Dangerous Questions, Forbidden Knowledge

2019/20

Dangerous Questions, Forbidden Knowledge

Is there knowledge that we pursue at our peril? Are there questions that we simply should not ask? From the secrets of nature to secrets of state, and from the mystery of the other to mysteries of the self, we ceaselessly probe the boundaries of our knowledge, ever aware that to push them yet further can empower us or even destroy us.

The dangers—and the allure— of our inquiries into the hidden and the forbidden remain an enduring theme in drama and in novels, in philosophy and in science, in religious thought and in poetry, in music and in film. Should there be constraints on our knowledge, or limits to the power it brings us?

These questions haunt our aspirations to know and to control, overshadowing the seeker of knowledge—whether Eve or Frankenstein, the philosopher who challenges our deepest convictions, or the scientist whose discoveries cannot be ignored or outrun. Through both story and sustained argument, and from The Odyssey to The Road, we will examine how the moral, social, and psychological costs of our pursuit of knowledge are assessed and engaged, and just how boldly we might dare to know.

Homer,  The Odyssey
Genesis
Sophocles,  Antigone
Plato,  Republic
Lucretius,  On the Nature of Things
Niccolò Machiavelli,  The Prince, Discourses on Livy
Galileo,  “Letter to the Grand Duchess Christina
Bertolt Brecht,  Life of Galileo
William Shakespeare,  Hamlet
Rousseau,  Discourse on Inequality
Thomas King,  The Inconvenient Indian
Mary Shelley,  Frankenstein
Fyodor Dostoevsky,  The Grand Inquisitor
Friedrich Nietzsche,  Genealogy of Morality
Kate Chopin,  The Awakening
Sigmund Freud,  Civilization and its Discontents
Ernest Hemingway,  In Our Time
Sylvia Plath,  The Bell Jar
Heiner Kipphardt,  In the Matter of J. Robert Oppenheimer
Jon H. Else,  The Day After Trinity
Hannah Arendt,  Eichmann in Jerusalem
Ta-Nehisi Coates,  Between the World and Me
Mohsin Hamid,  The Reluctant Fundamentalist
Alan Moore/Dave Gibbons,  Watchmen
Cormac McCarthy,  The Road
Benjamin Hertwig, Slow War

[update: April 3, 2019]

 

Lecture Schedule for ‘Dangerous Questions, Forbidden Knowledge’:

Term One  (Sept to Dec)

Term Two  (Jan – April)

 

Timetable for ‘Dangerous Questions, Forbidden Knowledge’ (days/times of classes):

ArtsOne Schedule_2019W

Here is the book list with ISBN’s for ”Dangerous Questions, Forbidden Knowledge 2019W’

Update:  August 12, 2019