Humanities 4: Enlightenment, Romanticism, Revolution (1660-1848)


Professor Eric Watkins                                                                                                                     Room: Solis 107

Office: H&SS 8062                                                                                                                             Time: MWF 1:00-1:50

Office Hours: Monday 9:30-10:30 and by appt.                                                                    Email:                 

Course Webpage:


Teaching Assistants


Office Hours

Office location

Rosie Dwyer

F 11-1

Mandeville cart

Michael Kenny

Th 3-4:30/F 2-3:30

GH 173B

Kate Thompson

M 11-12/W 10:30-12:30

GH 173E/Mandeville cart

Stacie Vos 

W 11:30-12:50

Mandeville cart (indoor)


Reading Assignments

M 1-6      Introduction pdf


Science in the Enlightenment, or The Scientific Revolution

W 1-8      Newtonian Science (no reading) pdf


Political Theory in the Enlightenment Locke READING GUIDE

F 1-10      Locke, Second Treatise of Government (1690) Chapters 1-5 (pp. 7-30) pdf

M 1-13    Locke, Second Treatise of Government, Chapters 9-11, 19 (pp. 65-74, 107-124)


Religion in the Enlightenment

W 1-15    Hume, An Inquiry Concerning Human Understanding (1748) sect. 10 Sect. 10 Hume READING GUIDE pdf

F 1-17      Hume, An Inquiry Concerning Human Understanding, sect. 11 Sect. 11

M 1-20    No class (MLK Jr. Day)                                                                                                                     First Paper Prompt


The Meaning of Life in the Enlightenment

W 1-22    Voltaire, Candide (1759) pdf

F 1-24      Voltaire, Candide, continued                                                                                                   


Political Theory in Transition (from Enlightenment to Romanticism)                       

M 1-27    Rousseau, Discourse on the Origin of Inequality (1754) pp. 45-75 (2nd edition) Rousseau INEQUALITY READING GUIDE pdf

W 1-29    Rousseau, On the Social Contract (1762) (pp. 156-76, 178-85) Rousseau SOCIAL CONTRACT READING GUIDE pdf

F 1-31      Rousseau, On the Social Contract (pp. 191-205, 212-15, 218-230, 243-252)


17th & 18th Century Art

M 2-3      Mike Slayen, Lecture and Performance (no reading)                                                          First Paper due


The Origins of Romantic Literature

W 2-5      Goethe, The Sufferings of Young Werther (1774) pdf


Enlightenment Conception of History

F 2-7        Kant, "What is Enlightenment?" Kant ENLIGHTENMENT READING GUIDE pdf


Enlightenment Morality

M 2-10    *Kant, Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals (1785), Section 1 pdf

W 2-12   *Kant, Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals (1785), Section 2

F 2-14      *Kant, Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals (1785), Section 2

M 2-17    No class (President's Day)                                                                                                              Second Paper Prompt


Political Revolutions (French and American)

W 2-19    *"Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen"                               

F 2-21      The Declaration of Independence (1776) pdf

                  US Constitution (1787/91)

M 2-24    Madison, "Federalist Papers" (1787) 10 and 51


Enlightenment Religion and History (again)

W 2-26    Lessing, The Education of Humankind (1780) Lessing READING GUIDE pdf


Romantic Conceptions of History, Art, and Ethics

F 2-28      Schiller, On the Aesthetic Education of Man (1794), Letters 1-9 Schiller READING GUIDE pdf

M 3-2      Art Presentation (no reading)                                                                                                       Second Paper due

W 3-4      Schiller, On the Aesthetic Education of Man, Letters 21-24


Religion in Romanticism    

F 3-6        Schleiermacher, On Religion, Chapters 1-2 (selections) Schleiermacher READING GUIDE pdf


Political Authority in Romanticism 

M 3-9      *Novalis, "Faith and Love" & "Fragments from the Notebooks" (1798) Novalis READING GUIDE pdf



W 3-11    Conclusion  pdf


Final Exam

F 3-20      11:30-2:29 Final Exam


Required Texts:

Goethe, Johann Wolfgang von. The Sufferings of Young Werther, New York, Norton, 2012 (Corngold translation).

Locke, John, Second Treatise of Government, Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing Company, 1980.

Rousseau, Jean-Jacques. Basic Political Writings, Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing Company, 1987. (Second edition)

Voltaire. Candide and Related Texts, Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing Company, 2000.

Humanities Program Writing Handbook, 1st Edition.


A course reader (MyReader) is available from the Bookstore. * indicates that the assignment is in this reader.

Course Requirements
(1) regular attendance at lecture and section; 
(2) preparation for, and participation in, weekly discussion section; 
(3) completion of two 5-7 page papers; 
(4) a final exam. 

Final grades will be assessed as follows: first paper: 20%; second paper: 30%; final exam: 35%; section: 15%

Other Information:
1. Honor Code. The Academic Honor Code must be observed in this course.

Additionally, students agree that by taking this course all required papers will be subject to submission for textual similarity review to for the detection of plagiarism. All submitted papers will be included as source documents in the reference database solely for the purpose of detecting plagiarism of such papers. Use of the service is subject to the terms of use agreement posted on the site.

2. If accommodations are needed for a disability or religious reasons, please notify me during the first class period or as soon as possible.