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WESTERN CIVILIZATION AND HUMAN DEVELOPMENT (HDV-283374)

Online Learning Home > Online Learning Catalog > Human Development >

Course Description:


The primary goal of this course is to help students understand the historical context for philosophical issues and controversies that have shaped the contemporary study of human development. The historical inquiry traces conceptualization of human nature from the Greek philosophers and the Hebrew scriptures to current Western beliefs about child and adult development.

Two traditions addressing the nature of human nature, the Greek and Hebrew, will be explored for their continuing influence on contemporary scientific, educational, and therapeutic perspectives on human lives. Within this inquiry, the course considers central philosophical issues that inform and divide the field today: the nature-nurture controversy; continuity versus discontinuity in development (including the controversy surrounding stage theories); and the basic good or evil nature of the human.

Students will gain an appreciation for the major intellectual and heart-felt debates about human nature that have influenced the field of human development. The course will consider their divergent expressions in academia and the world of policy and practice. Throughout this inquiry students will consider the shaping of modern perspectives on human development through the interaction of facts with values and research with beliefs.

Prerequisites: A course in the social sciences or humanities and upper level critical thinking skills.

This course fully meets the General Education requirement in Western Civilization.


This online course is offered through Online Learning. You can take this as an individual course or as part of an online degree program, with term starts in March, May, September, November and January. View current term offerings and all online courses. Click here to register for online courses.

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Other Areas: The Arts | Business, Management & Economics | Community & Human Services | Communications, Humanities & Cultural Studies | Educational Studies | Historical Studies | Human Development | Labor Studies | Nursing | Science, Math & Technology | Social Science
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Liberal Study
Upper Level
Credits: 4
Meets General Education Requirement In: Western Civilization-Full

Term(s) Offered (Subject to Change) : Spring 1. Spring 2. Summer. Fall 1. Fall 2.

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