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Cluster: Knowledge, Values and Rationality

The theme of the cluster is the nature of rationality and its emergence from the interplay of knowledge and values.  The curriculum explores the major forms that human rationality takes in the acquisition of knowledge, logical inference, moral reasoning, decision making, and societal organizations and policy. Individual courses focus on models of rationality as such and conceptualizations of rationality in areas such as logic and inference, natural and social sciences, biomedicine and psychiatry, social and political theory, low, educational policy, societal value conflicts, and moral theorizing including everyday ethical dilemmas. Human rationality is also approached from a comparative perspective that includes machine and animal learning including broader evolutionary perspectives. Finally, cluster courses offer critical perspective on perennial and popular doctrines that endorse non-rational or irrational approaches to existential and ethical questions, politics, and scientific inquiry.

Cluster Coordinator:   Tom Seppalainen
Office:  NH 393
Phone:  503.725.3519
E-mail:  seppalt@pdx.edu 

Sophomore Inquiry: Knowledge, Values and Rationality

(UNST 239)

The cluster invites students to think critically about their value decisions, factual beliefs, policies that govern local institutions , and the norms and principles of the culture and society they represent and habit; it is designed to develop students’ meta-cognitive skills and encourages the use of these skills throughout students’ academic experience; it introduces students to an interdisciplinary perspective on rationality, one that employs methods, concepts, insights, and perspectives from philosophy, history and philosophy of science, psychology, sociology, criminal justice, economics, physics, and systems science.

This SINQ leads to the Knowledge, Values and Rationality Cluster.

Approved Cluster Courses:

Academic Year 13-14

Note: Courses listed below are all Approved Cluster Courses for the 2013 - 2014 year.  If you are looking for listings for 2012 - 2013, they are archived here.

BI 372U / SCI 372U Nanotechnology: Society and Sustainability
CCJ 320U Theories of Crime and Justice
COMM 336U Metaphor
EAS 333U Problems, Solutions and Systems Thinking
EC 314U Private and Public Investment Analysis
EC 321U Fundamentals of Game Theory
PH 335U Wacky or Real:  What Everyone Should Know about Physics Scams
PHE 444U Global Health
PHE 455U Film and Health
PHL 300U Philosophical Methods and Concepts
PHL 305U Analytic Philosophy
PHL 306U Science and Pseudoscience
PHL 307U Science and Society
PHL 308U Elementary Ethics
PHL 309U Business Ethics
PHL 310U Environmental Ethics
PHL 311U Morality of Punishment
PHL 313U Life and Death Issues
PHL 314U Computer Ethics
PHL 316U Social & Political Philosophy
PHL 317U Philosophy of Art
PHL 318U Philosophy of Medicine
PHL 320U Critical Thinking
PHL 321U Practical Epistemology
PHL 322U Minds and Machines
PHL 324U Introduction to Formal Logic
PHL 325U Introduction to Formal Logic II
PHL 330U Language, Representation and Reality
PHL 331U Philosophy of Education
PHL 333U Philosophy of Law
PHL 350U International Ethics
PHL 355U Morality and Health Care
PHL 360U American Philosophy
PHL 365U Atheism
PHL 369U Philosophy of Sex and Love
PHL 370U Philosophy of Work and Leisure
PHL 371U Philosophy of the City
PHL 375U Food Ethics
PS 325U Politics and the Legal Enforcement of Morals
PSY 300U Personal Decision Making
SCI 363U Ethics in Science
SCI 372U / BI 372U Nanotechnology: Society and Sustainability
SYSC 330U Models in Science 
SYSC 350U
Indigenous and Systems Perspectives on Sustainability
SYSC 399U
Introduction to Agent Based Modeling 
SYSC 399U  Darwinian Thought in Society 
SYSC 399U  Decision Making in Complex Environments