European Intellectual History from Renaissance to Enlightenment

History 164A

Spring 2014
Day & Time: 
TuTh 2-330P

Between 1500 and 1800, European thought helped to build the foundations of modern culture, politics, economy, government, law, and religion. This course will introduce students to this transformative period in intellectual history. It will showcase the interactions of ideas and their wider cultural contexts. Its content will range from the Renaissance rediscovery of antiquity to the Scientific Revolution, from the theological innovation of the Reformation to the new forms of political theory that accompanied both French and American Revolutions. Readings will consist principally of primary texts from the period, and will range among a series of writers, including: Erasmus, Martin Luther, Niccolò Machiavelli, John Calvin, Michel Montaigne, Thomas Hobbes, Benedict Spinoza, Rene Descartes, Jean Jacques Rousseau, and others.

Course Books

Leviathan by Thomas Hobbes Penguin. ISBN: 978-0140431957 Required
Rousseau by The Discourses and Other Early Political Writings Cambridge. ISBN: 978-0521424455 Required
Discourse on Method by Descartes Penguin Classics. ISBN: 978-0140446999 Required
Essential Writings of Machiavelli by Niccolo Machiavelli Modern Library. ISBN: 978-0812974232 Required