Dec 10, 2023  
Fall 2014 Catalog 
Fall 2014 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

HI 208 - The Enlightenment

Credit Hours: 3

This seminar involves a close reading of original Enlightenment texts as intellectual history and a way of situating historical and contemporary understandings of freedom, the role of reason, self-determination, the individual and society. A critical evaluation of original texts and a study of eighteenth century kindling of self-conscious social thought and its influence on the rational organization of society and social institutions in the formative years of the modern natural and social sciences.

Fulfills SUNY General Education – Western Civilization.

Course Outcomes
Upon completion of this course, the student will be able to explain :

  • the distinction between reason and faith as tools for world-understanding;
  • what Enlightenment means;
  • the social forces that gave rise to the Enlightenment movement;
  • the origins of contemporary individualism in classical liberal thought;
  • the historical origins of experimental science;
  • the contrast between the libratory claims of the philosophes and other Enlightenment thinkers with their outcomes and with feudal social circumstances;
  • the roots of American founding ideas in the context of the Enlightenment social movement;
  • the distinction between concepts of 18th century market freedom and Encyclopedíste notions of freedom;
  • the distinction between concepts of political emancipation and human emancipation; and
  • the distinction between social contract’s atomistic conception of individuals and the social production of individuals as bases for conceptualizing the human person.

Prerequisites: Either HI 100, HI 109, HI 111, participation in the Honors program, OR permission of the instructor.
F/S (C, S)