Module Description:

How can we discover how nature works?

Who and What am I?

What drives society?

These are three foundational questions that have shaped, and continue to shape, the pursuit of intellectual thought. A moment’s reflection will also reveal that the answers that one provides for one may impact and change the way that we think about the other two. This module surveys some of the major different attempts that humanity has made at answering these questions, as well as the controversies and challenges confronting each of these attempted answers.

Organized as a two semester lecture series, in this module, you will be introduced to some of the key ideas, thinkers, and paradigm shifts in the ways that we as human being have tried to, and still try to, make sense out of and explain the world, and learn, as well, about the shifting social, political, and material contexts in which these questions have been raised, challenged, and raised again.

Our aim in offering this module is to provide students from all the different disciplines with common understanding of the history of intellectual enquiry that has led us where we are as thinkers, learners and inquirers after knowledge today, such that you may be able to build on these foundations in your own learning and your own future furthering of thought.


SEM 1 Schedule of Lectures 

Aug 23 & 30:  From Logos to Empiricism (A/P Loy Hui Chieh)

Sep 6 & 13:  Social Contract and Progress  (Dr Jeremy Arnold)

Sep 20 & Oct 4:  The Mathematical and Mechanical Universe (A/P Kang Hway Chuan) *

Oct 11 & 25:  Darwin’s Dangerous Idea (A/P Donald Favareau) **

Nov 1 & 8:  Free Will and Determinism  (A/P Loy Hui Chieh)

Nov 15:  Summative Semester Exam

* Sept 27 Sem Break – No Class Meeting

** Oct 18: Deepavali – No Class Meeting

SEM 2 Schedule of Lectures 

Jan 17 & 24: Prof Kuldip Singh on Space, Time, Relativity

Jan 31 & Feb 7: Prof Hway Chuan on Chance and Probability

Feb 14 & 21:  Prof Loy Hui Chieh on Determinism and Freewill

Feb 28: Mid-semester break - NO CLASS

Mar 7: Prof Lo Mun Hou on Subjects and Agents

Mar 14 & 21:  Prof Kuldip Singh on Quantum Mechanics

Mar 28 & Apr 4:  Prof Don Favareau on Consciousness

Apr 11: Summative Exam