Tag Archives: war

New Linfield PLACE themes announced

Although war has and always will be a part of mankind, this year’s Program for the Liberal Arts and Civic Engagement theme “Legacies of War” is coming to a close and Linfield is welcoming a new theme.

PLACE tries to promote civic engagement and social enterprise, and also create a social experience where people share their knowledge with each other.

The philosophy focused PLACE theme for the 2014-15 academic school year is “How Do We Know? Paths to Wisdom” according to Professor of Sociology and chair of the department Amy Orr.

“How Do We Know? Paths to Wisdom” aims to achieve half of the Linfield curriculum’s mode of inquiry requirements.

This includes the Natural World, Quantitative Reasoning and Ultimate Questions  LC requirements.

The theme’s goal is to combine the humanities with the sciences and to provoke asking questions from a variety of disciplinary perspectives.

“We passed the PLACE theme for 2014-2015 last year and the [new] coordinator for it is Jesus Ilduin, of the department of philosophy,” Orr said.

A liberal arts education embraces the connections among disciplines, which in turn fuels a process of collaborative understanding of the search for truth and knowledge.

Wisdom arises from each discipline, both  the sciences and the humanities have their own  strengths and the connections among them.

“How Do We Know?” explores these relations, ultimately asking: how might epistemological inquiry through the liberal arts enhance citizenship and strengthen community, according to Orr.

Voting at the April 7 Faculty Assembly meeting included adding information about the PLACE program in the college catalog.

The PLACE theme for 2015-2016 “Air, water, earth, and fire: the ancient elements on a changing planet” passed approval at the most recent Faculty Assembly meeting.

Rosa Johnson

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Professor shares insight into ‘why we war’

A guest lecturer and professor discussed why humans tend to cluster together in groups, also known as friend groups, communities and countries during a lecture on the biology behind why we war March 18 in Ice Auditorium.

Doctor Jeff Victoroff, associate professor of clinical neurology and psychiatry at University of Southern California, said we do this as people to survive. He gave an example of early humans working in groups to take down wooly mammoths.

As he continued on with his lecture he elaborated on how we instinctually feel about others who aren’t in our groups.

“The creatures that will help me survive are my group,” Victoroff said. “Everyone else is a threat.”

We know this to be true from a lime mold called Dictyoselim Discoidem, which lives on the sea floor. Many of these amoebas have a gene called csA that can be detected by others of the same species. When food is in short supply the amoebas with the gene come together to form a slug group, in which 80 percent of the amoebas will survive. Those without the gene, who are different from the group, are excluded and will die of starvation.

Humans don’t have such a gene that can be recognized by everyone, but we do have traits that help us belong to groups.

To be in a group, we must appear trustworthy, and there are two ways to be trustworthy: in-born or acquired.

In-born trustworthiness is our chemical make up, our skin color and other things of that nature, aspects we cannot control. Acquired trustworthiness is our appearance, our behavior and our beliefs.

Once we have become trustworthy to the group, we start trusting the others who are in this group. Once this association has occurred, our brain creates a chemical called Oxytocin, making us feel this trustworthiness.

The reason we go to war is a two-part answer: We want to prove our trustworthiness and are threatened by others who aren’t in our group.

The ultimate way to prove our trustworthiness is through altruism. Altruism is essentially the willingness to die for one’s group. Those who perform this act are more likely to be genealogically fit, and continue on with their family tree.

Sex is often a motivator to go to war. Soldiers have the idea that they will be more sexually attractive by joining the military, and thus continuing on through their offspring.

Today, this connection still goes through our brain, but may not be the best way for many.

“This may have been perfect in the stone age,” Victoroff said. “But not in our diverse culture today.”

Chris Haddeland/Senior reporter

Chris Haddeland can be reached at linfieldreviewnews@gmail.com.