The Academic and Interdisciplinary Module on Failure versus Success:

‘Fail: the Best Laid Schemes and How They Go Awry’

 

Critical observers of our age argue that it is dominated by a ‘Religion of Success’: in all human endeavors, failure is either not an option or a major embarrassment. Success brings recognition and entitlement, failure brings ostracism and shame. This module aims to reflect critically and in close interaction with the students about the meaning of success and to explore the phenomenon of failure from the multi-disciplinary perspective of liberal arts and sciences. It studies a wide variety of cases (real and imagined), experiences, and definitions of failure in the search for answers to questions such as the following: ‘Is there an intrinsic (cognitive, moral, social, economic) value to failure?’ and ‘Can failure be seen as valuable in itself, instead of as the opposite of, or as an obstacle, to success?’

The module aims to:

  • Explore the phenomenon of failure from a multidisciplinary (philosophical, historical, psychological, and economical) perspective    of liberal arts and sciences.

  • Reflect critically and in close interaction with the students about the meaning of success and excellence in modern culture.

  • To address questions such as ‘Is there an intrinsic (cognitive, moral, social, economic) value to failure? and ‘Can failure be seen     as valuable in itself, instead of as the opposite of, or as an obstacle, to success?

The module consists of the following series of lectures:

These lectures are all embedded in courses that are part of the mandatory first year core curriculum.

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