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This course explores the culture of the Age of Reason at its height through the in-depth study of a number of major texts and of certain leading figures. There is an interdisciplinary approach embodying, for instance, historical, literary and philosophical approaches. The works of fiction and poetry, philosophy, history, science, music and art are studied in their own right, bur are also interconnected as mutually illuminating phenomena.
Through the Portfolio Assessment process, students will demonstrate that they can appropriately address the following outcomes:
- Identify the roots of Enlightenment thought in 17th century achievements in science, politics and the arts.
- Demonstrate familiarity with the great system builders in epistemology, metaphysics and ethics and the basic principles that characterize their thinking including such thinkers as Bacon, Descartes, Locke, Spinoza, Rousseau, Berkeley, Hume, Adam Smith and Immanuel Kant, Vico, Voltaire.
- Identify and discuss the development of rationalism and empiricism during this period considered the Age of Reason.
- Articulate reasoned views on Nietzsche's philosophy, supported by close textual reading and argument.
- Demonstrate familiarity with some of the critical literature on existentialism.
- Demonstrate familiarity with some of the critical literature on the period.