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Dr. Allen Helmstetter
Email: ahelmstett
Office: OC 3074A
Phone: 812/465-1223

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Courses in the program are designed to impart an understanding of the major thought and creative work of western culture. Students should understand and contemplate the major ideas presented in the great works of the philosophy, literature, and fine and performing arts of western Europe and the Americas. They should recognize and respond to the strengths and shortcomings of this tradition and appreciate the diverse voices that have shaped it.


All courses of the Humanities sequence seek to attain the following goals:

  • To acquaint students with their heritage of art, architecture, literature, music, philosophy as part of the Western tradition.

  • To teach students to comprehend and appreciate the primary documents and artifacts important to establishing and maintaining the Western tradition.

  • To provide a chronology for the significant events, persons and periods of development in Western culture.

  • To develop students' critical and analytical thinking skills: to teach them to identify, consider, and evaluate ideas and recurring themes at the heart of the Western tradition, especially with regard to the strengths and weaknesses of those ideas.

  • To aid students in tolerating and responding appropriately to ideas and values other than their own.

  • To improve students' self-knowledge and to enhance their awareness of themselves as moral beings and as citizens.

  • To engage such questions as the following:

    • Do universal rights and wrongs exist?

    • How do the spiritual and material values of human beings differ across time and space?

    • On what basis do we make life choices, and what kinds of knowledge do we value in making those choices?

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