Ideas of the Twentieth Century

Course Code: UT.2.01x

Prerequisites: None, except for intermediate fluency in English reading/writing.

Classes Start September 15, 2013

Faculty: Daniel Bonevac, Roy Flukinger, Daniel Muñoz (Student Technology Assistant)


Learn how philosophy, art, literature, and history shaped the last century and the world today.

The last century ushered in significant progress. Philosophers, scientists, artists, and poets overthrew our understanding of the physical world, of human behavior, of thought and its limits, and of art, creativity, and beauty. Scientific progress improved the way we lived across the world.

Yet the last century also brought increased levels of war, tyranny, and genocide. Man pushed boundaries of good and evil, right and wrong, justice and injustice – and people lost faith in values. Now, thinkers and leaders are reconstructing theories of value and creating institutions to embody them.

Join this thought-provoking, broad-sweeping course as it draws intriguing connections between philosophy, art, literature, and history, illuminating our world and our place in it.






While not formally required, prior to or during the course, you might wish to read the book: Churchill, Winston S. The Gathering Storm. Mariner Books, 1986. Which can be found in part online in Google Books here:

This course is being offered with the support of The University of Texas at Austin’s Liberal Arts Instructional Technology Services (LAITS). A version of this course is also offered in person on the University of Texas at Austin campus as a Signature Course in the School of Undergraduate Studies.


Daniel Bonevac

Daniel Bonevac is a Professor of Philosophy at the University of Texas at Austin who specializes in metaphysics, logic, and ethics. He was Chairman of the Department of Philosophy from 1991 to 2001. He majored in philosophy at Haverford College, and got his MA and PhD in philosophy from the University of Pittsburgh, working primarily with Wilfrid Sellars, Gerald Massey, and Carl Hempel. His first book, Reduction in the Abstract Sciences, received the Johnsonian Prize from The Journal of Philosophy. He has written four other books: Deduction, The Art and Science of Logic, Simple Logic, and Worldly Wisdom and edited or co-edited four others: Today's Moral Issues, Beyond the Western Tradition, Understanding Non-Western Philosophy, and Introduction to World Philosophy (the last three with Stephen Phillips). He is also Co-founder of BriefLogic.

Roy Flukinger

Roy Flukinger is the Senior Research Curator of the Harry Ransom Center at The University of Texas at Austin, where he assists in the development, administration and interpretation of the collections. He holds degrees from Tulane University and from The University of Texas at Austin, and has taught as an Adjunct Lecturer or Assistant Professor at UT and other institutions of higher learning. He has published and lectured extensively in the fields of regional, cultural and contemporary photography and the history of art and photography, and has produced or participated in over eighty exhibitions. His more recent publications have been on the Center’s famous Gernsheim Collection and upon such twentieth century artists and photographers as Arnold Newman, Fritz Henle and David Douglas Duncan.

Daniel Muñoz

Daniel Muñoz is a junior at the University of Texas at Austin studying philosophy and linguistics. His philosophical interests are mostly in the philosophy of mind and metaethics. Recently, Daniel was awarded the Mary Sue Collins Hibbs Scholarship in Philosophy for his scholastic achievement. Outside of academics, he serves as co-editor of Ex Nihilo, UT's undergraduate philosophy journal, and president of Texas Secular Humanists, a community service organization for non-religious students he co-founded in 2011. An active choral singer, he has served as president of the University of Texas Men's Chorus.