This course is an introduction to the periods, thinkers and main ideas of Western civilization. This semester, this course will cover the roots of the Western Tradition in the ancient Near East, including the Judeo-Christian heritage, Greek city-states and culture, and the Roman world and empire. The major themes in the development of the West of rationality, freedom, and progress will be explored. Units will focus on close reading of major texts (e.g. 《Gilgamesh》, Plato’s 《Republic》) within their cultural context.
The emphasis in the course will be on developing an understanding of the modern Western world through the knowledge of its history, philosophy, and literature and working on learners' critical thinking skills, particularly argumentation and reflection.