This first-year course gives us the opportunity to explore different visions of what it means to be human, to think about how these ideas ground our ethical understanding, and to consider their practical consequences for our lives. Through close reading and discussion, you will learn how to think through and understand views about being human that are both similar to and different from your own, as well as to appreciate the extent to which ideas have implications for ethical actions and for life, relationships and institutions in various communities. Through writing and interactive projects, you will learn how to reflect on your own and others’ moral assumptions and commitments, and work on articulating the ongoing development of your ethical understanding. Finally, we will have the opportunity to apply our ethical views, tempered by a reflective understanding of the views of others, to a project that explores and reacts to concrete ethical issues in today's world.