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Great Ideas

Courses

Carthage will continue to offer courses in Great Ideas in the 2020-21 academic year, though Carthage no longer offers a major or minor in Great Ideas. Scroll down to read descriptions of the Great Ideas courses offered at Carthage, or click on the following links for additional resources.

 

  • GFW 2210

    Foundations of Western Thought I: Ancient to Medieval (HUM)

    4cr
    One of two seminars on major Western texts and the fundamental questions they raise. This term covers ancient Greece through the Middle Ages. Works to be studied will include Homer's Iliad, Plato's Meno, Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics, Vergil's Aeneid, Lucretius's On the Nature of Things, Augustine's Confessions, and Beowulf.
    Fall

  • GFW 2220

    Foundations of Western Thought II: Renaissance to Modern

    4cr
    One of two seminars on major Western texts and the fundamental questions that they raise. This term covers the Renaissance to the 20th century. Works to be studied will include some of these, among others: Dante's Divine Comedy, Machiavelli's The Prince, Luther's On Christian Liberty, Shakespeare's Antony and Cleopatra, Moliere's The Misanthrope, Locke's Second Treatise, Rousseau's Second Discourse, Freud's Civilization and Its Discontents, and Woolf's A Room of One's Own.

  • GFW 2310

    Foundations of American Thought (DIV)

    4cr
    An introduction to major American texts. Works to be studied will include some of these, among others: Benjamin Franklin's Autobiography, the Federalist Papers, Twain's Huckleberry Finn, Du Bois's The Souls of Black Folk, and Cather's My Antonia.

  • GFW 2410

    Foundations of Natural Sciences (NLAB)

    4cr
    This course examines the development of Western scientific thought from its origins in Greece through the modern era. Special attention will be paid to the development of ideas, such as the nature of matter, descriptions of motion, heredity, the relationship between experiment and theory, as well as the standards natural scientists themselves hold of scientific truth. Works to be studied include selections from Plato, Aristotle, Bacon, Copernicus, Galileo, Newton, Harvey, Lavoisier, Dalton, Mendel, Darwin, Einstein, Watson, Crick, and others.

  • GFW 2420

    Foundations of Mathematical Thought (MTH)

    4cr
    This course examines the development of Western mathematical thought from its origins in ancient Greece through the modern era. Special attention will be paid to the development of ideas, such as geometry, logic, coordinate systems and algebra, calculus, non-Euclidean geometry, infinity, and proof theory. Works to be studied include selections from Euclid, Aristotle, Descartes, Newton, Lobachevski, Cantor, Boole, and Godel.

  • GFW 3010

    Seminar in Ancient Thought (HUM)

    4cr
    Seminar participants spend the full semester in critical engagement with a major thinker, and usually a single text of the ancient West, such as Homer, Aeschylus, Plato, Virgil, or Tacitus. This course seeks to deepen the broad and interdisciplinary work accomplished by participants in Foundations of Western Thought I (GFW 2210) and II (GFW 2220) and in the Western Heritage course sequence.

  • GFW 3020

    Seminar in Medieval Thought

    4cr
    Seminar participants spend the full semester in critical engagement with a major thinker, and usually a single text, of the medieval West, such as Augustine, Aquinas, Dante, or Chaucer. This course seeks to deepen the broad and interdisciplinary work accomplished by participants in Foundations of Western Thought I (GWF 2210) and II (GFW 2220).
    Prerequisites: COR 1200

  • GFW 3030

    Seminar in Renaissance Thought

    4cr
    Seminar participants spend the full semester in critical engagement with a major thinker, and usually a single text, of the Renaissance West, such as More, Machiavelli, Bacon, or Shakespeare. This course seeks to deepen the broad and interdisciplinary work accomplished in Foundations of Western Thought I (GFW 2210) and II (GFW 2220).
    Prerequisites: COR 1200

  • GFW 3040

    Seminar in Modern Thought

    4cr
    Seminar participants spend the full semester in critical engagement with a major thinker, and usually a single text, of the modern West, such as Cervantes, Kant, Dostoevsky, or Freud. This course seeks to deepen the broad and interdisciplinary work accomplished by participants in Foundations of Western Thought I (GFW 2210) and II (GFW 2220) and in the Western Heritage course sequence.

  • GFW 4000

    Capstone Course

    4cr
    Under the guidance of Great Ideas faculty, students write a thesis whose primary focus is the interpretation of a major Western text or texts. (Junior standing required; senior standing suggested in most cases.)

  • GFW 4990

    Senior Thesis Completion

    0cr
    Students should register for GFW 4990 during the semester that they plan to complete their Senior Thesis.