Dec 09, 2022  
2022-2023 Undergraduate Catalog 
    
2022-2023 Undergraduate Catalog

US 282 Silence


Our culture values sound, voice, music, and noise. Unaware of our own senses in the midst of modern life, we have lost the meaning of silence. Silence is always defined in negative terms, as absence of sound, as a void and as a gap to be filled. We are not comfortable with silence. This course examines the philosophical meaning of silence across cultural and religious traditions. We will ask a number of questions: What is silence? How do other cultures understand silence? What is the place of silence in Buddhism, Hinduism, Zoroastrianism, Christianity and Islam? Are paintings silent? Are images silent? Is there a place for silence in architecture? Can/must we travel far away in search of silence? Is it possible to find/seek silence? How do we understand silence on its own terms? Did sound technology destroy silence? Is silence an environmental issue? Is death an experience of silence? How did modernism change our understanding and experience of silence?

Prerequisite: Sophomore standing or higher.