Course Outline With Detailed Course Schedule:

                                IDS 102:   THE ARTS IN WESTERN CULTURE II


(3 credit hours). This course is the second semester completion of a chronologically based interdisciplinary survey of the significant intellectual, literary, philosophical, visual, musical and other performance-based artistic expressions from the major epochs of Western culture. 


IDS 102 will satisfy 3 hours of either your FINE ARTS or your HUMANITIES general education requirements. Specifically, it can be used in the place of either ART 112  or HUM 152. Student needs to inform advisor which Gen. Ed. Requirement you are using it to satisfy.  You do not have to decide right away.    [16 weeks]


                  Fall, 2004 - Allen Salzman   (email:


Abbreviations for Required and Supplementary Texts: 

LVB = Le Van Baumer, Main Currents of Western Thought, 4th edn. 


RT = Richard Tarnas, The Passion of the Western Mind         


HR = Herbert Read, Concise History of European Painting      



Note about our weekly schedule: instructor reserves the right to adjust, alter, speed up, slow down, substitute readings, etc., as the situation warrants.



Week 1


Introduction to Course: What makes the study of Western humanistic ideas and works of the creative imagination significant and interesting?  When does Amodern@Western thought begin? What makes Amodernity@different from what went before, and therefore Amodern.@  What are Europeans and other Westerners feeling and thinking that creates the Amodern@temperament? What does Apost-modern@mean? Tonight we will see a slide presentation which I hope will set up a basic opposition we can follow throughout the course.  Let=s take a quick look at and discuss Raphael=s School of Athens and the Thomas Cole painting AThe Architect=s Dream,@on the cover of our text, The Passion of the Western Mind.






Week 2


Part I: The Conceptual Foundations of the Modern: the Renaissance

1.  Have read in RT pp. 220-221. What do you find interesting about this little introduction? Why are artistic, literary and musical works going to play a crucial role in our understanding of the evolution of ideas?


2. Have read Part V of RT, pp. 225-323. It is a lot of reading, but you will see that it Acarries the reader with the momentum of a novel,@as the blurb on the cover tells you. 


3. LVB, pp. 126-127; skim 149-161: How do Pico and Erasmus take down the Medieval matrix and create the brave new world of the Renaissance? Why should we care? After all, aren=t we only interested in the really modern stuff?


Week 3


4. Burke, AThe Day the Universe Changed@(video)


5. Continue discussion of RT from last week. Here is a question to consider: why doesn=t it just stop someplace? Why is there this Acuriosity compulsion@in the European mind that keeps thought evolving?

6. LVB: in the section on the Renaissance, read Vasari, Alberti, and Leonardo da Vinci. 






Week 4


Part II: The Reformation

1. Read the Intro. to Pt. III of LVB starting on p. 165. If LVB is right on p. 166 that the Reformation was less a repudiation than an modification of the medieval religious system, why does the Reformation result paradoxically in the end of the great Age of Religion? --Because, haven=t we just doubled the number of authoritarian religious matrices? And if Calvinism is so strict, why does he refer to Christian liberty?  ALiberty@from what or to do what?

2. Read LVB, p. 186-187. Why does Luther believe the Roman papacy is illegitimate? What is the status of reason if it does not lead to faith, i.e., if the fides quarum  intelligentumof Acquinas is reversed? (Refer to RT on this question also.)

3. Read LVB, p. 191. How is Calvin=s predestination an extreme example of reason through faith?

4. We will analyze the handout: The ASermon on the Mount@(Mat. 5, 6, &7)  and an excerpt from Max Weber, The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism to glimpse the modern mind.

5. How does art reflect the effects of the Reformation? Dutch painting.






Week 5


Part III: Empiricism and the Age of Science

1. Continue discussion from last time as necessary to tie up loose ends. 

2. LVB, Copernicus, pp. 271-272; Bacon, pp. 280-284; Descartes, p. 295; 316-318; Newton, pp. 323-324; Galileo, pp. 327-328. 

3. Locke=s Essay Concerning Human Understanding is about science, i.e., empiricism, but it also is one of the final nails in the coffin of the theological age, and, along with the Essay on Toleration, a significant document of Enlightenment thought.


Week 6


Part IV: The Enlightenment

1. LVB,  Joshua Reynolds, pp. 387-390. What was the AGrand  Style?@  Is it still with us in some form?

2. LVB, all of the other selections on the Enlightenment are important, but at a minimum look at the Voltaire excerpts and Rousseau.

3. If you look at Tarnas, he does not consider the Enlightenment a major milestone on the road to modernity. At least it does not get its own separate section, but is part of Part V, the Modern Mind and a little bit of Part VI. After looking over RT Parts V & VI, do you think  RT underestimates the Enlightenment=s significance?  Why or why not?

4. On p. 348 RT refers to Kant=ACopernican Revolution@. What does he mean?

5. If you haven=t already, look at the first Chapter of Read=s Concise History of Modern Painting. Does this conception of modern art owe anything to Kant?

6.  We will look at a slides of Jefferson=s architecture. Why is Jefferson=s neo-classical architecture in Monticello a great poster for the Enlightenment?






Week 7


Part V: Romanticism

1. Have read LVB, Part III, Century of Becoming, the Intro. and sub-part 1 Romanticism and Idealism, pp. 463B505.

2. Romantic painting

3. Beethoven, Symphony # 5;  

4. Dante compared with Tschaikovsky=s compared with Blake=s Paolo and Francesca


By now you should be working on a paper topic, preferably in consultation with me. How to do that? The best way is to look over various topics and assigned readings we have already covered, and topics we will cover further on. It is kind of like buying a new car. I will explain what I mean in class.


MIDTERMS handed out. Turn in next week.




Week 8


4.  LVB, Part III,  sub-part 2 a.  Bentham, Mill, Spencer and Comte


 Turn in Midterms this week.



Week 9


Part VI: Positivism, Economic Liberalism, Utilitarianism, Marxism

1.  LVB: Zola and Courbet;  Marx and Mazzini

2.  6. LVB: Darwin, Huxley ; romantic rejections of Darwinian theory: analysis of Spielberg=s and Crichton=JurassicPark.


You should have chosen your paper  topic by this week. Now you need to begin narrowing the topic into a workable thesis or problem as you assemble, in the course of your reading, a bibliography from which you will make notes. From your notes, you will create a detailed outline, and from your outline will emerge the drafts of your paper. All drafts are handed in Dec. _.






Week 10


 Part VII: The Age of Anxiety:  

1.  LVB and RT: Nietzsche; Dilthey; Renan, Bergson, analysis of a drawing by Paul Klee (handout) combined with analysis of Kafka, from Parables and Paradoxes (handout)

2.  Erich Fromm, AThe Freak of the Universe@(handout)

3.  If there is time, we can look also at Paul Klee,  AEternal Genesis@(handout)






Week 11


Part VIII: Existentialism and its Offshoots

1.   LVB: Tillich, Freud

2.   Dostoevski, Notes From Underground  (handout)






Week 12


3.   Kierkegaard: have read excerpts from Kierkegaard=s Philosophy: Self-Deception and Cowardice in the Present Age, by Mullen, 1981.

4.  We will view Joe Versus the Volcanowith Tom Hanks (film).

5.  In-class Kierkegaard and Ibsen assignment.






Week 13


6.  Impressionism and Cubism--Picasso, AArt as an Individual Idea@(handout) and slides. 






Week 14


Part IX: The Seeds of Post Modernismstructuralism to deconstructionism to post-structuralism

1.  Expressionism, Abstract Expressionism;  Theodore Rosczak (handout) and Surrealism

2.   Op and Pop art

3.   Le Corbusier v. Tom Wolfe, From Bauhaus to Our House (handout) and/or ATithing at the Altar of Art@(handout).  



Turn in your Term Paper this week.


Week 15


4.   Comments on DeMann, Derrida, Lacan, Foucault and deconstructionism. (handout]


FINAL EXAMS distributed.  To be turned in next week. Complete any unfinished business from last time.


Week 16


Turn in Final Exam.         .

Final comments: where do we go from here?