grayed out notes with links below are from last year’s seminar and indicate how discussions emerge and interconnect. 

They represent examples of topics that may be covered as we proceed.  The exact offerings are determined by

● the basic course objectives (integration of ways of knowing the world at multiple levels of organization);

● specific interests of seminar participants;

Emerging research and scholarship in constituent fields;       

● specific interests of guest experts that may visit to explore their interests in the light of A&O.   


1 Jan 24    
2   31    
3 Feb 7    
4   14    
5   21    
6   28    
7 Mar 7    
8   21    
9   28    
10 Apr 4    
11   11    
12   18    
13   25    
14 May 2    
15   9 LAST DAY   


gray links are from 2022

(contents will be slightly different in 2023) 

topics drawn from following themes  likely activities
January 24 A&O (1) CONNECTIONS!  Within and Between us ● The art and science of art and science– how they co-constitute our cognitive universe ● what do WORDS really MEAN?      ● MEANINGS are DEEPER than WORDS  Check-in (who we are and our interests; 2-3 minutes at most) ● the IDEA of CONNECTIONS ● the PROBLEM with WORDSPSYCHO-SEMANTIC WORD MAPSCheck-out (what ideas stood out for you?) possibly by e-mail  READ notes for meeting 1
January 31 A&O (2) DEEP ETHOLOGY, real animals in the real world ● EXISTENTIAL PHENOMENOLOGY real people in the real world Check-in (who we are and our interests; 2-3 minutes at most; comment on what stood out from last week) ● Continue with DEEP ETHOLOGY and the aspects of ART. Check-out (things that stood out this week, by e-mail from your diary notes, taken during class). 
February 7 A&O (3) ● How do we know what to believe: COHERENCE and CORRESPONDENCE. 

Patterns of influence between traits: PLEIOTROPY and POLYGENIC.  Balance ● Essential Tensions ● INDIVIDUATION and SOCIALIZATION● SENSATIONS, PERCEPTIONS, CONCEPTIONS

traits influence–and are influenced by–other traits (including between levels of organization) –how does that work? Human development, cultural transmission, “learning to learn” …  Bias, congenital and acquired
February 14 A&O (4) ● first Powerpoint development discussion about behavior of your choice followed by comments on its DEEP ethology

DEVELOPMENT, BIAS, and learning,  ● congenital and acquired bias: how WEIRD we are; The “body bias”–Meaning and the Body  

February 21 A&O (5) ●  Powerpoint presentations … NEEDS ● CHANGE: the maelstrom of perpetual disintegration and  renewal;● key ideas that lead up to STRESS   consolidate DEVELOPMENT; and MIND MAPS  What level of organization are YOU?
February 28 A&O (6) ● EMERGENCE and EXCEPTIONALISM … going between levels of organization. CONSCIOUSNESS

ART and SCIENCE and TRUTH;● when TRUTH is a LIE; ● is SAPIENCE and SENTIENCE: accurately represented by math & art? see: A&O’s ART & MATHEMATICS notes

March 7 A&O (7) ● A Stroke of Insight …  PLAUSIBLE STORIES,

● TRUTH and BELIEF (correspondence and coherence)


● PERCEPTION: BRING EXAMPLES of ART representing an anchor for an aspect of your topic (could be a short narrative of a personal experience)

“How do we know?” — Perception and stimuli;

“adaptation”, “fitness”, “selection pressure,”


March 14

spring break

March  21 A&O (8)  ● What will we learn from CAVE ART about the creation, transmission, and reception of art & artifacts engendered in such an alien context by people we can barely imagine?  
March 28 A&O (9) FILLING-IN gaps in perception and conception… connected to stories?


●  CAUSES and CONSEQUENCES, beginnings and endings.

what can ancient cave art tell us about the cognitive competencies of the artists?

what can PAREIDOLIA tell us about PERCEPTIONS and BIAS ?  (“filling-in”) 

what can RITUALIZATION tell us about BRICOLAGE and EVOLUTION ?

April 4 A&O (10) ● CONTINUING last week emphasizing TRUTH and BEAUTY.  Does RITUALIZATION explain our assessment of beauty?   ART & ARTIFACT ,,, WHAT is in the mind of the artist?  does it matter?  why do we want to know about our ancestors 
April 11 A&O (11) BEAUTY- its attributes, its evolution, its “attractiveness” & “Gorgeous trumps Everything.”    
April 18 A&O (12) Follow-up, follow-through.   
April 25 A&O (13) POWERPOINT PRESENTATIONS Please post powerpoints  as attachments to e-mail

final versions with changes if any after considering feedback: May 1

May 2 A&O (14) WHAT DO WE WANT? WHY DO WE WANT IT? How do we get it?  whatdoes it feel like?

STUDENT PRESENTATIONS and DEBRIEFING: what has stood out? what has changed? Powerpoint perfections 



May 9 A&O (15) 

Final Exam and au revoir! pot-luck off campus adieuadiosarrivederci, sayonara



“Be well, do good work, and keep in touch”

be prepared to create a mind-map.

DEADLINE for Semester Report: (paper  or Artwork+artist’s statement) is May 17 (registrar’s scheduled final exam time)