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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of History, Classics and Archaeology : History

Undergraduate Course: Intellectual History from Montesquieu to Marx (HIST10257)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of History, Classics and Archaeology CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 3 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThe course introduces students to some of the most important texts in western moral and political thought in the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. The authors examined include Montesquieu, Rousseau, Hume, Smith, Burke, Kant, Hegel, and Marx.
Course description This course aims to introduce students to some of the most important texts in western political and moral thought in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, namely those of Montesquieu, Rousseau, Hume, Smith, Burke, Kant, Hegel, and Marx. It will examine theories of government, social inequality, freedom, political economy, and the social contract. At all times, it will situate the ideas in their historical contexts, showing how they are both constrained by and instrumental in shaping events. As with the other intellectual history courses, this course is distinctive in engaging students with close textual analysis of primary sources.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Students MUST NOT also be taking War, Commerce, Liberty, and Empire: European Political Thought, from Mandeville to Marx (c. 1700 - c. 1850) (HIST10464)
Other requirements A pass or passes in 40 credits of first level historical courses or equivalent and a pass or passes in 40 credits of second level historical courses or equivalent.
Students should only be enrolled on this course with approval from the History Honours Programme Administrator.
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesVisiting students must have 3 History courses at grade B or above. We will only consider University/College level courses. Enrolments for this course are managed by the CAHSS Visiting Student Office, in line with the quotas allocated by the department. All enquiries to enrol must be made through the CAHSS Visiting Student Office. It is not appropriate for students to contact the department directly to request additional spaces.
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. demonstrate command of the body of knowledge considered in the course;
  2. read, analyse and reflect critically upon relevant scholarship;
  3. understand, evaluate and utilise a variety of primary source material;
  4. develop and sustain scholarly arguments in oral and written form, by formulating appropriate questions and utilising relevant evidence;
  5. demonstrate independence of mind and initiative; intellectual integrity and maturity; an ability to evaluate the work of others, including peers.
Reading List
A. O. Hirschman, The Passions and the Interests. Arguments for Capitalism before its Triumph (Princeton, NJ, 1977; 2nd ed. 1997).

I. Hont, 'The Luxury Debate in the Early Enlightenment', in M. Goldie and R. Wokler (ed.), The Cambridge History of Eighteenth-Century Political Thought (Cambridge, 2006), pp. 379-418.

N. Phillipson, David Hume: the philosopher as historian (London, 2011).

F. C. Beiser, 'Hegel and Hegelianism', in: G. Stedman Jones (ed.), The Cambridge
History of Nineteenth-Century Political Thought (Cambridge, 2011).

Gareth Stedman Jones, The Young Hegelians, Marx and Engels, in Gareth Stedman
Jones (ed.), The Cambridge History of Nineteenth-Century Political Thought (as above).
(Cambridge, 2011), pp. 556 ' 600.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
KeywordsMontesquieu to Marx
Course organiserDr Thomas Ahnert
Course secretaryMrs Ksenia Gorlatova
Tel: (0131 6)50 8349
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