Stories We Tell

Stories We Tell

Stories We Tell addresses the relationship between philosophical narratives about human nature and the way that a culture produces a variety of fictional narratives that interact with its philosophical suppositions. These stories provide us with a window through which we can look at how human beings conceive of themselves and their possibilities.


Students explore the intersection of topics by taking the following course package*:

*Courses in the FIG package may be subject to change

SCAN 199 College Connections - FIG Seminar, 1-credit

SCAN 251 Text and Interpretation - CoreEd or major satisfying course, 4-credits

This class is about stories. It is about how we tell them, what they mean to us, and how narrative permeates the very fabric of our understanding of the world. Considering this and remembering that our “universe” of stories includes narratives that we have been told, have read, and have told ourselves; we can safely say that we are not the authors of our entire sense of the world. This raises several interesting questions about the relationship between the “self” and the “other.” Some of these questions include: Are our stories our own? Who speaks for us? How do I know who I am? What obligation, if any, do I have towards others? To what extent are we determined by history?

PHIL 101 Philosophical Problems - CoreEd or major satisfying course, 4-credits

Our attempts to make sense of our lives and to find meaning in our existence lead us to ask certain classic philosophical questions. The course begins with the question of the proper role of reason in a life intelligently lived. Is philosophical thinking a necessary and important part of life? Second, we ask what role religion should play for a philosophically reflective person. This leads into questions about whether existence is absurd, without purpose or reason, or whether there is some overarching rationality and direction to our lives. Finally, we examine some of the many conditions that together define our identities as persons, conditions like our biological makeup, social narratives, cultural values, gender, and race. In other words, the key question is 'Who are you?' and 'What makes you who you are?'