3. The Human Body in Enlightenment Thought

Summary:

This meeting will examine shifting eighteenth-century notions of the human body through a short lecture and an examination of contemporary documents from natural philosophy.  We will focus on notions of human nature and its relation to physiology, followed by a short discussion of the social context of anatomy in the late 18th and early 19th centuries.

By the end of this meeting, you will be able to

  1. Discuss a variety of eighteenth-century notions of human nature.
  2. Explain how discourses about human nature related to developing ideas about gender and race.
  3. Explain the relationship between crime, punishment, and anatomy in late 18th and early 19th-century England.

Readings:

Reading Questions:

Assignments:

  • You must complete the History Publication Report for Anne C. Vila’s article.  Be sure to upload a copy to your Oncourse Dropbox before class.  Also, bring a copy (either printed or digital) with you for class discussion.

Keywords:

materialism, mind/body dualism, sensibility, vitalism, mechanism

Notes:

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