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LIBS 7025 - Thinking in Humanities & Social Sciences

Liberal Studies Part-time Studies Course

School of Computing and Academic Studies

Course Details

"The same exactness” should not be expected in all areas of study (Aristotle, The Ethics). Each term this course will aim to put this longstanding methodological principle to the test, by examining a common issue from the standpoint of several disciplines within the humanities and social sciences. Instructors (typically three) from different disciplinary backgrounds will lead students in seminar discussion, debate, and problem solving. The overriding issue to be examined may vary from term to term, as will the combination of disciplines or fields of study – e.g. history of ideas, evolutionary psychology, sociology, philosophy, or cognitive science. The particular topic connecting the chosen disciplines or fields will have an historical dimension, and refer to recent research in the humanities and social sciences. Through this cross-disciplinary approach, seminar participants will be encouraged to think about the benefits and limits of thinking within the methods and approaches of a specific discipline. They will also be encouraged to consider the inevitable trade-offs between scope and precision in each discipline when applied to cross-disciplinary issues. Examples of cross-disciplinary issues may include the following: our dual genetic-cultural origins; differences between computational and human thinking; morality as a function of biological and social influences; the nature and limits of human autonomy; the development of the self in civil society.


BCIT ENGL 1177, or 6 credits BCIT Communication at 1100-level or above, or 3 credits of a university/college first-year social science or humanities course.



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Learning Outcomes

  • Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:

Describe specific philosophical, literary, artistic, technological, or scientific issues presented in the course.

Identify ambiguity, controversy and complexity by assessing the relative merits of different interpretations of issues and/or texts.

Recognize and articulate the distinctions between continuity and change, related to course themes. Define the concepts of context, idea, historical period, cultural distinctions, and enduring human concerns (e.g., the individual's relationship to society, technology, authority), as they relate to the overall course topic.

Apply, in course assignments and discussions, cross-disciplinary approaches, ideas, and solutions. Critically read and assess material from disciplines, genres, and eras other than those normally encountered in her/his BCIT technology program.

Evaluate credibility, context, evidence, and soundness of reasoning related to course themes. Compare traditional and contemporary approaches to past and current controversies presented in the course.

Produce paragraph-based, essay-based and/or oral presentations that evaluate aspects of the course material.

Produce written arguments and essays, and oral arguments in class discussion that demonstrate skills in critical thinking, reading, and writing.

Present ideas and research findings in a research paper / project report.

Produce a list of references that demonstrates sound research methodology and citation skills.

Show an understanding of the nature and scope of methods of inquiry used by two or more disciplines within the social sciences or humanities.

Apply the methods of two or more disciplines within the social sciences or humanities to a common topic or problem.

Effective as of Spring/Summer 2016

Related Programs

LIBS 7025 is offered as a part of the following programs:

School of Construction and the Environment

  1. Civil Engineering
    Full-time   Bachelor of Engineering


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