Literature and Theories of Knowledge (Literature Elective; US)

Grades 11–12
In this philosophy-based literature course, students develop a coherent approach to learning and understanding through thoughtful inquiry into different ways of knowing and different types of knowledge. They focus on how reality is perceived, with emphasis on Plato’s and Aristotle’s doctrines. Students question their assumptions about reality through diverse philosophical and literary texts, and try to answer this seminal question: What level of certainty, if any, can I assign to a given assertion of knowledge? Through diverse readings in various genres, students reflect on their own experiences as learners and discover how different academic disciplines are interconnected. They read literary works that explore realms of knowledge spanning the arts to mathematics, and make connections between and across ways of knowing and areas of knowledge. They read a combination of excerpts from philosophical works and complete works from various literary genres. Studied philosophers include Aristotle, Cantor, Descartes, DuBois, Frege, Gödel, Heidegger, Hume, Kierkegaard, Kant, Leibniz, Locke, Machiavelli, Maimonides, Nietzsche, Pascal, Plato, Rousseau, Russell, Sartre, Wittgenstein, and Zara Yacob.

Texts:
Carroll, Through The Looking Glass
Doxiadis, Logicomix: Epic Search for Truth
Hesse, Narcissus and Goldmund
Kiros, Zara Yacob, Rationality of the Human Heart
Mann, Death in Venice
Murakami, Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World
Machiavelli, The Prince

Summer Viewing:
Andy and Lana Wachowski, The Matrix
Nolan, Inception

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