Contemporary Civilizations : An Essential Part Of An Individual 's Highest Level Of Achievement

1461 Words Nov 29th, 2015 6 Pages
Contemporary Civilizations is a course intended to provoke conversation and thought on an individual’s role in a community. We see this premise outlined in Columbia University 's description of the course, which states, “the central purpose of Contemporary Civilization is to introduce students to a range of issues concerning the kinds of communities ... that human beings construct for themselves” (Contemporary Civilizations Home Page). While analyzing the types of communities different texts discuss, we have come across the conversation relating an individual’s inner nature and his (or her) external circumstances. Up to the point of Teresa de Cartagena’s texts, writers argue that an individual’s highest level of achievement is primarily influenced by their internal nature and only secondarily reinforced by external circumstances. Teresa’s argument contradicts this idea. Since the purpose of this course is to discuss texts reexamine the values on which we establish our communities, it is crucial to incorporate these contradicting ideas within a shared conversation. Teresa de Cartagena’s writings are an essential part of the Contemporary Civilizations curriculum because she contradicts her predecessors in this conversation and provides the valuable insight that these external circumstances are the primary determinant of an individual 's achievement regardless of their inherent nature.
First, an idea consistently emphasized throughout the texts is that our human nature is…
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