Sources of the Self in 19th and 20th Century Philosophy
Instructor: Dr. Norman Lillegard Office: Humanities 229 587 7384 email@example.com
Office Hours: 10:00 -11.00 a.m. and 1:00 - 2:00 p.m. MWF and by appointment
Texts: Philosophy 415 Course packet (at UC)
Sources of the Self by Charles Taylor (purchase used from Bradley at about $16.00 or from Amazon.com, $24.00)
The Death of Ivan Illich and Other Stories by Tolstoy (at UC)
Some Aims of This Course: At the beginning of the 21st century there
is a lot of preoccupation with, and a lot of confusion about "the
self", "my identity" (identity crises etc.), the status of the self vs.
society or community and related themes involving selfhood (narrative,
the nature of action etc.). Given the intellectual history of the
last two centuries this should come as no surprise. For in the period
since the enlightenment the settled sense of self, surrounded by definite
horizons, which persisted as a fairly common inheritance into the renaissance
and beyond, has been torn apart by conflicting visions and by nihilistic
In this course we examine the history that has produced the present dis-ease. Doing so requires attention to issues in metaphysics, epistemology, the philosophy of language, even a little logic, but the main focus will be on ethical or moral philosophy, understood quite broadly so as to include matters sometimes dealt with in the social sciences, as well as in philosophy of religion.
Requirements: Read all assigned material. There will be two exams, a mid-term worth 100 pts, and comprehensive final worth 150 pts. There will be at least two quizzes, worth 20 pts or so each. There will be study guides taken from the course packet which vary in weight, about 20 in all, worth a total of about 300 pts. These must be submitted in blue books. In addition there may be a short essay or two. Students may elect to substitute a paper for the final (same point value). Topic to be determined in consultation with the instructor. A wide array of topics is possible, including such things as studies of recent films in the light of course content, analysis of literary works, etc. Attendance and class participation are worth ca. 50 pts. Total points = ca. 650. (Tentative) Sample exam questions, definitions, and other course related material can be found at www.utm.edu/~nlillega/lillegard.htm. on the phil. 415 link.
Class Procedures: Classes will be a mix of lecture, discussion, viewing of films and, possibly, viva voce debates worked out ahead of time (possible extra credit). Students should give careful and respectful consideration to each others views and comments. A premium is placed on argument, rather than on mere statement of opinion. Also, a premium is placed on sticking to the subject. Only the instructor is allowed to wander all over the place and insert irrelevant jokes.
Course Outline: (through mid-term: tentative) (see web page for
Week I. (Jan. 8) The self in moral space. Viewing of "Its a Wonderful Life." Work on Taylor Pt.I
Week II (15) (Mon. off) Pre-19th century figures. Descartes, etc. (packet). Taylor selections.
Week III (Jan. 22) Taylor selections. Hume,. Kant (packet)
Week IV (Jan 29) Week III Continued. Hegel, Kierkegaard (Packet)
Week V (Feb. 5) Week IV continued. Taylor selections.
Week VI (Feb. 12) Marx, Nietzsche (packet). Taylor selections.
Week VII (Feb. 19) Wollstonecraft, Mill, Huxley (packet). Taylor selections.
Week VIII (Feb. 26) MID-TERM EXAM through 19th century and relevant portions of Taylor.
Review, with exam on Wednesday, Feb. 28th.
Week IX (Mar. 5) Russell
Week X. (Mar. 12-16) Spring Break (Read Quine in packet)
Week XI (Mar. 19) Quine
Week XII (Mar. 26) Tolstoy, "Death of Ivan Illich," Tolstoy, Heidegger
Week XIII (April 2) Week XII continued. Portions of Taylor
Week XIV (April 9) Wittgenstein
Week XV (April 16) Week XV continued. Taylor selections.
Week XVI (April 23) Rawls, MacIntyre, Gilligan. Reviewing.
Week XVII (April 30, Last day of Classes).