SOCIOLOGY 102

INTRODUCTION TO SOCIAL THEORY



SOCIAL DREAMERS:
MARX, NIETZSCHE, AND FREUD


 

PROFESSOR GEORGE E. MCCARTHY

KENYON COLLEGE
TRELEAVEN HOUSE

Fall 2015


COURSE DESCRIPTION

This introductory course for first- and second-year students traces the development of modern social theory from the 17th to the 20th century. It begins by examining the fundamental social institutions and cultural values that characterize modern industrial society and the Enlightenment in the works of Descartes, Hobbes, Locke, Dickens, Weber, and J. S. Mill: (1) rise of modern state, political democracy, and utilitarianism; (2) market economy, industrialization, and economic liberalism; (3) new class system and capitalism; (4) modern personality (self) and possessive individualism; and (5) natural science, modern technology, and positivism. The course then turns to the dreams and imagination of European Romanticism and Existentialism in the 19th and 20th centuries with their critiques of modernity in the works of Marx (socialism), Freud (psychoanalysis), Camus and Schopenhauer (existentialism), and Nietzsche (nihilism).

We will outline the development of the distinctive institutions and principles of modernity, along with the ideas of its critics, in the following works: C. Dickens, Hard Times, J. Locke, The Second Treatise of Government, J. S. Mill, On Liberty, K. Marx, The Economic and Philosophical Manuscripts of 1844, M. Weber, The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism and "Science as a Vocation," R. Descartes, The Meditations Concerning First Philosophy, S. Freud, Dora: An Analysis of a Case of Hysteria and Five Lectures on Psychoanalysis, A. Camus, The Fall, A. Schopenhauer, The World as Will and Representation, and F. Nietzsche, Twilight of the Idols. Nineteenth- and early twentieth-century social theory examined the System, Structures, Functions, Culture, and History of modern industrial society. The excitingly distinctive and critical feature of European thought during this period was its integration of empirical and historical research with ethics and social philosophy, that is, its integration of Social Science and Social Justice -- the Moderns and the Ancients. To this day, the ideal of forging a new classical horizon of science and justice remains a romantic dream in exile.


REQUIRED READINGS

C. Dickens, Hard Times
J. Locke, The Second Treatise of Government
R. Descartes, Discourse on Method and Meditations
J. S. Mill, On Liberty
S. Freud, Dora: An Analysis of a Case of Hysteria
               Five Lectures on Psychoanalysis
A. Schopenhauer, The World as Will and Representation, vol. 1
A. Camus, The Fall
F. Nietzsche, Twilight of the Idols

Essays: On Reserve on the Kenyon Library ERES System and Course Reserve
K. Marx, "Alienated Labor," 1844 and "Class Struggle and Change" ("A Contribution
to the Critique of Political Economy," 1859 and the "Communist Manifesto," 1848)
M. Weber, "Protestantism and the Rise of Modern Capitalism," 1904-05 and
"Science as a Vocation," 1919)


COURSE REQUIREMENTS

Because it is an introductory course, the reading material, lectures, and discussions are oriented in both substance and difficulty to freshman and sophomores. Attendance and participation in classroom discussion are required. Though I do not take formal attendance, absences are noted. Frequent absences (more than 3 per semester) will have a profound negative effect on your final grade. The final grade is determined by the results of a one hour mid-term examination, a two hour final examination, and your classroom attendance and participation. There will be an open discussion and review each Friday at the end of every major work read in this course (about every two weeks). This will help you raise questions, articulate issues, and develop insights into the previous two weeks of readings and lectures. A grade of pass/fail is not offered in this introductory course.

My office hours are Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 8:00 to 9:30 AM in Room 202 of Treleaven House, 105 Brooklyn St. Appointments to see me at other times may be made during the day, or before and after class. My email address is "McCarthy@Kenyon.edu"



OUTLINE OF SCHEDULE AND REQUIRED READINGS

 WEEK                                READINGS

1. Charles Dickens Hard Times
2. Charles Dickens Hard Times
3. John Locke The Second Treatise of Government chapters 1-5, pp. 3-30
4. John Stuart Mill On Liberty, chapters 1-3, pp. 1-28 and 67-90
5. Karl Marx "Alienated Labor" and "The Communist Manifesto," in Readings in Introductory Sociology,
edited by D. Wrong and H. Gracey, chapters 14 and 16, pp. 140-149 and 162-169
(Marx's essays are on reserve in the Kenyon Library's ERES System and Course Reserve)
(Recommended: G. William Domhoff, "Who Rules America: Wealth, Income, and Power," in
http://sociology.ucsc.edu/whorulesamerica/power/wealth.html
6. Max Weber "The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism," in Readings in Introductory Sociology,
edited by D. Wrong and H. Gracey, chapter 15, pp. 149-161
(Weber's essay is on reserve in the Kenyon Library's ERES System and Course Reserve) )
7. Max Weber "Science as a Vocation," in Readings in Introductory Sociology,
ed. D. Wrong and H. Gracey, chapter 19, pp. 187-192
(Weber's essay is on reserve in the Kenyon Library's ERES system and Course Reserve)
8. René Descartes The Meditations Concerning First Philosophy
(Dedication, Preface, First, Second, and Third Meditations)
9. Sigmund Freud Dora: An Analysis of a Case of Hysteria
10. Sigmund Freud Five Lectures on Psychoanalysis
11. Albert Camus The Fall
12. A. Schopenhauer The World as Will and Representation
vol. 1, (sections 1-5, 18-22, 38, 65, and 68), pp. 3-18, 99-112, 195-200, 359-367, and 378-398
13. F. Nietzsche Twilight of the Idols
14. F. Nietzsche Twilight of the Idols