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HUMA205M - Special Topics in the Humanities: Critical Thinking (in a Distracted World) (3-0-3)

The Humanities explores what it means to be human within a contemporary or historical context. The Humanities provide us with the broad frameworks within which enduring questions of existence, relationships, values, and aesthetics can be examined from multiple perspectives. The Special Topics in the Humanities course changes thematically each semester and may explore ideas around evil, love, race, gender, sport, spirituality, and those strands which connect us and make us human. Prerequisites: completion of ENGL110M or ENGL110XM (Fulfills Humanities requirement)

This course presents a skill-based approach to critical thinking and attention management as a way to explore and evaluate ideas in the digital era of high-speed information, hyper-connection, and mass distraction. Students will be grounded in critical thinking's basic formative skills of distinguishing fact and opinion, making inferences, detecting biases, and reasoning inductively and deductively, while simultaneously developing the observation, mindfulness, and attention skills necessary to counterbalance the current effects of omnipresent digital stimuli.

This course infuses the core course content with the writings of such Stoic philosophers as Seneca, Epictetus, and Marcus Aurelius who remind us that we can only control our personal responses to external events outside of our control. Awareness of this concept will help students develop greater confidence in their ability to make rational choices and proper decisions. Prerequisites: ENGL110XM or ENGL110M.