Concepts of Modernity I: Philosophical Foundations (ILAC 334A, MTL 334A)
In the late eighteenth century, Immanuel Kant proclaimed his epoch to be "the genuine age of criticism." He went on to develop the critique of reason, which set the stage for many of the themes and problems that have preoccupied Western thinkers for the last two centuries. This fall quarter survey is intended as an introduction to these themes and problems. The general course layout draws equal parts on Koselleck's practice of "conceptual history" (Begriffsgeschichte) and on Jameson's "cognitive mapping." After consideration of an important, if often under-appreciated precedent (the baroque), we turn our attention to the conceptual triad of subject, reason and critique, followed by that of revolution, utopia and sovereignty. Authors may include Hegel, Marx, Nietzsche, Weber, Freud, Lukács, and others. This course is the first of a two-course sequence. Priority to graduate students in MTL, ILAC, and English.