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ACMA01H3 Study Guide - Final Guide: Martha Nussbaum, Fetishism, Theodor W. Adorno

Arts, Culture and Media
Course Code
Sarah Kleeb
Study Guide

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Lecture 1 – Humanities
Characteristics of Humanities Education
Values doubt over certainty
o “The more I learn, the less I feel I know”
creating informed and critical citizens
pursuing knowledge for sake of knowledge
Rockefeller Commission on the Humanities
Fundamental Question:
What does it mean to be human?
Humanities offers clues but never complete answer
Reveal how peoples have tried to make moral, spiritual, intellectual sense of
Irrationality, despair, loneliness and death are as conspicuous as birth,
friendship, hope and reason
Socratic Thinking – criticize and question one’s own traditions
Speculative Thinking – questioning authorities, norms and dominant structures of
power in society
Humanities and Global Citizenship à Abilities Gained in Humanities
Nussbaum, “Education for Citizenship in an Era of Global Connection”
1. Socratic ability to criticize one’s own traditions & carry on arguments
on terms of mutual respect for reason
2. Think as citizen of world, not just some local region or group
3. Narrative Imagination: ability to image it would be like in position of
someone different from oneself
Empirical Sciences vs. Humanities
ES – helps to understand quantifiable aspects of universe; answers to
specific set of questions
H – don’t teach us to think, but gives us new ways to think (speculative)
o Analytic: meticulous examination
o Critical: skepticism; problematization of norms and assumptions
o Interpretive: explanation of meanings
o Evaluative: “So what?” – does it have value or coherence?

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Lecture 2 – Knowledge
Definition of Knowledge – information processed through a thinking human mind
Epistemologytheory of knowledge, especially w/ regards to its methods, validity,
and scope, and distinction b/w justified belief and opinion
What is knowledge?
How do we know what we know?
Difference b/w knowledge and opinion or belief
Role of subjectivity play in our certainties with regards to knowledge
Social or cultural structures influence ways in which we claim to know
What happens when one person’s “known” is in direct opposition to another’s
Role of the University
Social space in which knowledge is created, stored, transmitted,
examined, and critiqued
o Creating knowledge – research, analysis, critique
o Storing knowledge – libraries, textbooks, websites
o Transmitting knowledge – conversation, peer reviews
University is unique locale in which creation and development of knowledge is
given special importance
Construction and deconstruction of knowledge
UofT Mission Statement
Most crucial of all human rights are rights of freedom of speech, academic
freedom and freedom of research
These rights are meaningless unless they entail right to raise deeply
disturbing questions and provocative challenges to the cherished beliefs
of society at large and of university itself
No one else, no other institution and no other office, in modern liberal
democracy, which is custodian of this most precious and vulnerable right
of liberated human spirit
Construction, Deconstruction
Continual re-evaluation
Critiqued forms of knowledge which harbors prejudices, inequalities or
oppressive tendencies

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Reliability of the Human Mind
“When Photographs Create False Memories
o 3 real childhood photos and 1 fake photo of childhood hot-air-balloon
o Family members verified that balloon ride never happened
o 50% remembered about ride, subjects tended to express genuine
astonishment when learned photo was fake
Eye-witness Testimony
o Memory is faulty mechanism, “knowledge” is even more complicated
o Backwards Bike Experiment - Knowledge is not just understanding
Sharing in the University
Exchanging knowledge
Informing one another
Expanding intellectual horizons
All are responsible for this knowledge
Critical Thinking (Martha Nussbaum)
Process of actively and skillfully conceptualizing, applying, analyzing,
synthesizing and/or evaluating information
Guide to belief and action
Aware of potential limits of universalized truth claims
Humanities scholars critique, problematize, reconsider and question
structures, ideals, ideologies and theories
Training of the Imagination
Systematic account of what is deemed important in world
Asking questions pertaining to reality and human existence
Helping people live satisfying and meaningful lives
Illuminating aspects of world that may otherwise remain hidden
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