Roots of Human Behavior (The Great Courses)

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While human behavior is usually studied from the historical perspective of a few hundred years, anthropologists consider deeper causes for the ways we act. In this course, anthropologist Barbara J. King uses her wealth of research experience to open a window of understanding for you into the legacy left by our primate past. By looking […]

Theories of Human Development (The Great Courses)

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Have you ever wondered where the terms “terrible twos” and “identity crisis” come from? Did you know that the notion that children are different from adults, and require special care, is only about 200 years old? Did you know we can trace most of our modern ideas about children to just two renowned thinkers of […]

Civil Liberties and the Bill of Rights (The Great Courses)

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The civil liberties and constitutional rights our nation’s citizens possess—not only in theory, but in the courtroom, where the state can be forced to honor those liberties—are a uniquely American invention. And when we were taught history and learned about the Constitution and Bill of Rights, we were always made aware of that uniqueness, of […]

Science in the 20th Century: A Social-Intellectual Survey (The Great Courses)

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As the 19th century drew to a close, the age-old quest to understand the physical world appeared to be complete except for a few minor details. “It seems probable that most of the grand underlying principles have been firmly established,” said Albert Michelson, the first American scientist to win a Nobel Prize. But when Michelson […]

Foundations of Economic Prosperity (The Great Courses)

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Prosperity has transformed the world. Defined as the ability to afford goods and services beyond basic necessities, prosperity is now a way of life for most residents of developed countries—so commonplace that few people realize what a rare and recent phenomenon it is. A mere two centuries ago, most people lived at a subsistence level, […]

Language and Society: What Your Speech Says About You (The Great Courses)

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Language is not a passive medium of communication. In fact, it’s the active matrix through which we construct societies, and, within them, our own social lives and realities. It’s easy to view language as simply a system of symbols that describe experience. But a closer look reveals an astonishing truth: language—as we use it in […]

How We Learn (The Great Courses)

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Learning is a lifelong adventure. It starts in your mother’s womb, accelerates to high speed in infancy and childhood, and continues through every age, whether you’re actively engaged in mastering a new skill, intuitively discovering an unfamiliar place, or just sleeping, which is fundamental to helping you consolidate and hold on to what you’ve learned. […]

Skepticism 101: How to Think like a Scientist (The Great Courses)

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Nobel prize-winning physicist Richard Feynman said, “The first principle is that you must not fool yourself—and you are the easiest person to fool.” These words are no less insightful today than they were when he wrote them in 1985. Despite our best efforts, we are all vulnerable to believing things without using logic or having […]

Thinking about Capitalism (The Great Courses)

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As the economic system under which you live, capitalism shapes the marketplaces that determine where you live and work, how much you are paid, what you can buy, what you can accumulate toward your retirement, and every other aspect of a society based on monetary exchanges for goods and services. In an era of increasing […]

History of the Supreme Court (The Great Courses)

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For more than two centuries, the Supreme Court has exerted extraordinary influence over the way we Americans live our daily lives. The Court has defined the limits of our speech and actions since its first meeting in 1790, adding to our history books names such as John Marshall, Louis Brandeis, Hugo Black, Earl Warren, Thurgood […]