Problems of Contemporary Thought, September 1923-June 1924



a series of lectures and round tables on modern thinking

a survey of science, society, art and philosophy and their relations to each other

Northwestern University
Medill School of Journalism
Chicago, Illinois

September, 1923 -- June, 1924 [page 2]


STUDIES IN MATTER -- the world as scientific fact.

Sept. 19. The Components of the Material World.

Modern meanings of space, time, matter, energy (mathematics, physics, chemistry).

Lecture by W. Lee Lewis, chemist; head of the Department of Chemistry, Northwestern University; discoverer of Lewisite gas.

Sept. 26. Lecture by W. Lee Lewis.

Oct. 3. The Forms of the Material World.

The organizations of matter in nature (astronomy, geology, etc.).

Lecture by Forest R. Moulton, astronomer; author; Professor of Astronomy, University of Chicago.

Oct. 10. Lecture by Forest R. Moulton.

Oct. 17. The Appearance of Life in the World.

Life as scientific fact, biological development (biology, evolution, etc.).

Lecture by Arthur [I.]. Kendall, bacteriologist; Dean, Northwestern University School of Medicine.

Oct. 24. Lecture by Arthur [I]. Kendall.

Oct. 31. The Appearance of Consciousness.

The place of consciousness in the natural world (animal behavior, psychology, psychopathology, etc.).

Lecture by Delton T. Howard, Assistant Professor of Psychology, Northwestern University.

Nov. 7. Lecture by Joseph Jastrow, author; Professor of Psychology, University of Wisconsin.

STUDIES IN SOCIAL POLICY -- the world of conduct and practical action.

Nov. 14. The Beginnings of Society; Prehistoric Man.

Social origins and fundamental groupings (anthropology, archaeology, ethnology, primitive societies).

Lecture by Fay-Cooper Cole, anthropologist; Assistant Curator, Field Museum of Natural History; Lecturer in Anthropology, Northwestern University.

Nov. 21. Lecture by Fay-Cooper Cole.

Dec. 5. The Historical Forms and Tendencies of Society.

Social evolution in the historical period; the lesson of history (history).

Lecture by Ferdinand Schevill, authors; Professor of Modern History, University of Chicago.

Dec. 12. Lecture by Ferdinand Schevill.

Dec. 19. The Course of Modern Society in its Adjustment to the Natural World.

The alliance with nature, the applied sciences (agriculture, medicine, engineering, applied chemistry, etc.).

Lecture by Herbert S. Philbrick, Professor of Mechanical Engineering, Northwestern University.

Jan. 9. Lecture by Edwin E. Slosson, author; editor of Science Service, Washington, D.C.

Jan. 16. The Economic Adjustments Within Modern Society.

Modern tendencies of economic organization (economics).

Lecture by Frederick S. Deibler, economist; head of the Department of Economics, Northwestern University.

Jan. 23. Lecture by Frederick S. Deibler. [page 3]

Feb. 6. The Future of Civilization.

Changing conceptions of social institutions and of government (sociology, law, education, etc.).

Lecture by Jane Addams, settlement worker; founder of Hull House.

Feb. 13. Lecture by Edward Alsworth Ross, sociologist; author; Professor of Sociology, University of Wisconsin.

STUDIES IN PERSONAL VALUES -- the world of appreciation and intrinsic value.

Feb. 20. The Field of Intrinsic Interests Contrasted with That of Practical and Casual Relations.

The appreciative interests in the modern world; what do men want (aesthetics, art).

Lecture by Robert Morss Lovett, author; Professor of English, University of Chicago; editorial board, New Republic.

Feb. 27. Lecture by Robert Morse Lovett.

March 5. The Meaning of the Arts.

Modern tendencies in literature (literature).

Lecture by Robert Herrick, author; Professor of English, University of Chicago.

March 12. Lecture by Robert Herrick.

March 19. Types of Value.

Types of value in modern activities and arts (music, art, etc.)

Lecture by John Alden Carpenter, composer; business man.

March 26. Lecture by Charles F. Kelley, curator of the Art Institute, Chicago.


April 2. The Spiritual Approach.

The religious account of the world.

Lecture by Horace J. Bridges, author; lecturer; leader of the Chicago Ethical Society.

April 9. Lecture by Charles Clayton Morrison, clergyman; editor of the Christian Century.

April 16. The Descriptive Approach.

The scientific account of the world.

Lecture by Henry Crew, physicist; head of the Department of Physics, Northwestern University.

April 23. The Practical Approach.

The world as a field of activity; the compromise of the man on the street.

Lecture by Addison W. Moore, author; Professor of Philosophy, University of Chicago.

April 30. Lecture by Glenn Frank, editor of Century Magazine.

May 7. The Speculative Approach.

The philosophical account of the world.

Lecture by Edward L. Schaub, Professor of Philosophy, Northwestern University.

May 14. Lecture by (to be arranged).

May 21. Conclusion.

The meaning of a unified idea of the world.

Lecture by Albion W. Small, sociologist; author; Dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Literature, University of Chicago. [page 4]

{from the catalogue}

Journalism C15 and C16. Problems of Contemporary Thought -- This course is designed to give the student a unified idea of the world in which he lives. A survey of the sciences, the problems of social action and the appreciative and spiritual interests of the individual will be made with an aim to [coordinate] the student's knowledge and to help him to relate the fragments of his educational experience in an intelligible whole. Weekly lectures by authorities in natural science, biology, psychology, sociology, history, economics, art and philosophy will be given progressively with a plan, not only to correlate these interests, but to suggest their tendencies of new growth and future changes. The lectures as a group are planned to present a survey of the field of modern thought. A weekly round table will be held by the instructor in charge to aid the student by his discussion and comment in the further synthesis of his material. The round tables are open to persons who have at least eight hours credit. The course is required of all candidates for a degree in Journalism. The lectures are open to all.

Given in Chicago. Credit for entire course, three semester-hours each semester. Credit, for lectures alone, one semester-hour each semester. Professor Brownell.

Further information can be obtained from

The Medill School of Journalism
Northwestern University
31 West Lake Street

*The lectures listed in this tentative schedule for the course in Problems of Contemporary Thought will be open to all. Preceding each lecture a two-hour round table will be held for the discussion and [coordination] of the material of the lectures. The round tables will be limited to 35 students. The round tables and the general organization of the course are in charge of Professor Baker Brownell, Northwestern University, Chicago.