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Introductory Seminars for First-Year Students
Secrets are everywhere: in our personal lives, in our families, in our work, in our governments, and even, according to religion and poets, in our hearts. What is a secret and why do we keep them? How do we do secrecy? What is the cost—and the burden—of secret-keeping? Is it possible to keep secrets without telling lies?
The primary focus of this seminar will be professional secrecy, as we explore corporate confidentiality and the secret-keeping expected of all of us as professionals. Particular attention will be given to the mandated secrecy required of clergy, physicians, psychologists, attorneys, and those who are engaged in issues of national security. Participants in this seminar will gain awareness of multiple types of professional secrecy, including classification schemes such as SECRET and TOP SECRET, and will learn strategies for keeping secrets. We will also explore psychology of secrecy, and secret-keeping in relationships. Throughout the course, we will apply a framework of ethical reasoning to better understand our willingness to keep secrets and our decision to betray secrets and will grapple with the intersection of secrets, lies and obfuscation.
This seminar will be offered in Autumn and Winter Quarters.