Critical Theory 200/Rhetoric 240g
Kant, Hegel, Marx
Tuesdays, 2-5 pm
This course will consider a notion of critique, immanent and dialectical, that emerges from Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit and bears significantly on 20th century conceptions of critical theory. We will begin with an introduction to Kant’s notion of critical philosophy and then turn to Hegel, focusing on Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit, especially the sections “Lordship and Bondage,” “The Unhappy Consciousness,” and “The Ethical Order.” We will turn briefly to Marx’s critique of Hegel in the second part of the course. Students should be prepared to conduct close readings of the text with some reference to the German in class. A list of secondary readings will also be provided.
Texts: Kant, Critique of Pure Reason (Preface I and II, Introduction, Transcendental Doctrine, and Division One); Hegel, Phenomenology of Spirit (Preface, Introduction, sections A and B; and “The Ethical Order”); Selections from Hegel, The Philosophy of Right, and The Logic (from the Encyclopedia); Marx, Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts, 1844, “On the Jewish Question”.
Critical Theory 240/History 280b
Mondays, 2-4 pm
This course will follow the fortunes of the 20th-century European critical tradition known as Western Marxism, reading original works by Lukács, Sartre, Bloch, Horkheimer, Adorno, Habermas, Althusser, Gramsci, and others.
Texts: Perry Anderson, Considerations on Western Marxism; Maurice Merleau-Ponty, The Adventures of the Dialectic; Georg Lukacs, History and Class Consciousness; Max Horkheimer and Theodor Adorno, Dialectic of Enlightenment; Jean-Paul Sartre, Search for a Method; Louis Althusser, For Marx; Antonio Gramsci, Selections from The Prison Notebooks; Jurgen Habermas, Communication and the Evolution of Society; Ernst Bloch, The Utopian Function of Art and Literature; Ernesto Laclau and Chantal Mouffe, Hegemony and Socialist Strategy; Goran Therborn, From Marxism to Post-Marxism; Martin Jay, Marxism and Totality.
Comparative and Historical Research
Tuesdays, 12-2 pm
This course has two aims: to provide an introduction to some of the main substantive areas in historical sociology, and to identify the logic of comparative historical inquiry as a type of social science. The course is organized into three parts. Part one introduces debates about the nature of theory and evidence, the general characteristics of history, and what causal accounts of history might look like. Part two introduces strategies of concept of formation in historical sociology by drawing on Marx and Weber’s conceptualizations of capitalism and the modern state. Part three surveys key works in historical sociology. Evaluation in the course is based on four pieces of work: class participation, a presentation, a brief essay formulating a set of “rules of comparative and historical method”, and a set of five reaction papers.
Readings include: John Stuart Mill, Karl R Popper, Edward Hallett Carr, William Sewell, Karl Marx, Max Weber, Perry Anderson, Robert Brenner, Immanuel Wallerstein, Michael Mann, Charles Tilly, Philip Gorski, Barrington Moore, Theda Skocpol, and Robert Paxton.