Counter-enlightenment

Course Requirement Areas: 
History of Philosophy
Term: 
Winter
Credits: 
2.0
Level: 
Master’s
Type: 
Elective
Course Description: 

Counter-Enlightenment” is a retrospectively-generated term made famous by Isaiah Berlin to refer to certain strains in 18th and 19th century thought that react against the idea of the enlightenment process as found in 18th century Enlightenment thinkers.  While there is a political dimension to the Counter-Enlightenment, this course focuses more on its skepticism about the place and nature of reason as well as its attention to cultural diversity as the basis for differences among humans in conceiving, knowing and judging. We will begin by reading Berlin on Counter-Enlightenment which serves as an overview and provocation. We will then spend most of the rest of the time reading J.G. Herder on the philosophy of language and especially his thinking in This Too a Philosophy of History (M. Forster’s translation of Auch eine Philosophie der Geschichte).  The exact plan will take students’ preferences into consideration.

Learning Outcomes: 

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Assessment: 

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