In the 17th century, the thinkers of the Scientific Revolution were looking for explanations of the physical world that were valid everywhere and for all time. In the 18th century, Enlightenment thinkers were also looking for universally valid explanations—but for human nature, morality and society. That all changed in the 19th century when thinkers realized that the contingency and mutability of existence make once-and-for-all answers impossible. Come find out how Hegel, Kierkegaard, Marx, Darwin, Nietzsche and Freud changed the way we look at the world forever. We will consider the thinkers’ ideas both in their historical context and in light of their implications for our own thinking about human nature, society, history, morality and God. Lectures, discussions, on-line questions. Two 6-8 page papers; class participation; on-line questions; final exam.
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