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Clark University Home > Academic Catalog

Clark University    
 
    
 
  Sep 21, 2017
 
2017-2018 Academic Catalog

IDCE 370 - Emerging Scientific Worldviews and Global Sustainability


In this course, alternative scientific worldviews are considered as potential means of reconciling the destructive relationship between modern civilization and the Earth, and the rift in modern science between matter and spirit. Our basis is a critical and creative exploration of the literature, supplemented by numerous video screenings, guest lectures and intellectually stimulating discussions. We will begin by critically examining defining characteristics of the dominating scientific view of the Earth and universe and themes such as modernism, materialism, reductionism and duality. We will explore how these attributes are influencing scientific conduct, government policy and human behavior, and consider various limitations and flaws of this worldview from the perspective of contemporary sustainability and social challenges. Emerging and alternative scientific paradigms are then examined from diverse fields such as ecology, biology, quantum physics, neuroscience and life sciences. Other alternative worldviews scrutinized include Gaia theory, non-duality and the unified field, in addition to indigenous worldviews and spirituality. Insights from these diverse areas of inquiry are meshed together to propose an alternative view of humanity, the Earth and universe based on principles such as consciousness, oneness, non-duality, interconnectedness and holism. It will be argued that this could provide the necessary human intelligence to guide society towards sustainability and unprecedented human development throughout this century. The practical and policy implications of this emerging vision of reality will also be thoroughly explored in relation to diverse areas such as climate change, environmental management, international politics, human and economic development, health and agriculture.

Anticipated Terms Offered: Fall or Spring