The Uncommon Core

Perspectives-Enduring Questions

The following is a list of enduring questions that you will explore in Perspective-Enduring Questions courses. This is not meant to be a complete or final list, and course EQs may evolve over time. Nonetheless, these are the sorts of questions you will ponder, discuss and argue about in your P-EQs!

History (HIS.Q)

  • What can the study of history teach us?
  • What is the relationship between power and change?
  • What are the key social, political, and intellectual structures that lie at the heart of cultures?

Literature (ENGL.Q and LIT.Q)

  • What does it mean to be virtuous?
  • What makes us human?
  • What is the meaning of life?
  • How can we bring order to chaos?
  • What is at stake in humanity's evolving conceptions of nature?
  • How can literature reinforce and/or upset existing identity structures (such as social class, race or gender)?

Mathematics (MTH.Q)

  • How can we know mathematical truths?
  • What is mathematics?
  • What does it mean to prove something mathematically?
  • Why do some think mathematics is beautiful?
  • How do mathematicians construct and communicate a convincing argument in Calculus?

Philosophy (PHL.Q)

  • What is knowledge?
  • What is science?
  • What is happiness? What is the meaning of life?
  • Do we have free will?

Religious Studies (RES.Q)

  • What is the meaning and purpose of life?
  • What is the relationship between religion and culture?

Social Science (ANT.Q, ECO.Q, GEO.Q, PSC.Q, PSY.Q, SOC.Q)

  • What are the intersections of globalization and culture?
  • How might cultural diversity support a just and peaceful world?
  • How do markets confront the problem of scarcity?
  • How is falling in love influenced by social forces?
  • Why do people on welfare not have jobs?
  • Is obesity a social or individual problem?
  • Are racism and sexism things of the past?
  • Is our criminal justice system fair?
  • What is justice?
  • What influences how you experience the world?
  • Why do we live where we do?

Natural Science (BIO.Q, CHM.Q, SCI.Q)

  • What does it mean to be a sexually reproducing organism?
  • How do scientists use the scientific method to understand the processes that occur in living systems and inorganic processes?
  • How should we balance our growing need for plants with our responsibility to care for our planet?
  • What makes human beings 'work' (biologically speaking)?
  • Are microbes our friends or our foes?
  • How should we represent chemical systems?
  • What shaped the earth's surface?
  • How should we use our knowledge of nutrients to achieve optimal health?
  • What does moderation mean in the context of health?
  • Why does sound matter?
  • Why can acoustical phenomena affect us so profoundly?
  • How has human existence influenced the environment and how can we predict future environmental impacts?

Visual and Performing Arts (AED.Q, AHI.Q, MUS.Q, THA.Q)

  • What is Art?
  • How is art related to the humanities, communities, culture and the world?
  • How important is freedom for artistic creativity?
  • What can theatre teach us, about ourselves and about culture?
  • What is the significance of music in our lives?
  • What in the world is music?