Fall 2013 not offered
|Certificates: International Relations
This seminar challenges students to wrestle with the old but ever-urgent problem of truth. In the past few decades, historians as well as the public at large moved away from a focused concern with this issue, assuming that varieties of discourse account for varying versions of reality. Now, in the wake of the momentous traumas and deceits of the 20th century, it may be possible to return to the question of truth with a new sense of urgency and clarity. Chinese culture and historians are part of this worldwide current of concern with veracity. The seminar will use voices from the Chinese past to sharpen and contextualize the question we ask about the role of truth seeking and the craft of history. Zhu Guanqian (1897-1987), for example, was a philosopher and survivor of the Cultural Revolution who wrote passionately about the importance of historical truth: Water flows and history moves on. History brings the present into the past. The past is never fully gone; just like fruits that grow from seed, the future is embedded in previous times. The present moment is significant because it includes both past and future. Confucius said that he did not regret dying in the evening, provided he had come to know the truth in the morning. The most important thing is to know the truth.
|Gen Ed Area Dept:
|Course Format: Lecture / Discussion
|Grading Mode: Graded
|Fulfills a Major Requirement for: None