This course examines how the rationalism of the enlightenment affected European social thought through the nineteenth century, specifically through Nationalism, Socialism and Liberalism. We also examine the impact of Darwinism and technological progress on the European imagination, ending with an examination of the backlash against rationalism in the early twentieth century. The course begins and ends with a discussion of the position assigned to women in these various social theories.
Where possible, required readings have been sought on the internet (I). However, students may wish to buy paper copies of texts available online since paperbacks can be obtained very cheaply through amazon.com.
John Stuart Mill On
Karl Marx Communist Manifesto (I) Nietzsche On the Genealogy of Morals
Thomas Paine The Rights of Man (I) Borges “Kafka and his Precursors”
Mary Baker Eddy Science and Health (I) Sartre Essays in Existentialism, Part II.
Freud On the Interpretation of Dreams (I)
Friedrich Nietzsche Genealogy of Morals (I)
Friedrich Nietzsche Beyond Good and Evil (I)
Friedrich Engles The Principles of Communism (I)
Ernest Hemingway “A Clean Well-lighted Place” (I)
Thomas Kuhn The Structure of Scientific Revolutions (I)
Wollstonecraft Vindication of Rights of Man
Carl Jung Memories, Dreams, Reflections
Viginia Woolf A Room of One’s Own
Jules Verne The Mysterious
Mary Shelley Frankenstein
Franz Kafka The Trial
Goethe Faust - - - - note! Be sure to get Walter Kaufman’s
Nietzsche Beyond Good and Evil - - - - translations for Goethe and Nietzsche!
Three take home exams, five pages each: 20% each. The final exam is no different from the mid-terms, though the questions in the final will return to authors discussed in the beginning of the course. Fifteen-page research paper: 40%. Students must submit electronic copies of all work, since work will be spot-checked for academic dishonesty. Papers are considered “on time” if the electronic copy arrives in my inbox before on the due date. Late papers are marked down 10% for the first day late, 4% for each subsequent day.
Attendance is mandatory. Students get one free absence. The second absence costs you 3% off the final grade. All subsequent absences cost you 6% off your final grade. Students who miss more than 8 sessions cannot pass the course.
Week 1 Introduction to class.
Week 2 Enlightenment and Revolution: Replacing the monarchical principle with “national brotherhood.”
Paine The Rights of Man (Only read
W Discussion: Mary Wollstonecraft Vindication of the Rights of
Declaration of the Rights of Man http://www.yale.edu/lawweb/avalon/rightsof.htm
Declaration … Rights of Woman http://members.aol.com/agentmess/frenchrev/wmanright.html
F Nations and States
Week 3 Herder: The cultural content of nationalism (or lack thereof).
Johann Herder Ideas
toward a Philosophy of History (from
Adler, Menze, eds .,128-149,
W Herder, cont. 178-184, 187-208. Also read the texts from the following patriotic songs:
F Patriotic texts: Students bring two patriotic songs to class (should predate 1850).
Arndt: “Where is the German fatherland?” http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/mod/arndt-vaterland.html
The Marseillaise http://www.marseillaise.org/english/english.html
Petõfi “Rise up, O Magyar!” http://www.oocities.org/rassendyll.geo/sandor.html
Week 4 Marxism: social classes as historical actor in competition to the nation
Background to Marx: Excerpt from Hegel Introduction to lectures on Philosophy of
W Marx The Communist Manifesto http://www.anu.edu.au/polsci/marx/classics/manifesto.html
F Engles The Principles of Communism
Week 5 The Liberal Response: “The Greatest Good for the Greatest Number”
John Stuart Mill On
W Utilitarianism practice session (in class discussion, no homework)
F Benjamin Disraeli “Utilitarian follies”
Darwin On the Origin of Human Species
(chapters 1, 3, 4, 14)
Harun Yahya “A Brief History of the Theory of Evolution.” http://saif_w.tripod.com/interesting_articles/brief_history_of_theory_of_evolution.htm
Stephen J. Gould “Evolution as Fact and Theory”
Optional: watch the movie Inherit the Wind
Kuhn The Structure of Scientific
Revolutions Chapter 9
Take home exam 1: Rationality (five page essay)
Week 7 Fantasies of Science
Religion? Mary Baker Eddy Science and
Health, chapter 1
W Jules Verne The Mysterious Island (whole book)
F Positivism and social Darwinism, the “corruption of science.” George Orwell “James Burnham and the Managerial Revolution” http://etext.library.adelaide.edu.au/o/o79e/part40.html
(Five page essay due!)
Week 8 Psychology
Freud On the Interpretation of Dreams
(start with “the method of interpreting dreams”,
read to end)
Optional: watch the movie “Forbidden Planet”
W Carl Jung Memories, Dreams, Reflections¸ ch. xxx (hand out Meyers-Briggs tests)
F Discussion of Meyers Briggs tests. History of IQ testing.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe Faust, part 1. (Walter
Kaufman’s bilingual edition).
W Faust, continued.
F Shelley Frankenstein (Be sure and read the book, the movie is different.)
Week 10 Nietzsche: nobility as transcendence?
Nietzsche, On the Genealogy of Morals,
“Good and Evil, Good and Bad” (~ 20 pages)
Optional: Watch the film Rope.
Friedrich Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil,
Countries, What is Noble?”
F Discussion: Vitalism: Nietzshe as proto-Nazi
Take home exam 2 Nietzsche and Freud (five page essay)
W Borges “Kafka and his precursors”
(Don’t forget: five-page paper due!)
Sartre Essays on Existentialism part
W Camus “The Myth of Sisyphus” http://english.uindy.edu/english_331_docs/camus.htm
F Hemingway “A Clean Well-lighted Place” http://www.online-library.org/fictions/cleanplc.htm
Week 13 Feminism
and answer about research papers
W Virginia Woolf A Room of One’s Own (1)
F Room of one’s Own (2)
Due in Class on Friday: Research Paper (15 pages)
Week 14 Instead of a summary: Women in the writings of selected “Dead White Males”:
The Origin of the Family, Private
Property, and the State “The Monogamous Family”
W J.S. Mill On the Subjection of Women http://www.constitution.org/jsm/women.htm
F Nietzsche Beyond Good and Evil “Our Virtues”
Take home final exam: feminism (5 page essay)