|Semester and Year||FA 2011|
|Time||9:30 AM - 10:45 AM|
The Enlightenment, the 18-century cultural and intellectual movement in the West, has had a lasting influence on our present values and political thought. Reason, freedom, skepticism, critical thought, progress - and even democracy - are values and commitments we have inherited from this era. In order to specify the thought of this period (as well as debates and disagreements), we will first read various authors of the Enlightenment, including Montesquieu, Rousseau, Kant, and Wollstonecraft. In the second part of the course we will turn to the legacy of the Enlightenment. We will consider the doubts and critiques that have arisen. For example, Nietzsche and Freud (and psychoanalysis) have questioned the primacy of reason in both individual and collective action; Adorno and Foucault have questioned the ethics of political rationalism; and recent feminists have noted the paradoxes of the Enlightenment's rather narrow and implicitly gendered view of equality and citizenship. Do such criticisms alter our view of the basic tenets of Enlightenment thought? Or, on the contrary, might we read them as continuing the "spirit of critique" inaugurated by the thought of the 18th century?
Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)