This course examines how the idea of "the modern" develops at the end of the 18th century in European philosophy and literature, and how being modern (or progressive, or hip) became one of the crucial criteria for understanding and evaluating cultural change. Are we still in modernity, or have we moved beyond the modern to the postmodern?
Intensity and the Ordinary: Sex, Death, Aggression and Guilt
With a focus on Civilization and its Discontents, we examine how Freud’s theories tried to expose profound instincts as they appeared in daily life.
Intensity and the Ordinary: Art, Loss, Forgiveness
A reading of Virginia Woolf’s modernist novel To the Lighthouse shows how giving up the search for the “really real” can liberate one to attend to the everyday.
The Postmodern Everyday
We go back to Ralph Waldo Emerson and forward to Ludwig Wittgenstein to consider how forms of life and language games need to foundation to be compelling.
From Critical Theory to Postmodernism
Through a consideration of Max Horkheimer & Theodor Adorno along with Michel Foucault, we confront the philosophical effort to escape from totality in order to understand the politics of control.
A very brief consideration of how artists are responding to the loss of foundations to produce work that redefines art.
We examine short pieces by Judith Butler and Slavjo Zizek to understand how identities get formed (and performed) in a world without foundations.
Review of all the thinkers we have studied in Parts I and II of the class, along with some complementary material.
After postmodern playfulness, or alongside it, we see the resurgence of the pragmatic impulse to return philosophy to real human problems.
Start your review of The Modern and the Postmodern (Part 2)
Anonymous is taking this course right now.
He, as I see it, is not talking about the modern to postmodern, instead, he is taking some of the distinct philosophers of the time and focuses heavily on them and not taking into account all the other millions of complexities of the time. History is...
He, as I see it, is not talking about the modern to postmodern, instead, he is taking some of the distinct philosophers of the time and focuses heavily on them and not taking into account all the other millions of complexities of the time. History is a very, very, very complex thing and to tell the story well one has to be able in little words to tell a lot of layers of it to paint the broad picture. When it is done this way, as is usually done with these types of professors, it is a kind of disguising the inability to present the complexity of the time and its development in a simple and intelligent way. A very college kind of mediocre lectures, very disappointing... And I really wanted it to be good. :(
P.S If you are interested in how this is properly done, I encourage you to see the course from Cornell university - American Capitalism - a History.
No hard feelings, professor.
Dave Rawlings completed this course, spending 7 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be hard.
I found this one of the more challenging MOOCs I've taken. Some of the readings were fairly complex although most were enjoyable. The peer reviewed assignments were hard work but made sure I had understood the lectures - indeed they were a major component in my learning. The style of teaching was concise and supportive to understanding. I would strongly recommend the course.