Introduction to Core 1: Points of Engagement Essay
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Lecture’s Central Argument: The central argument of the lecture is students must take Core-001 in order to study how individuals and society can make the best choices in preparing for an uncertain future. Although the program places a strong emphasis on writing, critical thinking, and understanding events in their historical and cultural contexts, a wide range of interdisciplinary perspectives from arts, humanities, social sciences, life and physical sciences, and engineering will be brought to focus on the course topics.
Lecture’s Supporting Evidence/Examples: The introduction to the seven modules of the course with brief explanations provided appropriate evidence for the possible interaction between perspectives of varied fields of knowledge.
For instance, under module three- Origins of Societies and Culture- it was stated that with the help of techniques in life sciences and social sciences, scientists today claim that Government decisions in the past were influenced by astronomy (a science that deals with material universe beyond the Earth’s atmosphere.) Similarly, module 5 -Individuals and Societies- combines the views of engineering with biological sciences to prove that astronauts who have travelled into space may suffer from cancer. This is because detectors installed on the space crafts have detected high levels of radiation, which may cause genetic/ DNA mutation. As a result, the above examples support the lecture’s central argument since it indicates that any society combines interdisciplinary perspectives to help identify methods to make a fruitful future.
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Three questions you have with respect to this lecture:
1.What are quantitative, qualitative and cumulative essays? 2.If a set of perspectives from varied fields are helpful in making a decision, can’t another set of subjects cancel each other’s ideas and bring further complications to a topic? 3.The course Core-001 claims to help its students choose their college major. However, by exposing oneself to several perspectives, isn’t it possible for the student to experience further ambiguity in choosing their college major?
Other Core 1 subject matter or general current events to which the lecture might be related: There are no other Core 1 subject matter or general current events to which the lecture is related.
The Core lecture and readings for the week of August 20, 2012 sampled some of the broad themes of the course. The materials discussed include the productive interplay that occurs between disciplines and the challenges of the modern university; it introduced students to the meaning, production and assembling of knowledge. In simple words, learners were introduced to the nature of knowledge. Although the lecture and discussion classes could not provide an overview of the nature of knowledge, the assigned readings for the week satisfied the objective. The readings primarily dealt with how science is an experiment that requires courage to challenge the old dogma, by being a thinker and an open-minded person. Therefore, by reminding students to develop critical reading skills in order to acquire and manage information, Core- 001 through readings and lecture has stimulated courage to question any conventional ideas in order to promote global welfare.
As indicated earlier, two readings connected to the central argument of the lecture were allotted for the week: Sagan’s Can We Know the Universe? and Descartes’s Part one of A Discourse on Method. The former article discusses that we humans are capable of knowing the principles of the universe through science, since it “is a way of thinking much more than it is a body of knowledge” (S, 1.) Thus, Science will allow an individual to overcome any perceptions “distorted by training and prejudice or [any] limitations of our sense organs” in order to excavate the Universe for a better future. The experiences due to science are enhanced since it provides “[the] courage to question the conventional wisdom” (S, 1.) However, we can never truly know the universe as it is always changing. Therefore, Sagan’s article conveys that to do science, an individual must remain open-minded (to think and question) and not seek to become an expert.
The above statement has been further validated by the well-known philosopher and mathematician, Rene Descartes states in part one of the latter article, that he has “never fancied [his] mind to be in any respect more perfect than those of the generality” (D, 1.) Therefore, the main idea of both the readings relate to this week’s Core-001 lecture, since it hints students as to what sort of a person one must turn into to do Science: the methodical study to welfare. That is, to cross-examine the current conventional ideas and be able to “[spin] hypotheses … [and] substantiate or deflate [them]” to seek solutions (S, 1.) As a result, the first lecture and set of readings have indicated students to become inquirers and thinkers in order to be knowledgeable: to explore concepts, ideas and issues that have local and global significance.
In addition to questioning conventionalism, the first lecture and readings seems to create a global importance by introducing students specifically to module three in detail: Origins of Societies and Culture. Rene Descartes, in A Discourse on Method claims that it is “useful to know something of the manners of different nations” since by appreciating multiculturalism, one will begin to appreciate different societies. Once again, students may state that Core-001 desires to promote universal ideas by letting its students avoid considering everything contrary to his/her own customs, ridiculous or irrational.
Thus, every reading and lecture for the week of August 20, will help students begin developing their critical thinking skills. A Core-001 student must now establish pre-writing, annotating and journaling in order to strategically acquire, manage and process information not limited to readings but oral presentations and other forms of media. By learning to create substantial arguments through critical thinking, both academia and personal life will be benefitted, which will eventually promote methodical study of global welfare.