Honors | Ideas and Experience - Modern
H212 | 0004 | P. Eisenberg


1:00-2:15P  TR  SY 022

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
evilconsist, 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 novel
Beloved, and Julian Barnes's fictional A History of the World in 10
l/2 Chapers. There will be two short (approximately five-page) papers,
and a final paper of approximately fifteen pages, on topics to be
announced; there will be no examination.