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Lectures / Disk 15


European Thought & Culture In the 19th Century (Part II) 
Prof. Lloyd Kramer (University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill)

DISK 15.1 
Lecture 13: Hegelianism and the Young Marx
This lecture begins by noting that Karl Marx’s theories are an example of how ideas influence social and political life. It then examines the development of Marx’s multicultural intellectual project, which brought together various themes from 19th century German, French, and English social theory. Finally, a look at Marx’s early life and his relation to the German philosophical movement the so called Left Hegelians is discussed.

Lecture 14: Marx’s Social Critique
This lecture examines how Marx used Hegelian conceptions of historical change to criticize France’s political revolutionaries and England’s political economists. According to Marx, they all lacked historical understanding of how change occurs across time. The lecture also looks at how Marx later began to attack the German Hegelians all of whom failed to understand that history was driven forward by economic forces and material realities as Marx supported.

Lecture 15: Feminism in 19th-Century Culture
The legacy of the French Revolution included a growing 19th century debate about how the “Rights of Man’ could be extended to women. In this lecture the development of early feminism and the contrasting themes in early feminist works which proposed that all women should be granted all new social and political rights are discussed.

Lecture 16: Women’s Rights in a Man’s World
Although the ideas of feminist writers began to attract support in the 19th century, a generation of male political leaders and writers continued to argue against women’s rights. 
This lecture discusses the sociological, biological, and psychological arguments that were set up against feminist movements. Two influential writers who challenged anti-feminist arguments through their literary works are also discussed.

Lecture 17: Tocqueville & Mill – Rethinking Liberal Theory 
This lecture continues the discussion of the intellectual campaign for human rights by examining themes of the intellectual liberal writers John Stuart Mill and Alexis de Tocqueville who were looking for ways to defend their conception of individual liberty.

Lecture 18: Nationalisms and National Identities
This lecture describes how the social position of writers and intellectuals became connected to the urban cultural institutions of modern nations and transformed their social positions. These institutions included schools and newspapers which promoted nationalism and the national idea became a central component of cultural and personal identities.

Lecture 19: The Novel as Art and Social Criticism
New literary works evolved as the growth of modern cities and the development of a modern ‘culture industry’ contributed to the growing popularity of novels as well as the spread of nationalism. These new novels have often been described as a ‘post Romantic literary realism’ because they were more concerned with the social world and social relations than the exotic or heroic actions of Romantic heroes. This lecture discusses three writers who contributed to the 19th century conceptions of the novel.

DISK 15.2
Lecture 20: Science and Its Literary Critics
The desire to explain and interpret modern social life, which became a major theme of the 19th century novels, also shaped a new scientific study of society. This lecture illustrates how new conceptions of scientific knowledge were applied to the study of human societies and promoted Positivism, an intellectual movement which sought to explain society by these concepts.

Lecture 21: Charles Darwin and the New Biology
The development of Darwin’s well known theory of evolution is presented in this lecture. The cultural context in which Darwin developed his theory of evolution and his key ideas in terms of evolutionary change, reflecting on the great popularity of the new biology, are discussed in this lecture.

Lecture 22: The Controversies of Social Darwinism
This lecture continues with the major implications which emerged from Darwin’s ideas in contrast to the traditional ideas of Western culture, including the biblical accounts of creation and Christian morality.

Lecture 23: The Heroic Critic in Mass Society
Modern societies needed persons who would affirm their cultural independence or defend their cultural values against the mass society. The search for such figures can be seen in the work of some writers discussed in this lecture.

Lecture 24: Nietzsche’s Critique of European Culture
This lecture discusses Nietzsche, a thinker whose influential work challenged the scientific confidence in reason, the expanding modern belief in democratic political institutions and traditional Christian conceptions of morality. Nietzsche’s main ideas and his intellectual role in the transition from the 19th to the 20th century European thought are discussed. This process covers a long cycle of intellectual history beginning with the Enlightenment and the French Revolution and extending to Post-Positivism and post- Darwinian conceptions.

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