Human beings have a strong instinct to divide and categorize the world around them. However, the lines and categories that we create are often artificial; rather than reflecting something intrinsic about nature they instead reveal things about who we are and how our brains operate. For scientists, categorizing nature can be a first step toward understanding, but can also hold back progress by blinding us to differences that our categories don't acknowledge. In society, labels can help us feel a part of a community but can also lead to racism and even genocide. In this course we will critically examine several fundamental questions related to the delineation of the natural world and of society, including: Do species exist? Are social insects defined by their role in a colony, or can they exhibit individuality? Can everyone be classified as being male or female? Why have some groups of humans considered other groups to be less than human? Readings will be drawn from a variety of popular science writings, such as David Livingstone Smith’s Less Than Human, and novels, such as Mat Johnson’s Pym, and E.O. Wilson’s Ant Hill.
Source: College Colloquium Page
Mon-Thur 7:45 a.m. -- 2 a.m.
Friday 7:45 a.m. -- 9 p.m.
Saturday 11 a.m -- 6 p.m.
Sunday 10 a.m. -- 2 a.m.
Mon-Wed 10 a.m. -- 5 p.m. / 6 p.m. -- 9 p.m.
Thursday 10 a.m. -- 5 p.m.
Friday 1 p.m. -- 4 p.m
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Mon - Fri 9 a.m. -- 12 p.m. / 1 p.m. -- 4 p.m.
Note: The library is closed to the general public at 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and at 5 p.m. Friday, Saturday and holidays. The library remains open to students, faculty, and staff with current Willamette ID.