This course will explore the concept of the "philosophe" in the Age of Enlightenment. We will focus on three main topics that helped define the philosophes: the critical spirit, man, and society. Among the texts that we will study in class are Voltaire's Lettres Philosophiques, the Encylopédie, La Mettrie's Homme machine, Diderot's Rêve de D'Alembert and Rousseau's two Discours, as well as articles by modern historians/critics. Class discussions and lectures will involve a combination of detailed exegesis of the authors' works and synthetic contextualization, tying the texts into significant cultural, artistic, philosophical and historical trends and events of the Age of Reason. Students will write two short papers (700-1000 words for graduates and 350-700 words for undergraduates) and a final term paper (2600-3300 words for graduates, 1700-2300 words for undergraduates). The course is conducted in French.
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