What We Feel and What We Mean
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A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.

Humans are the only animal that blushes, laughs, has religion, wages war, and kisses with lips.

What does it mean to be a human being? What is there that we do, or that we should do, or that we must do, that makes us different from the other beings with whom we share the universe?

This class will explore the arts in New York City–but more than that we will be looking at art as a human (distinctively human) creation. Humans are the animals who (among other things) make art. But what makes art art? and what makes human human?  We’ll challenge each other to define art, to see how it works and what it does for the people who make it (audiences and artists alike), and by the end, to refine our own aesthetics, our own ideas of what the arts will do for us, have done for others, and how the arts can infuse (and change) everything we do as learners, seekers, and human beings.