Humanities 4: Enlightenment, Romanticism, Revolution

Winter 2016


Course Requirements


Antony Lyon

Email: alyon@ucsd.edu

Office Hours: Wed 10-12, or by appt @ Galbraith 184


Lecture: MWF, 1-1:50 @ Solis 107

TA & Section Schedule

Course Syllabus (First Day Version)

Required Texts
(*) Course Reader

  • Several selections are only available on the Library's Course Reserves. Follow the link to download PDFs.

(B) Books that can be purchased from the PC Bookstore

  • John Locke, Second Treatise on Government (Broadview)
  • Voltaire, Candide, or Optimism, trans T Cuffe (Penguin)
  • Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Discourse on Inequality, trans F Philip (Oxford)
  • Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Sorrows of Young Werther, trans D Constantine (Oxford)
  • Mary Shelley, Frankenstein (1831 Edition) (Penguin)

Course Requirements

  • Section/Participation—10%
  • Weekly Assignments—5%
  • Paper 1—20% (Due 2/1)
  • Paper 2—30% (Due 2/29)
  • Final Exam—35%
    • Exam Essay Questions

Students must fulfill all course requirements in order to pass the course.


Class Schedule

1/4 — Introduction: Revolutions

1/6-11 — Political Community and the Right to Resist

  • (B) John Locke, The Second Treatise of Government, Ch 1-5, 7-9, 11, 14, 18-19

1/13 — Dissolving the Political Bands

1/15-20 — The Best of All Possible Worlds

  • (B) Voltaire, Candide, or Optimism, p1-94
  • (*) Optional: Voltaire, "Poem on the Lisbon Disaster" 
  • Monday, 1/18: No Class—Martin Luther King Day

1/22-27 — Being Human

  • (B) Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Discourse on Inequality, p14-85, look over the end notes (p86-120)

1/29-2/3 — On Respect—The Morality of Reason

  • (*) Immanuel Kant, Selections from The Groundwork to the Metaphysics of Morals (Course Reserves)

2/5-10 — The Romantic Hero

  • (B) Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, The Sorrows of Young Werther, p1-112

2/12-19 — Humanity, the Creator

  • (B) Mary Shelley, Frankenstein, p15-225
  • Monday, 2/15: No Class—Presidents' Day

2/22 & 29 —  Self-Reliance: An American Romanticism

2/24 & 26 — Canceled

3/2 — American Slavery and Music

3/4 — The Quiet American

3/7-11 — Democratic Vistas

3/18 — Final Exam: Friday, 11:30-2:30


Complementary Course Materials

Voltaire's Candide

Jean-Jacques Rousseau

Enlightenment & Progress

  • Practical social progress: Hans Rosling's "200 Countries, 200 Years, 4 Minutes" from The Joy of Stats on BBC4
  • Recent arguments for moral progress, see Steven Pinker's The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined (Amazon) and Sam Harris's The Moral Landscape: How Science Can Determine Human Values (Amazon)

Immanuel Kant

  • Kenneth Rexroth, August 23, 1964
  • There were several questions in class that touched on altruism and how that fits with Kant. Here's an op-ed reflecting on why altruism is such a difficult issue for us morally and philosophically. David Brooks, "A Question of Moral Radicalism," New York Times, February 5, 2016

Mary Shelley's Frankenstein

If you love great literature

Slave Songs

Emily Dickinson

Whitman Readings


Additional Information

Academic Integrity Policy
The UCSD Policy on Integrity of Scholarship must be observed for this course. Examples of plagiarism include, but are not limited to the following: turning in another student’s paper as if it was your own; collaboration with another student in writing the paper; quoting, paraphrasing, or borrowing ideas from published or unpublished material written by someone other than yourself, without specific acknowledgment of the source. In the Humanities Program, you are to write papers entirely on your own study of the assigned materials, NOT on secondary sources of any kind.

Students agree that by taking this course all required essays will be subject to text-similarity review on Turnitin.com for the detection of plagiarism. All submitted essays will be included as source documents in the turnitin.com reference database solely for the purpose of detecting plagiarism of essays. Use of turnitin.com is subject to the terms of use agreement posted on its website.

Additional Information
If you need accommodation for disability or religious reasons, please see me as soon as possible so that the appropriate arrangements can be made.

For information about Revelle College’s Humanities Program, including help with writing, administrative information, and schedules, please visit the program’s website.