The Grumbling Hive: Ethics and British Literature, 1660--1800|
Spring 2018 not offered
This course will explore the ethical imagination in the 18th century by looking at literary representations of social organization and encounters with the other alongside readings from moral and political philosophy. Both literary and philosophical discourses were deeply invested in normative claims about how men and women should live their lives, but they often developed radically divergent concepts of consent, virtue, the "State of Nature," natural sociability, and rational autonomy. We will explore these divergences by taking seriously the intersections and impasses that emerge when literature and philosophy are put into conversation. Discussion and assignments will address the ways in which different literary forms and traditions develop, and critique "practical" philosophies and how the "realisms" of literary and philosophical representations tell different stories about moral imperatives.
||Gen Ed Area Dept:
|Course Format: Seminar||Grading Mode: Graded|
||Fulfills a Major Requirement for: (ENGL)(ENGL-Brit Lit)(ENGL-TLF Conc)
Possible readings might include works by Margaret Cavendish, Daniel Defoe, Hanna More, Samuel Richardson, George Lillo, Sarah Scott, Samuel Johnson, and Mary Wollstonecraft. Shorter, philosophical selections, to be provided, may include excerpts from Thomas Hobbes, John Locke, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Ottobah Cugoano, David Hume, Adam Smith, and Immanuel Kant.
|Examination and Assignments: |
Four short response papers, a mid-semester essay, and a final research project
|Additional Requirements and/or Comments: |
This course fulfills the Literary History 2 and Theory major requirements and contributes to the British Literature and Theory and Literary Forms concentrations of the English major.