Comparative Literature | The Eighteenth Century: The Modern Self
C529 | 1223 | Kenshur

30-3:45	TR	BH 236
Meets with C329 & CULS C701
The course will provide a general introduction to eighteenth-century
literature and thought while focusing on a development that has become the
object of keen interest in recent years, namely, the emergence of the
concept of the self. Since concepts of self are necessarily intertwined
with ideas about the relationship between self and other, between the
political subject and political authority, and between the individual and
God, the course will inevitably touch on psychology, epistemology, ethics,
political theory, and religious thought. Since our texts will include
works from a variety of literary and philosophical genres, and since a
knowledge of earlier developments will be necessary for an understanding
of why explorations of the nature of the self form a central concern
throughout the eighteenth century, the course will amount to a high-level
introduction to early-modern literature and thought. It will also provide
an indispensable background for those interested in nineteenth- and
twentieth-century debates about subjectivity.

There will be a short paper due mid-semester, and a long paper due at the
end of the semester.
Texts will include the following:

Descartes, Discourse on Method and Meditations
Hobbes, Leviathan
Locke, Second Treatise on Government
Defoe, Robinson Crusoe
Shaftesbury, Essay Concerning Virtue, or Merit
Pope, Essay on Man  Bobbs-Merrill
Montesquieu, Persian Letters
Sterne, Sentimental Journey
Rousseau, Confessions
Diderot, D'Alembert's Dream