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Pacific Seminar I

50 Essays: A Portrable Anthology

Pacific Seminar 1 takes place in the first semester and introduces students to the question: "What is a Good Society?"

Pacific Seminar 1 allows all Freshman to share common intellectual experiences such as common readings and lectures, and an art experience.

Check out the common syllabus template (may vary by section)

The Happiness Hypothosis
Table of Contents

Course Description:

PACS 1 develops skills students will need to succeed in any field of study at the University and beyond. The course represents an introduction to general education in the best sense of the term: education for self-examination and engaged citizenship. Such grounding will help students develop the agency and flexibility necessary to navigate a rapidly changing political, social, and economic environment.

Student Learning Outcomes

In PACS 1, students will work to become stronger:

  • Writers-able to write concisely and cogently for a given audience.
  • Critical thinkers-sharp, nimble, inclined to search for evidence, and skilled at appraising it.
  • Readers-able to reflect upon and apply an author's main and supporting ideas and perspective.

Students will engage the following university learning objectives in PACS 1: Critical and creative thinking, communication, and sustainability.

"The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom" by Jonathan Haidt. The book explores where happiness comes from, how civilizations in the past have understood happiness, and how this applies to our modern lives. The author also examines other concepts such as virtue, reciprocity, love and attachement. This book is a great way to start thinking about larger intellectual questions and their meaning for our own actions and beliefs.

Freshmen in Pacific Seminar 1 also read essays from an anthology called "50 Essays" edited by Samuel Cohen.  The collection contains great classic and comtemporary readings on a variety of issues related to "What is a Good Society?"  The diverse readings deal with race, gender, age, political diversity, social injustice, the environment, etc.  They provide a great doundation to discuss and examine differing points of views and help students to become open and curious learners.