The Science and Philosophy curriculum at Tujenge is designed, more than anything, to promote deep, critical thinking in scholars. While the courses taken at Tujenge cover a wide range of topics, the primary goal is to nurture an analytic and holistic perspective of the modern world and the human practices therein.
Initially introduced in the summer term and continuing through the remainder of scholars’ academic experience, science and philosophy coursework is fundamentally interdisciplinary and designed to challenge students conceptions of the physical and social world around them.
Science and Humanity
This course introduces students to a large cross-section of philosophy and science, in particular those concerned with confronting the question “what does it mean to be human?”. Emphasis is given to (1) the history and philosophy of science, (2) evolutionary theory and genetics, (3) human evolution, and (4) neural and cognitive science. Students should complete the term with a solid grasp of the tools and methods of science (both the physical methods of science, and the ways of thinking deeply in science), alongside an appreciation of the specific content of the course.
Climate, Environment, and Human Societies
This fall semester course introduces students to the contemporary problems of environmental and climate destruction. Adopting a high-level approach to a large number of problems (while once again emphasizing a deep understanding), students learn (1) geological history and the history of life, (2) atmospheric and climate physics, (3) ocean sciences, (4) ecology and biodiversity, (5) resource use and management, and (6) environmental economics.
This course places particular emphasis on understanding the underlying physics and economics of the variety of environmental problems discussed within this term. Students should finish the term with an appreciation of complex systems analysis, in which they can view the interconnectedness of the world, and therefore the underlying linkages between the disparate problems of deforestation, plastic pollution, ocean acidification, greenhouse gas emissions, and more.
Philosophy of Life
The summer term Science and Humanity raised the question of ‘what does it mean to be human?’. In this fall semester term (which often continues into the next year), students confront the theological and philosophical approaches to the question. Surveying various religious traditions from around the world, in addition to the vast literature in different philosophical movements (from ancient Stoic thought, to modern Existentialism, to indigenous traditions worldwide), students are here asked to peer deep within themselves and consider what meaning and purpose they have, and can achieve, in life.
Modern Science and Technology
A survey of topics of particular importance in modern science, students encounter the hard science alongside discussions about the societal impacts of scientific and technological breakthroughs. This course synthesizes the discussions from courses in previous terms to challenge students to view the high-tech world through a critical lens. Topics of particular emphasis include (1) artificial intelligence, (2) gene editing, and (3) digital technology.
University Mathematics and Introduction to Computer Science
In the final term, students are challenged with university-level mathematics content (primarily calculus and statistics) and an introduction to computer science (primarily through the popular programming language python). A fuller description of these courses can be found in the Math and Computer Literacy section.