Honors | Ideas & Experience II (HON)
H212 | 13515 | Paul Eisenberg


TuTh 11:15am-12:30pm

Although the scope of the modern is indefinite, this particular
course will be concerned exclusively with works from the nineteenth
and twentieth centuries. In class discussion we shall consider a
variety of works–literary, philosophical, and scientific; the common
thread will be consideration of what these famous works indicate
about what it is to be human: Are we the creatures of an omniscient
and benevolent God, or do we exist within a merely natural (as
against supernatural) order of things? In what do human goodness and
human evil consist, and what are their sources? Is there a single
way in which it is best for all human beings to live and, if so,
what is it?  The works to be discussed include Part II of Goethe’s
Faust, selections from Marx and from Darwin, Charlotte Bronte’s
novel Jane Eyre, Whitman’s “Song of Myself” from his Leaves of
Grass, Nietzsche’s philosophical masterpiece Thus Spoke Zarathustra,
Freud’s essay Civilization and its Discontents, Primo Levi’s memoir
Survival in Auschwitz, and Toni Morrison’s novel Beloved.  Students
will be graded on in-class participation. Additionally, there will
be two short (approximately five-page) papers and a final paper of
approximately fifteen pages, on topics to be announced; and a final
exam.