Methods in Intellectual History (History 2300)





Prof. David Armitage and Prof. Peter K. Bol

Monday, 2-4 pm, CGIS K354

Enrolment: graduate students; undergraduates and auditors with instructors' permission

All historians work with documents, attempt to recover meaning, and must reconstruct contexts: in this sense, we are all necessarily intellectual historians. However, in the more precise sense that some historians are specifically interested in the history of thought and ideas, only they are conventionally defined as intellectual historians. In the last thirty years, the discipline of intellectual history has been at the center of historical debates over meaning, context, hermeneutics, the relation of thought and action, and the explanation of historical change. It has also had close relations with the study of philosophy, literature, and political theory, among other fields. This course will introduce students to some of the major methodological debates within intellectual history, and between intellectual history and these other disciplines. We will also examine examples of practice and discuss primary texts in light of our broader discussions. The examples and the texts will be drawn from both Asian and Euro-American traditions of thought.

Draft syllabus_2012.doc54 KB