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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

John E Toews
HSTEU 406
Seattle Campus

European Intellectual History: Nineteenth Century

Selected topics in intellectual history up to 1890. The philosophical consequences of the French Revolution, the development of idealism, conservatism, romanticism, and early socialist theory; positivism, the problems of historicism, new forms of Christian apologetics, utilitarianism in decline, liberalism as philosophy, the early Marx.

Class description

The Course will examine the historical fate of the three major frameworks of thought (Scientism, Romanticism and Dialectical Theory) whose development and interaction shaped intellectual production in nineteenth century Europe. Of central concern will be the relation between secular historical consciousness and the desire to establish secure foundations for ethical values and cultural meaning. We will attempt to construct a viable historical genealogy for the course's conclusion- Nietzsche's proclamation of the "Death of God" and the "Death of Man"--extending back to the period of the French Revolution.

Student learning goals

General method of instruction

lecture/discussion

Recommended preparation

A course in modern European History, like HST 113 or HSTEU 303, or an introductory course in Western Intellectual history, like HST 207.

Class assignments and grading

Weekly response papers to the assigned Reading, collected at the mid-term and at end of course, an 8-10 page term paper, and participation in a small, unsupervised student discussion circle.

Required Reading

Texts by Jeremy Bentham, John Stuart Mill, G.W.F. Hegel, Karl Marx, Rene Chateaubriand, Gustave Flaubert and Friedrich Nietzsche, as well as a number of shorter selections from other writers.

Grading Percentages

Mid-term 30% Term Paper 30% Final exam 40%


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by John E Toews
Date: 04/22/2005