Spring 2003                                                              Mr. Cohen

History 291: Modern Thought II, 1789 to present


Required Texts

Stromberg, European Intellectual History since 1789 (Prentice-Hall)

Knoebel, Classics of Western Thought III:  The Modern World  (Harcourt-Brace)

J.S. Mill, The Autobiography (Riverside)

Erich Fromm, Marx's Concept of Man (Ungar)

Dostoevsky, Notes From Underground (Bantam)

Freud, Civilization and its Discontents (Norton)

Woolf, A Room of One's Own (Harvest)


On e-Reserve:

Bentham, Principles of Legislation

Hegel, Selection from Phenomenology of Mind

Foucault, Selection from Discipline and Punish

Nietzsche, The Antichrist

Lacapra and Kaplan (eds.), Modern European Intellectual History (137-153)

Mill, "On the Subjection of Women"

V.I. Lenin and Rosa Luxembourg, “Party Structure and Function”


Course Requirements: 

History 51 is designed to be a discussion and not a lecture course; therefore both class attendance and participation will constitute a portion (approximately 15%) of your final grade.  Each student will also be required to submit three 2-3 page papers, double-spaced and spell-checked, to be chosen from among the topics listed below.  These essays should be based solely on the assigned texts, both primary and secondary.  Late papers will not be accepted (please note that all papers must be handed in before class on their respective due-dates).  There will be a final examination the nature of which will be determined at a later date.

Class Schedule

I)   Liberal Concepts of Self and Society

5/31 Introduction

4/2  Knoebel, Classics of Western Thought, pp. 166-201; Stromberg, European Intellectual History, pp. 1-18, 59-64


4/7  Bentham, Principles of Legislation (e-reserve); Stromberg, pp. 53-58

4/9  Foucault, Discipline and Punish (e-reserve), pp. 195-228

4/11-14 Mill, Autobiography (entire); Knoebel, pp. 323-337; Stromberg, pp. 124-129

4/16 Mill, "On the Subjection of Women" (e-reserve)

4/18 Knoebel, pp. 350-366; Stromberg, pp. 103-114


II)  The 19th Century Critique of Liberalism

4/21 Knoebel, pp. 221-59; Stromberg, pp. 23-43

4/23 Hegel, Selection from Phenomenology of Mind (e-reserve); Stromberg, pp. 77-84

4/25 Knoebel, pp. 338-49

4/28 Knoebel, pp. 202-220 (plus Xerox hand-out); Stromberg, pp. 14-18; 49-53

4/30-5/2 Fromm, Marx's Concept of Man, pp.87-196 (pp.1-83 recommended); Stromberg, pp.89-98

5/5  Fromm, pp. 197-219; Knoebel, pp. 367-89

5/7-12 Dostoevsky, Notes From Underground (entire) 

5/14-16 Nietzsche, The Antichrist (e-reserve); Knoebel, pp.443-57; Stromberg, pp. 150-55


III) Liberalism in Crisis 1890-1939

5/19 V.I. Lenin and Rosa Luxembourg, “Party Structure and Function” (e-reserve); Stromberg, pp. 164-67, 193-95

5/21 Knoebel, pp. 597-615; Stromberg, pp. 195-99

5/23-26 Freud, Civilization and its Discontents (entire); Stromberg, pp. 155-158, 199-205

5/28-30 Woolf, A Room of One's Own (entire); Stromberg, pp. 213-  21, 293-301


IV)  Self, Society, and History in the Post-Modern Age

6/2  Knoebel pp. 616-634; Stromberg, pp. 246-48, 254-60

6/4  Lacapra and Kaplan, Modern European Intellectual History pp. 137-53 (e-reserve); Reread Foucault, Discipline and Punish, pp. 195-228 (e-reserve); Stromberg, pp. 288-93, 313-22

6/6  Catch up and review


Paper Topics

I)   Choose at least one of the following:

a)   How does J. S. Mill explain his “mental crisis”?  Do you agree with his explanation?  How, if at all, did his crisis alter his utilitarian philosophy?  Due 4/11

b)   What is J.S. Mill's view of woman and society?  On what set of social and philosophical assumptions does he base that view?  Due 4/16

     c)   What is Hegel's view of history?  Due 4/25

d)   What is Marx's conception of "alienation"?  Do we mean the same thing when we use that term today?  Due 4/30


II)  Choose at least one of the following:

a)   Who is Dostoevsky's narrator, socio-historically speaking, in Notes From Underground?  How does he view the individual and society and why?  Due 5/7

     b)   Is Freud a liberal utilitarian?  Due 5/23

c)   Compare and contrast Virginia Woolf's feminist paradigm with J. S. Mill’s.  How do they differ and why?  Due 5/28

d)   What, according to Mark Poster, is Foucault's theory of history?  How does Foucault’s account of Bentham's Panopticon reflect that theory?  Due 6/4