Social Dreamers: Marx, Nietzsche, and Freud
This introductory course for first-year students traces the development of modern social theory from the 17th to the 20th century. It begins by examining the fundamental social institutions and values that characterize modern society and the Enlightenment in the works of Descartes, Locke, Dickens, Weber and J.S. Mill: (1) rise of modern state, political democracy and utilitarianism; (2) market economy, industrialization and economic liberalism; (3) new class system and capitalism; (4) modern personality (self) and individualism; and (5) principles of natural science, technological reason and positivism. The course then turns to the dreams and imagination of Romanticism in the 19th and 20th centuries with its critique of modernity in the works of Marx (socialism), Freud (psychoanalysis), Camus and Schopenhauer (existentialism) and Nietzsche (nihilism). We will outline the development of the distinctive principles and institutions of modernity in the following works: Dickens' "Hard Times," Marx's "Economic and Philosophical Manuscripts of 1844, " Weber's "The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism" and "Science as a Vocation," Locke's "Second Treatise of Government," Mill's "On Liberty," Descartes's "The Meditations Concerning First Philosophy," Freud's "Dora: An Analysis of a Case of Hysteria" and "Five Lectures on Psychoanalysis," Camus's "The Fall," Schopenhauer's "The World as Will and Representation," and Nietzsche's "Twilight of the Idols." Students may take only one introductory-level course. This counts toward the foundation requirement for the major. No prerequisite. Offered every semester.