The Past, Present, and Future of Humankind (SIGNATURE COURSE)

Course Code
ANTH 2559/PHIL 2559
Erin Eaker and
Rachel Most

What does it mean, in the present day, to be a human being? Where did we come from? Where are we going? Drawing from the disciplines of anthropology, archaeology, evolutionary biology, psychology, and philosophy, we will explore the deep history of how we—the species Homo sapiens sapiens—evolved. We will focus the evolution of those traits that seem so distinctively human, such as language, abstract thought, agriculture, art, mythmaking, and morality. We will study what makes civilizations rise and fall, and we will take stock of where we are as a species at the present moment. Will the traits that made us such a successful species help us rise to the challenges of the future? Or are we doomed by our very nature?