COML 4015

COML 4015

Course information provided by the Courses of Study 2020-2021.

Taking its inspiration from David Hume's famous remark that "reason ought only to be the slave of the passions," this course will consider the Enlightenment's "science of human nature" not as the triumph of rationality but as a drama of competing psychologies of the passions. We will consider how the priority accorded the passion of self-preservation or life, the body, and the sexual and acquisitive drives subverted traditional ethics and was countervailed by compassion, sympathy, and other sentiments. We will read a short story and novels as well as some moral and political philosophy (Margaret Cavendish, Hobbes, Defoe, Cleland, Rousseau, Sterne, Laclos, Wollstonecraft, and Nietzsche) to address such topics as the "marriage contract" and the gender politics and economics of the family; love and benevolence in relation to law and obligation; medical discourse in relation to sexual "criminality"; pornography as materialist science and sentimental-sexual education; suffering and the ethics and politics of pity. We will also read theoretical work by Althusser, Foucault and Butler to focus on narrative form and mechanisms of identity formation. This course may be used as one of the three pre-1800 courses required of English majors.

When Offered Fall.

Breadth Requirement (HB)
Distribution Category (LA-AS, ALC-AS)

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Enrollment Information
Syllabi: 1 available
  •   Regular Academic Session.  Combined with: ENGL 4315

  • 4 Credits Stdnt Opt

  • 18021COML 4015  SEM 101

    • MOnline Meeting
    • Sep 2 - Dec 16, 2020
    • Saccamano, N

  • Instruction Mode: Online