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Life of Mind

Are you ready to take a unique journey that transcends typical educational experiences and opens doors to a world with new connections? Life of the Mind (MIND) is an exciting and innovative program designed to enrich the liberal arts core taken by all University of Northern Colorado students. By studying classic writings from around the world in specially designed interdisciplinary courses, faculty and students investigate central questions that have concerned humanity through the ages.

The Life of the Mind’s offerings consist of a wide array of interdisciplinary Liberal Arts Core courses involving faculty members committed to the belief that the Liberal Arts Core curriculum should include courses that reach across the curriculum and expand the boundaries of more conventional academic programs to deal with broader intellectual concerns.

The life of the mind is the unifying theme of all the courses. In these courses students are introduced to the great traditions of Western and Eastern thought and also to the most provocative ideas of the 20th and 21st centuries. Life of the Mind courses do not present these ideas as accepted truths but endeavor instead to allow faculty and students to explore them as a living chain of questions fundamental to the human experience: “Where do we come from? What are we? Where are we going?” Through this exploration, students come to value the social, ethical, and spiritual significance of intellectual activity—the life of the mind.

Student Program Eligibility

Life of the Mind is open to all UNC students who want to enhance their intellectual pursuits. These classes can be added by any UNC student when they register. 

Program Highlights

  • Courses feature outstanding faculty from a number of fields of study across campus.
  • Students and faculty together probe the basic intellectual concerns that link these fields through the study of key writings from both Western and Eastern civilization.
  • Course study focuses on in-depth reading and lively class discussion, often also including lectures, slide presentations, and films.
  • Emphasis on building students’ skills in critical thinking, discussion, and writing.

Course Offerings

MIND 180 Course Information

Dimensions of the Human

What does it mean to be a human being? Are we bodies? Are we souls? Are we sophisticated animals or dislocated heavenly beings? In this interdisciplinary course we will examine mythopoetic, religious, philosophical, literary, anthropological, and scientific accounts of human beings as both creatures of their environment and creators of their own worlds and values.

MIND 286/PSCI 286

This course will focus on a range of value issues inherent in a market society. It will examine ancient and early modern view of markets, and both conservative and radical critiques of capitalism. It will also examine contemporary views of the role of government, the relationship between capitalism and freedom, possibilities of freedom and satisfaction within market society, and perceptions of and attitudes toward inequality. It will also examine the welfare state policies and labor laws of different capitalist nations. Thus, the course provides students with the opportunity to examine the relationship between capitalism and democracy. No background in either economics or political science is required. (LAC Area 5a – Economics and Political Systems)

MIND 281 Course Information

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