Much of this course is being determined by group process from a list of options and topics established in the first week of class. The Course Outline is not listed in order, but rather is materializing as the class arrives at a new topic or source for exploration and discussion. Details on assignments are being provided to class members through Google Classroom which is available only to participants of the class.
- Weekly Quiz (Tuesdays) on the headlines of NYT lead stories from the past week
- Introduction: The Hidden Side of Everything—"In which the book's central idea is set forth: namely, if morality represents how people wouldlike the world to work, then economics shows how it actually does work."
- Ch. 1: What Do Schoolteachers and Sumo Wrestlers have in Common?—"In which we explore the beauty of incentives, as well as their dark sidecheating."
- Ch. 2: How Is the Ku Klux Klan Like a Group of Real-Estate Agents?—"In which it is argued that nothing is more powerful than information, especially when its power is abused."
- Ch. 3: Why Do Drug Dealers Still Live with Their Moms?—"In which the conventional wisdom is often found to be a web of fabrication, self interest, and convenience."
- Ch. 4: Where Have All the Criminals Gone?—"In which the facts of crime are sorted out from the fictions."
- Ch. 5: What Makes a Perfect Parent?—"In which we ask, from a variety of angles, a pressing question: do parents really matter?"
- Ch. 6: Perfect Parenting, Part II; or: Would a Roshanda by Any Other Name Smell as Sweet?—"In which we weigh the importance of a parent's first official act—naming the baby."
Group Project on Contemporary Issue: More to Come...
Taking Sides: Clashing Views on Social Issues:
Topics are listed in order of popularity, determined by democratic class process.
- Issue 18. Are We Heraded Toward a Nuclear 9/11?
- Issue 17. Should Laws Against Drug Use Remain Restrictive?
- Issue 19. Is torture Ever Justified?
- Issue 3. Does Divorce Have Long-Term Damaging Efffects on Children?
- Issue 15. Should Biotechnology Be Used to Alter and Enhance Humans?
- Issue 16. Is Street Crime More Harmful Than White-Collar Crime?
- Issue 5. Should Same-Sex Marriages Be Legally Recognized?