Spring, 2007

DuSable 466

Tuesdays, 6:30-9:10 p.m.


Larry Arnhart

Office: Zulauf 404

Office hours:  W-F, 12:30-2:00, other times by appointment

Telephone: 815-753-7049

E-mail: larnhart@niu.edu




Charles Darwin, The Descent of Man, 2nd edition (Penguin Books, 2004)

Frans de Waal, Chimpanzee Politics, revised edition (Johns Hopkins University Press, 1998)

Allan Mazur, Biosociology of Dominance and Deference (Rowman & Littlefield, 2005)

Steven Pinker, The Blank Slate (Viking Penguin, 2002)

Peter Richerson & Robert Boyd, Not by Genes Alone: How Culture Transformed Human Evolution (University of Chicago Press, 2005)

Larry Arnhart, Darwinian Natural Right: The Biological Ethics of Human Nature (SUNY Press, 1998)

Larry Arnhart, Darwinian Conservatism (Imprint Academic, 2005)

John West, Darwin’s Conservatives: The Misguided Quest (Discovery Institute, 2006)





The final grade will be based on the grades for the journal writing (25% for journal entries #1-7 and journal responses #1-6, 25% for journal entries #8-14 and journal responses #7-13), class participation (15% for the first half of the semester and 15% for the second half), and a final paper (20%).  Grades for the first half of the semester will be handed out in class on March 20.


For the journal writing, you will be put into a journal group with two other students.  You should bring to class three copies of your journal entries and journal responses—one for the professor and two for the other two members of your group.  You will join a new journal group at the middle of the semester.


The journal entry should be at least two double-spaced pages on the reading for the week.  The point of the journal entry is for you to set down your thoughts about anything in the reading.  This will be your attempt to struggle with any issue that comes up in the reading.  Usually it is best to take up one issue that you can develop a little in two pages.


You will write journal responses for each of the two journal entries you have received.  Each journal response should be at least one double-spaced page.  The point of the journal response is for you to respond in some fruitful way to the thoughts of your journal group members.


The final paper should be at least ten double-spaced pages.  The point of the final paper is for you to elaborate your thinking about some topic related to the readings and discussions in the course.  You might build upon something that has come up in your journal writing.  The final paper will be due no later than 12 noon, May 7 in the professor’s office.  (You may slip the paper under the office door.)






Jan  16:  Introduction


Jan  23:  Darwin, 7-22, 85-86, 105-107, 116-174

              Jour #1


Jan  30:  Darwin, 207-222, 240-243, 262, 621-631, 652-689

              Jour #2, Resp #1


Feb   6:  De Waal, xi-135

              Jour #3, Resp #2


Feb  13:  De Waal, 136-215

               Jour #4, Resp #3


Feb  20:  Mazur, 1-130

               Jour #5, Resp #4


Feb  27:  Mazur, 131-167

               Jour #6, Resp #5


Mar   6:   Pinker, vii-58, 103-135

               Jour #7, Resp #6




Mar  20:  Pinker, 137-194, 269-305, 337-371

               Jour #8, Resp #7


Mar  27:  Richerson & Boyd, 1-147

                Jour #9, Resp #8


Apr    3:  Richerson & Boyd, 148-257

               Jour #10, Resp #9


Apr   10:  Arnhart, Darwinian Natural Right, 6-121

                Jour #11, Resp #10


Apr   17:  Arnhart, Darwinian Natural Right, 123-230

                Jour #12, Resp #11


Apr   24:  Arnhart, Darwinian Conservatism, 1-129

                Jour #13, Resp #12


May    1:  West, 9-103

                 Jour #14, Resp #13