This course name and description ONLY applies to academic year 2017-2018

SOC 13181-4: Sustainable Wisdom, Civilization, and the Good Life

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Instructor: Eugene Halton

The story of civilization as a march from primitive conditions and scarcity to inevitable progress and abundance has given way to a record showing the legacy of pre- and non-civilized peoples as thriving in sustainable lifestyles and beliefs. The advent of civilization marks a break from that long past and its sustainable wisdom, toward progressive ways of living that also came with many costs, ancient and modern.

Through a combination of diverse readings, practical activities, and resources from the sustainable wisdom conference, this seminar will consider the place of sustainable wisdom for contemporary civilization. The first weeks examine the watershed of consciousness involved in the transition from hunter-gatherer life to that of agriculturally-based civilization. Later topics include transitions to modern life and how practices and ideas from the legacy of sustainable wisdom might contribute to the good life today.