WesMaps - Wesleyan University Catalog 2022-2023       Summer Session       Winter Session       Home       Archive       Search
Madness and Its Others: The Ethics of Intelligibility
COL 329
Spring 2023
Section: 01  

What does it mean to make madness speak? In his 1961 "History of Madness," Foucault took a critical view of the history of censure and confinement which relegated madness to the periphery of the social whole. Within this view, Foucault historicized four phases (or epistemes) of madness: Antiquity, Renaissance, Classical, and Modern. But, as Derrida asked in his rejoinder essay, "Cogito and the History of Madness," is the historicization of madness not itself a kind of censure and confinement? This course takes up the question of madness and otherness at the intersection of ethics and intelligibility. In addition to the Foucault/Derrida debate on madness and reason in Descartes's "Meditations," we will consider the ethics of dialectic, understanding, and the sovereignty of reason in Shakespeare's King Lear, Truffaut's L'enfant sauvage, selections from Plato's Phaedrus, and Levinas's "Philosophy and the Idea of Infinity." Where intelligibility marks the boundary between reason and unreason--where what can be spoken, what can be thought, and the possibility of articulation and of being understood are contingent on the relation to the other--we will explore the ethics of reason and unreason, self and other, and the spaces in between.
Credit: 1 Gen Ed Area Dept: HA COL
Course Format: SeminarGrading Mode: Student Option
Level: UGRD Prerequisites: None
Fulfills a Major Requirement for: None
Past Enrollment Probability: 90% or above

Last Updated on JUN-24-2024
Contact wesmaps@wesleyan.edu to submit comments or suggestions. Please include a url, course title, faculty name or other page reference in your email ? Wesleyan University, Middletown, Connecticut, 06459