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Course Details

Fall 2012-2013
* GER 306 / ENG 376 / COM 339 (EC)  

German Intellectual History - Literature, the Sciences, & Philosophy: Leibniz to Goethe

Christiane Frey

How did the sciences, philosophy, and literature engage with one another on the way to becoming the discrete pursuits they are today? The course approaches this question by tracing a series of entanglements that challenge our sense of what knowledge is. We will explore why Bacon wrote a novel to promote his scientific method; how Leibniz's philosophy was shaped by the microscope and romances; how the modern novel aligns with statistics. We will retrace the birth of "aesthetics," investigate Goethe's scientific affinities, and discuss how the romantic concept of science questions our idea of the humanities and the sciences as "two cultures."

Sample reading list:
Bacon, Novum Organum
Leibniz, Theodicy
Defoe, Robinson Crusoe
Kant, Critique of Judgment
Goethe, Scientific Writings
Goethe, Elective Affinities
See instructor for complete list

Reading/Writing assignments:
80-100 pages a week; presentation in class; one short paper; one longer final essay.

Requirements/Grading:
Papers - 55%
Oral Presentation(s) - 15%
Class/Precept Participation - 30%

Prerequisites and Restrictions:
None..

Other information:
Introductory lecture-discussion course taught in English based on texts in English or English translations. For students interested in the history of the sciences and the humanities, philosophy, literature, scientific objects, epistemology, history, psychology, aesthetics.

Schedule/Classroom assignment:

Class numberSectionTimeDaysRoomEnrollmentStatus
21646 L01 11:00 am - 11:50 am T Th   McCosh Hall   4   Enrolled:39 Limit:50
P01 1:30 pm - 2:20 pm W   East Pyne Building   039   Enrolled:0 Limit:14
P02 2:30 pm - 3:20 pm T   McCosh Hall   24   Enrolled:0 Limit:14
P03 10:00 am - 10:50 am Th   East Pyne Building   039   Enrolled:1 Limit:14