Early Modern Knowledge
About this class
To quote L.P. Hartley: “The past is a foreign country: they do things differently there.” Early modern Europe (1500-1800) does indeed seem like a foreign land, where kings and queens ruled over a population that would be considered both ignorant and subservient by modern standards. And yet, this was a universe that had its own rationale and a time when important developments in scientific, philosophical, political, and religious knowledge laid the foundation for the world in which we live today. Western society embraced the notion that the earth revolved around the sun, and ideas about a divinely ordained monarchy gave way to the defense of democratic forms; theologians tore apart the Christian church, and people began to think through the implications of empire and conquest as Europeans spread themselves around the globe.
How was knowledge constructed in this period, and how and why did older forms of knowing give way to new ways of understanding the universe? Moreover, how were the various intellectual developments of the day interrelated, and what does all of this tell us about the production of knowledge more generally? This course will investigate how knowledge was produced (and also reformed) in the early modern world and, in the process, develop students' capacity for critical thought and analysis. It is organized thematically rather than chronologically, and incorporates workshops and in-class activities alongside lecture material. A participation mark will be also assigned.
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I really like how clear and concise your post is and your links accentuate the subject however, you make it sound like activists from the LGBTQ community are completely separate from activists from the BLM movement which sounds like they can't be a part of both. Although both movements fight for different causes, we should take into consideration that some people share both systems of inequality such as gay people of colour and/or trans people of colour. Having more than one system of inequality leads to more hardship and sources of discrimination since they reinforce each other. This is what we call intersectionality. Yes, the LGBTQ community doesn’t really address issues around race, but that’s where we should take a step back and realize that people of colour are everywhere including the LGBTQ community and that we can't ignore that. Not everyone shares the same experiences and that’s where it could possibly be scary for a person of colour who is also a part of the LGBTQ community to be around police officers. I don’t think the BLM activists were trying to force their agenda, but possibly looking out for people of colour who were participating in the parade. If we want to work through this, I believe we should at least hear the BLM activists out first instead of shutting them down or saying they were out of line.
I think you will find these links relevant to my point and I also added an article about the Orlando shooting which is a good example of how intersectionality can affect people:
This is great article that brings to light how gender is seen as a secular thing other than an abstract matter even if you were brought up differently. Your examples of the female criminals are very fitting with the subject matter! All these different women experienced different kinds of hardships which were seen as problems only women would be dealing with. I think you should clarify a bit more on how this series and most probably others tend to focus on how people of a certain sex are forced to act a certain way based on their biological constitution, since sex and gender are not the same thing, with sex being your biological makeup and gender being the way you feel about yourself on the inside and how you express that to others. You also mention that male criminals are seen as savage brutes which is relevant to the themes of sex and gender. In the patriarchal system, men are forced to be dominant and violent to stay on top and be the “man” they are suppose to be which ties in with the way people are forced to perform their sex accordingly or they will be penalized for it. Here is an article I think you will find of interest.
First of all, thank you for sharing this interesting piece of information. In the light of the 2016 U.S. presidential elections, the term "fake news" became widely spread and that is how I became aware that some of the most influential media outlets were manipulating the news. However, I did not know how standard and common this practice was, so it was very interesting to read about this issue.
I notice that you seem to be adopting a more utilitarian standpoint, which simply promotes the greatest good for the greatest number of people. Indeed, you mention that biased news reports negatively affect millions of people and that transparent news would, in return, benefit them by properly cultivating their minds. I think this is best and most logical reason to believe that media’s distortion of news is wrong. Naturally, we would want the entire population to be well-informed.
Let me introduce to you a different ethical framework that could also help analyze the matter. Virtue ethics determines morality based on the agent; if the agent possesses a virtue, then his/her actions would also be deemed virtuous (right), and vice-versa. In this situation, the agent would be those in power, the media outlets. Since everyone can agree that dishonesty is not virtuous, the virtue ethics framework would argue that media’s manipulation of the news is definitely wrong.
In the end, I agree that what news outlets are doing is absolutely wrong and highly unethical, and this statement is supported by both utilitarianism and virtue ethics.
First point I would like to mention is that although I was aware of animal cruelty prior to reading your post I am now more enlightened about how bad the conditions are for animals. I also found it interesting how there are not many laws that are being enforced on animal cruelty.
Second point I would like to mention is that you are interested in how we, as humans, can help protect the animals from being abused. The ethical approach you are applying is virtue ethics. In case you do not understand the meaning of virtue ethics, it is when someone understands the moral norm such as happiness, and practical wisdom. That being said, we need to be the ones who are solving the problem of animal cruelty, and we need to be the ones taking responsibility for how we treat animals. As you mention, we need to take on more responsibility starting with educating every one about the bad conditions animals go through daily. The more people that are educated on animal cruelty, the more we can do to prevent animal brutality from happening/continuing to them. Thus, we need to practice virtue ethics to start our process of reducing the amount of animal cruelty that is happening around the world.
This reading was incredibly enlightening on desertification, I had no idea that the threat level was so high. I believe that all humans should feel responsible for the desertification of the earth. We contributed to this horrible fact directly or indirectly and should come together to solve this issue.
I would even say that it is our ethical duty to help reverse the process of desertification as our current actions greatly expedite the process. I am also willing to go as far as to say that people who are not trying to help this issue are acting in an unethical way, making them unethical individuals.
I really think that showing the ethical side of this issue is the best way because it can greatly affect the outcome of desertification and hopefully help reverse it. If enough people would understand that we are all contributing to desertification, something can be done to stop it completely. Awareness for this matter can touch upon a lot of people worldwide if we label it as an ethical issue that must be handled.
It’s obvious that this ad is disturbing. I agree when you say that the male model in this ad is defining “the ideal masculinity” (Rydia), that is defined by society. This man is shown to be a wealthy, good looking, powerful. He is also showing the control he has over the female model, in context, his woman. These characteristics are all part of the famous man box created by society with time.
In class, we discussed how sex, seuxality, and sexuality can be hard to differenciate. Being wealthy also implies that he is able to be a provider for his family, which is also a characteristic of the man box. If they do not have the characteristics of the man box, they might be considered as homosexual, bisexual, and so on, bringing into question the sexual identity of the man. If a man so happens to categorize himself as anything else but heterosexual, he is seen as a weak. The male model in the ad is seen as strong & powerful, categorizing him as heterosexual. By showing that he is strong and powerful, his sexual identity isn’t being questioned. Any sign of weakness, meaning any characteristic a man has outside the man box, is seen as weak.
This site shows how much men take into consideration when deciding their sexual identity: http://www.psychologyofmen.org/sexual-identity-development/
I never knew garlic was owned by Mars! Also, you did a good job relating this book to Cook, for example, hypothesizing that this book might have been written for nostalgic purposes, because of the time it had been written at. Overall, nice review.
This is great article about the racisms and gender issues from a young age. I like the fact that the interaction between the two kids is from a young girl to a young boy. You talk about the racist factor in the altercation but there is also the perspective of girl and boy. This altercation also touches Intersectionality. This little girl had some knowledge about what is means to be “black” is the society, she had some point got influence to believed that she was better than other people. The question that you ask at the end of your post is totally relevant and is a good question. This little girl withier got influence by her parents or by what her teacher at school. The only thing about your post is that we do not know why she acts with that behavior. It seems like she is applying the concept of Privilege. She thinks that because she is a white girl she has more privilege then this black boy. By including the Intersectionality and Privilege concept I think your post would be much stronger but in all very good post truly appreciated reading.
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