and technological contributions to the human journey.

CLASS PROCEDURE:
QUESTIONS ABOUT ANYTHING WERE ENTERTAINED.

A. Questions are always in order and most welcome. They may be about anything. Usually they were about what we have covered, or are about to cover.
B. Readings: This was a "European Style" course. In class we read selected portions of ALL of the material to be covered. It was expected that all material would have been read BEFORE the students came to class. This gave the students  opportunities to mark selections they felt were important, to ask questions about a passage they challenged, or with which they had difficulty.
C. Discussion: Commentary were made on the selected readings and class participation/observations/comments were an essential part of the course grade.

This ABC class procedure was followed for each class - unless the world fell apart and we HAD to deal with some (other) catastrophe, e.g. humanistic values were applied to current affairs as they related to morality and technology.

Class Papers:
(1, 2 , 3 & 4 (1 page),  5 (3 pages), 6 (5 pages)

PAPER 1. WHAT IS A PERSON? By utilizing a working definition of Personhood, the students wrote a paper on the historical reality of Personhood and painted a picture of the current circumstances on the subject.

PAPER 2. WHAT IS A TOOL? The students described two of their favorite tools as historical universals and described the use and value of the chosen tools.

PAPER 3. HUMANISTIC VALUES: With working tools garnered from the discussion on humanistic values, an overview of the significance of these values as they relate to Humanistic Values and Technology was constructed as a template for further study.

PAPER 4. WHAT DID YOU GET FROM THIS COURSE? The students shared the most valuable, personally speaking, pieces of information they gathered from the course material or class discussions.

PAPER 5. A PERSONAL PROJECT: Taking the material presented through the course material and class discussion, the students shared what they perceived to be essential (their personal point of departure that has came to be their own on the subject of Humanistic Values and Technology). This was shared with a very significant other on at least two occasions. The students described this interchange and what it meant to them.

PAPER 6. YOUR BOOK REVIEW: This was an in-depth briefing of a selected text along with a critique of the work and comments about Personhood and Technology as well as the importance of maintaining an ever-vigilant stance in mitigating potentially problematic human interfaces.


HUMANITIES 382: WORLD PERSPECTIVES IN HUMANITIES
GENOCIDE, WAR, AND HUMANISTIC VALUES
(3 CREDITS)
      This course was an examination of the meaning and role of genocide and war as they relate to humanistic values (e.g., tolerance, love, and freedom) and of methods of moral decision making in relation to our global society.
      
This section of HUM 382 was configured to the same specifications as HUM 371.
      
We looked at historical and current moral values as well as some personal points of departure that the world has taken as a species as we interfaced interpersonally, culturally, racially, and politically. We also covered some examples of the participation in cultural and linguistic derivatives that encompass moral issues. This was done so that we could gain some appreciation of the universality of various moral tenets as well as a measure of insight into some of the historical genocides and wars that have cursed humankind. We also looked to the need to have some personal as well as global point of departure that presents a coherent weltanschauung (world view) when we choose to exercise moral values in a global society.

FROM THE INTRO OF INTEGRAL HUMANISM BY JACQUES MARITAIN
     
"let us say that humanism (and such a definition can itself be developed along very divergent lines) tends essentially to render a person more truly human, and to manifest humanity's original greatness by having the person participate in all that which can enrich the self in nature and in history (by "concentrating the world in person," as Scheler said approximately, and by "dilating the person to the world."); it at once demands that a person develop the virtualities contained within the self, one's creative forces and the life of reason, and work to make the forces of the physical world instruments of humanity's freedom. Thus understood, humanism is inseparable from civilization or culture, these two words being themselves taken as synonymous."

COURSE DESCRIPTION:
      
Through a presentation of history's footsteps, this course examined the three interwoven themes of genocide, war, and humanistic values (GW&HV). Using examples of GW&HV we sought a measure of understanding of the circumstances and relationships of these three categories of human interface.
       The journey of the course covered textual presentation, Socratic dialog, and written exposés. A grasp of history and an engaged discussion laid the groundwork for painting understandable pictures, drawing conclusions, and creating a personal point of departure that we adopted in order to discuss themes, issues, and policies. The objectives of the course were to prepare citizens of the world so that from some enlightened perspective they may be able to enter into constructive debate concerning humanistic values as they relate to a democratic republic's internal responsibility, as well as its responsibility to the international community.

A. Presentations of examples of genocide allowed us to seek its origins, understand its history, and assess its current status. This overview enabled us to create a working definition that we could apply to war and humanistic values.
B.Through an overview of the history of war we searched its many faces and tried to gain a 21st century perspective. In order to do this we focused on local, regional, and global conflicts. This review necessarily looked at tribal, colonial, imperial, and global economic backdrops for the institutions of war.
C.We gleaned an understanding of humanistic values as derived from religious and secular endeavors. Five principal paradigmatics, namely Socrates, Buddha, Confucius, Christ, and Mohammed, as well as others, served as templates for the construction of a humanistic perspective that served as an underpinning net with which we attempted to "catch" essential relationships, perhaps even necessary points of departure, from which all human activity must be viewed, and more specifically with genocide and war.  
    
Participation in the discussions was paramount, and maintaining a current knowledge of the readings along with the class notes was expected so that we could cite responses to sources or discussions.

Reading and Writing Intensive:

1, 2 , 3 & 4 (1 page), 5 (3 pages), 6 (5 pages)

PAPER 1. GENOCIDE: By utilizing a working definition of genocide, the students will write a paper on the historical reality of genocide and paint a picture of the current circumstances on the subject.

PAPER 2. WAR:  The students will articulate war as a historical universal and pick two examples (that they identify ahead of time) particularly illustrative of war and genocide.

PAPER 3. HUMANISTIC VALUES: With working tools garnered from the discussions on humanistic values, an overview of the significance of these values as they relate to genocide and war will be constructed as a template for further study.

PAPER 4. What did you get from this course: What were the most valuable, personally speaking, pieces of information that you gathered from the course material and class discussions?

PAPER 5. A PERSONAL PROJECT: Taking the material presented through the course and class discussions, share what you perceive to be essential (your personal point of departure that has come to be your own on the subject of GW&HV). Share this with a very significant other on at least two occasions. Describe this interchange and what it meant to you.

PAPER 6.  BOOK REVIEW: This will be an in-depth briefing of a selected text along with a critique of the work and comments about genocidal definitions and war as a tool of humanity as well as the importance of maintaining an ever-vigilant stance in mitigating potentially explosive human interfaces.

***Selected Course Texts:
*Suggested texts:
(Excerpts from, or the complete text, as indicated)

First part of course: Personhood & the Killing of Other Human Beings

1. REQUIRED CLASS TEXT: S. Power, A Problem from Hell, America          and the Age of Genocide***
2. The Ethics of Killing: A background and a brief overview of the Codes of                Conduct & Law. Some discussion of crimes against humanity, UN focus.          Check Internet.
3. Davison, The Concept of Personhood in the Evolutionary Process of                      Being
4. Bronowski, The Assent of Man
5. Teilhard de Chardin, The Prayer of the Universe
6. Karl Jaspers, Socrates, Buddha, Confucius, Jesus
7. Romeo Dallaire, Shake Hands with the Devil - The Failure of Humanity                 in Rwanda

Second part of course: The Person and War

     1. REQUIRED CLASS TEXT: Keegan, A History of War***
2. Plato's Apology
3. Sun Tzu, The Art of War
4. Bobbit, The Shield of Achilles
5. Tolstoy, War & Peace
6. Hemingway, Farewell to Arms
7. Zinn, Passionate Declarations, Essays on War and Justice
8. Diamond, Guns, Germs, and Steel, The Fates of Human Societies
9. Kirkpatrick, Making War to Keep the Peace
10. Ilibagiza, Left to Tell
11. Beah, A Long Way Gone

Third part of course: Humanistic Values as they relate to Genocide and War

1. REQUIRED CLASS TEXT: Rieff, A Bed for the Night***
2. REQUIRED CLASS TEXT: Friedman, The world is flat. A brief                           history of the twenty-first century***
3. Friedman, The Lexus and the Olive Tree
4. Ridley, Nature's Case for the Virtues
5. Mills & Brunner, Editors, The New Killing Fields
      6. Kennedy, The Dark Side of Virtue, Reassessing International                                  Humanitarianism
      7. Kagan, Of Paradise and Power
      8. Niebuhr, The Children of Light & The Children of Darkness
      9. Franks, American Soldier
     10. Hinton, Editor, Annihilating Difference
     11. Harris, The End of Faith, Religion, Terror, and the Future of Reason
     12. Benjamin & Simon, The Age of Sacred Terror
     13. Khalidi, The Iron Cage, The Story of the Palestinian Struggle for                            Statehood
     14. Stewart, The Places in Between
     15. The 9/11 Commission Report
     16. Huntington, The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World                         Order
17. Fukuyama, The End of History and the Last Man
18. Rawls, The Law of Peoples
19. Ajami, The Foreigner's Gift
20. Kagan, The Return of History
21. Zakaria, The Future of Freedom
22. Taylor, A Secular Age
23. Berman, Dark Ages America
24. Weiner, The Shadow Market

Generally each class will be divided into three parts:

    1. "Meshing" an open discussion about what we have come to believe about                 the species and our personal understanding of our participation in recorded              history.

    2. "Bits and pieces" of the story of humankind with special emphasis on                      Genocide, War and Humanistic Values.
    3. Discussion of the required texts and other material will be used to                            sketch the ingredients of our moral commitments as a species.

To deepen our understanding of this journey the course will be divided             into three parts:

     1. The evolution of the concept of genocide.
     2. The development of a critical understanding of war.
     3. Understanding and owning an informed participation in the current                          moment as it relates to humanistic values.

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