Philosophy 304: Nineteenth-Century Philosophy (Hight)

The 19th Century Philosophy course will focus on several major philosophical figures who dominated the century and influenced contemporary philosophy since then. We will start with Hegel, then move on to discuss Marx, Schopenhauer, and Nietzsche. If time permits, we will do smaller units on Mill and Frege.

What can you expect from a study of Hegel? What is the nature of history? Is it, as Hegel tells us, the "slaughterbench" where the happiness of nations and the virtues of individuals are sacrificed for the advancement of a rational principle he calls the World Spirit? How do we emerge as conscious beings from nothingness? And Hegel has a few things to say against liberalism as well (19th century liberalism). We will explore all of this and more.

Marx you probably already know well by name and reputation. But how well? Come be enlightened by the subtleties of his thought. You do not have to think he is right to learn from him! Come learn the subtle details of his errors - and his few successes as well.

Schopenhauer: the world is nothing but will and representation. What might that mean? Arthur is absolutely the philosopher for angst-ridden gloomy young men.

Mill: he labored for toleration and defended the equal rights of women. He also is famous for defending an ethical theory known as Utilitarianism. We'll explore some of the edges of his thought, from toleration to ethics to the logic of the social sciences.

Nietzsche: well, he had Zarathrustra declare that God is dead. Why? Come explore his aphoristic style and revel in the sometimes penetrating insights.

At least one prior course in philosophy is strongly suggested. If you have any questions, please see Professor Hight.