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  1. Imagined Realities The Human Quest for Meaning

  2. Stephen Felder,Professor of History and HumanitiesI.V.C. • Ph.D. in History from UCI • Teaching Humanities, History, and Classics at . . . • UCI • Scripps College • UCR • CSULB

  3. Imagined Realities The Human Quest for Meaning

  4. What is the Humanities?

  5. The humanities curriculum integrates the study of history, literature, philosophy, and the arts in an effort to address the fundamental questions of cultural meaning and value common to humanistic fields and methods. --IVC Catalogue Description

  6. The curriculum emphasizes the close study of a variety of cultural texts, artifacts, and events in order to explore not only traditional assertions regarding the values of culture but also the criticism of those assertions, in a historical as well as contemporary light.

  7. So this semester you’ll develop skills in reading analyzing interpreting defining explicating arguing with . . . philosophical texts mythological tales personal narratives historical arguments feature films artistic representations fictional stories

  8. The Plain Sense of Things by Wallace Stevens After the leaves have fallen, we return To a plain sense of things. It is as if We had come to an end of the imagination, Inanimate in an inert savoir. It is difficult even to choose the adjective For this blank cold, this sadness without cause. The great structure has become a minor house. No turban walks across the lessened floors. The greenhouse never so badly needed paint. The chimney is fifty years old and slants to one side. A fantastic effort has failed, a repetition In a repetitiousness of men and flies. Yet the absence of the imagination had Itself to be imagined. The great pond, The plain sense of it, without reflections, leaves, Mud, water like dirty glass, expressing silence Of a sort, a silence of a rat come out to see, The great pond and its waste of the lilies, all this Had to be imagined as an inevitable knowledge, Required, as a necessity requires.

  9. a repetition in a repetitiousness of men and flies no turban walks silence of a rat come out to see inert savoir

  10. savoir = (Fr.) knowledge inert: (OED): a. Of matter and material things: Having no inherent power of action, motion, or resistance; inactive, inanimate; having the property of INERTIA. Of persons, animals, and (transf.) moving things: Inactive, sluggish, slow, not inclined for or capable of action. Also of mental faculties.

  11. After the leaves have fallen, we return To a plain sense of things. It is as if We had come to an end of the imagination, Inanimate in an inert savoir.

  12. No turban walks across the lessened floors. OED: 5. To lower the dignity, position, or character of; to humble; to degrade, demean. Obs.

  13. It is difficult even to choose the adjective For this blank cold, this sadness without cause. The great structure has become a minor house. No turban walks across the lessened floors.

  14. After the leaves have fallen, we return To a plain sense of things. It is as if We had come to an end of the imagination, Inanimate in an inert savoir. It is difficult even to choose the adjective For this blank cold, this sadness without cause. The great structure has become a minor house. No turban walks across the lessened floors. The greenhouse never so badly needed paint. The chimney is fifty years old and slants to one side. A fantastic effort has failed, a repetition In a repetitiousness of men and flies.

  15. The Plain Sense of Things by Wallace Stevens After the leaves have fallen, we return To a plain sense of things. It is as if We had come to an end of the imagination, Inanimate in an inert savoir. It is difficult even to choose the adjective For this blank cold, this sadness without cause. The great structure has become a minor house. No turban walks across the lessened floors. The greenhouse never so badly needed paint. The chimney is fifty years old and slants to one side. A fantastic effort has failed, a repetition In a repetitiousness of men and flies. Yet the absence of the imagination had Itself to be imagined. The great pond, The plain sense of it, without reflections, leaves, Mud, water like dirty glass, expressing silence Of a sort, a silence of a rat come out to see, The great pond and its waste of the lilies, all this Had to be imagined as an inevitable knowledge, Required, as a necessity requires.

  16. After the leaves have fallen, we return To a plain sense of things. It is as if We had come to an end of the imagination. Yet the absence of the imagination had Itself to be imagined. . . . . . all this Had to be imagined as an inevitable knowledge, Required, as a necessity requires.”

  17. Imagined Realities

  18. Imagined Realities Dogmatism

  19. Imagined Realities Dogmatism Relativism

  20. Imagined Realities Dogmatism Truth disciplined by imagination Relativism

  21. Imagined Realities Dogmatism Truth disciplined by imagination Imagination disciplined by truth Relativism

  22. Imagined Realities Dogmatism Truth disciplined by imagination POETIC DWELLING ON EARTH Imagination disciplined by truth Relativism

  23. CIVILIZATION’S IMAGININGS: THE INDIVIDUAL AND SOCIETY

  24. IMAGINING SELF AND OTHER(S)

  25. IMAGINING ETHICS: ASKING QUESTIONS, DEFINING TERMS

  26. “I know that my achievement is quite ordinary. I am not the only man to seek his fortune far from home, and certainly I am not the first. Still, there are times I am bewildered by each mile I have traveled, each meal I have eaten, each person I have known, each room in which I have slept. As ordinary as it all appears, there are times when it is beyond my imagination.”

  27. What do I need to do in order to do well in this class? • COME TO CLASS. . . • Bring your book . . . • Pay attention . . . • Take notes, underline key texts, ask questions . . . • Do the reading. . . • Review for exams.

  28. Who won’t do well in this class? • People who don’t come to class. • People who leave early. • People who come late. • People who don’t pay attention (worse . . . people who annoy the rest of us by talking to each other during class). • People who don’t do the reading.

  29. An email from a student: Thank you so much for giving me an A in your class. I still remember the 1st email that I sent you asking about whether or not I should drop your class since it sounded so hard the 1st day. Yet you emailed me back encouraged me not to drop it and you will do anything if there is ever any question that I need to ask, you will answer them. Thank you so much for being so there when your student needs you. Lastly, thank you for making something seems so hard be so understandable. Have a great summer and I wish you the best for your coming semester next year.

  30. Another email: Hi Prof. Felder, I just wanted to write and thank you for the class this simester. In all honesty it was the hardest class I've taken since IVC but I think I have learned more from it than any other. I've never been pushed to read as much, even in writing or reading classes, and I've kind of re-discovered how much I enjoyed reading. I'll be working on a number of books this summer and some lower division classes before I'm able to transfer. I have the Beyond Good and Evil on the list too, I thought I'd take another crack at that. Well thank you, again, for the time and effort you put into the class and I hope I represent a lot of people who didn't thank you but learned a great deal from taking it. Have a good summer.

  31. Visit my homepage: http://www.ivc.edu/faculty/SFelder/Pages/default.aspx