MODL3980-01.Topics: Freedom and Terror.Su16.Grell,Erik
Topics: Freedom and Terror
Academic Term and Year
Hamline Plan Letter
Area of Study
What can I know? What ought I to do? What might I hope? In the face of the challenges of modernity and the catastrophes of history—a history indelibly stained with terror, violence, and genocide—human beings often appear woefully incapable of answering these questions. This course will examine philosophical texts from the eighteenth to the twentieth century that outline possibilities for human agency. We will particularly examine conceptions of agency as they unfold in states of danger, when human beings are faced with terror, oppressed by totalitarian or problematic political structures, or continually confronted with the threat of violence. Some of the questions we will be asking include: what is freedom, how is it possible, and why is it valuable? What is the nature of commitment, and how does one evaluate commitments that give us identities? How do we confront evil? What is political action and what intellectual and cultural resources do we have to prevent lapses into political and ethical barbarism? At the dawn of the twenty-first century, after a century of bloodshed, catastrophe, and terror, can we still live up to the promises and the potential of what it means to be a free human being?
Grell, Erik, "MODL3980-01.Topics: Freedom and Terror.Su16.Grell,Erik" (2016). Syllabi. 7398.