Course Description

Course Number


Course Name

Enlightened Insanity


Course Credits



Rain or shine, the great 18th century Enlightenment philosophers would meet at the famous cafes of Paris to discuss their ideas, and to observe and criticize society. From these informal debates emerged ideas that are at the core of our modern understanding of the nature of society, marginality, human nature, civil rights, the essence of creativity and genius. Come join us in the quest to understand, define, observe, and analyze the key ideas and concepts of these great thinkers, such as Rousseau, Diderot, and Voltaire, still so relevant in our time. We will read key works of these creative thinkers and philosophers. We will enrich our experience and understanding through the use of film, theatre performances, museum visits, as well as the occasional cafe debate.