HISTORY 196 - First Year Seminar in Social Sciences
Section: 001 Inventing the Human Sciences
Term: WN 2014
Subject: History (HISTORY)
Department: LSA History
Requirements & Distribution:
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Advisory Prerequisites:
Enrollment restricted to first-year students, including those with sophomore standing.
May not be repeated for credit.
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What makes humans human? Where natural sciences like biology and chemistry may study all living things, the awkwardly named “human sciences” investigate phenomena unique to Homo sapiens: mind, society, and culture. This seminar considers what these concepts mean, how they originated, and how they have changed over time. Through close readings, film screenings, and field trips, we will explore the intellectual history of attempts to analyze human experience in a systematic way, focusing on Western Europe since the eighteenth century. We begin with the Enlightenment tradition of “moral science” and the foundations of political economy, continuing through the disciplines of sociology, anthropology, and psychology in the nineteenth century. We then turn to the paradigm-shifting movements of psychoanalysis and cultural relativism; the ambitious synthesis known as behavioral science; and finally, the crisis of the human sciences provoked by poststructuralist thinkers like Michel Foucault. Rather than attempting comprehensive histories of individual disciplines, we concentrate on the foundational moments and key texts which announced new approaches to the thorny problem of making a science of humanity.

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HISTORY 196 - First Year Seminar in Social Sciences
Schedule Listing
001 (SEM)
MW 2:30PM - 4:00PM
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