Since the events of March 11th, 2011, the ecological crises we know about have stopped being abstract problems that will happen in the distant future - someday, somewhere else.
These crises are happening here and now, but at this same time we find leading intellectuals are optimistic about the future. In these eight sessions, we will begin by studying the roots of global culture. Next, we will examine the philosophical discussion of optimism and pessimism that took place in the 18th century Enlightenment.
We will study present global problems, then we will consider the optimistic argument that something can be done to resolve these crises. Finally, we will look specifically at the energy options for Japan's future.
(1) Jared Diamond's studies of the rise and fall of civilizations: Guns, Germs and Steel and Collapse
(2) The history of globalization: from the Galleon Trade to the World Trade Organization
(3) The Enlightenment: Voltaire's Candide
(4) The modern case for optimism: Matt Ridley's The Rational Optimist
(5) The decline of violence in the 20th century
(6) The history of nuclear energy
(7) Energy policy for the future of Japan and the world
(8) Student debate and discussion
More information and links to resources will be posted on the course web page: http://www.themindseye.ca/opencollege/opencollege.html
成城大学 企画調整室 （「成城 学びの森」事務局）
〒157-8511 東京都世田谷区成城6-1-20 Tel.03-3482-9031 Fax.03-3482-9467