发布时间: 2012-10-29 浏览次数: 428

【课程英文名称】American Intellectual History






【总学时数】 36     其中理论教学学时: 32     实验(实践)教学时数:4

【总学分数】 2

【教研室】 英语国家研究中心

【执笔人】 高健

【审核人】 王恩铭







本课程要求学生必须掌握一定的美国历史与美国社会学问的基本常识,熟悉特定的思想得以产生的历史背景与时代特征,以便学生探讨具有较强思辨色彩的思想史问题。因此,“美国历史”与“美国社会与学问”课程是开设 “美国思想史选读”课程的必要条件。




总论  美国思想史的历史沿革与基本特征






第一章     清教的遗产( The Puritanism Heritage



Who are puritans? What is their role in Christian history? Why is American history characterized by the heritage of Puritanism? Is religious pursuit a common dream for all the first colonists? Do the representatives of puritans have a unanimous attitude on an ideal social life for God’s will? What do American people inherit from their Puritanism tradition? What is the religious echo in the modern American life?


Required Readings:

John Winthrop, “A Model of Christian Charity” (1630)


Further References:

1)      Deborah Madsen, American Exceptionalism.[M] Jackson: University Press of Mississippi. 1998.

2)      Perry Miller, Errand into the Wilderness.[M] Cambridge Massachussetts: Harvard University Press. 1993.

3)    Puritanism In Early America, edited by George M. Waller, Butler University.

4)   Please go to Loveheart Reading Room to read the relevant chapters in the primary reading material list for a thorough knowledge on this subject.

5) 王立新:《美国例外论与美国外交政策》[A],《南开学报》[J], 2006年第1期。

6) My paper titled “青山遮不住,毕竟东流去-----试论美国卓异主义道德内涵的衰落” is uploaded into my Blog for your interest.


第二章 启蒙运动与美国式民主(American Enlightenment and Its Democratic Style



What is the historical role of ENLIGHTENMENT in European history?  What is the characteristic of American enlightenment? Why was democracy so contentious on the initial stage of the republic? What is the significance of French revolution to the surface-up of American democracy? What are the particular characteristics of American democracy?


Required Readings:

1)  Thomas Paine, Selection from Common Sense (1776)

2)  Benjamin Franklin, Selection from The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin (1784-88)

3)  John Adams, Selection from A Dissertation on Canon and Feudal Law (1765)

4)  Thomas Jefferson, The Declaration of Independence(1776)

5) James Madison, The Federalist Papers, #s 10, 51 (1787-88)

6) Alexis De Tocqueville, Selection from Democracy in America (1840)

7) Thomas Jefferson, Selection from Notes on the State of Virginia (1787)


Further References:

1)       Bailyn, Bernard. The Ideological Origins of the American Revolution. (Harvard University Press, 1967). ISBN 0-674-44301-2

2)       Becker, Carl. The Declaration of Independence: A Study on the History of Political Ideas (1922) online edition, famous classic

3)       Kerber, Linda K. Women of the Republic: Intellect and Ideology in Revolutionary America (1979)

4)       Kidd, Thomas S. God of Liberty: A Religious History of the American Revolution (2010)

5)       Maier, Pauline. American Scripture: Making the Declaration of Independence (1998) excerpt and text search

6)       Wahlke, John C. ed. The Causes of the American Revolution (1967) readings


第三章  自然的民族:超验主义( Nation of Nature:   Transcendentalism




What is the role of “nature” in the origin of American culture? What is the influence of Romanticism trend on the American culture in 1800th century? To what degree, the rise of transcendentalism is an echo to the cultural tradition of Massachusetts? Who are the transcendentalists? What are the primary thoughts of transcendentalism? What do you think of the influence of transcendentalism on American culture?


Required Readings:

Ralph Waldo Emerson, “Self-Reliance” (1841)

Ralph Waldo Emerson, ‘The Divinity School Address (1838)

Henry David Thoreau, “ My Days”,  from Walden Lake.


Further References:

1)      Gura, Philip F. American Transcendentalism: A History. New York: Hill and Wang, 2007: 7–8.

2)      Rose, Anne C. Transcendentalism as a Social Movement, 1830–1850. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1981: 208.

3)      Gura, Philip F. American Transcendentalism: A History. New York: Hill and Wang, 2007: 8.

4)       McFarland, Philip. Hawthorne in Concord. New York: Grove Press, 2004.


第四章  社会达尔文主义与美国学问 Social Darwinism and American Culture




What are the primary principles of Darwinism? Why is Darwinism so popular in the 19th century’s European history as an interpretation of social rule? Who are the representative theorists of Darwinism in European sphere of social science? What is the social background for the acceptance of social Darwinism in the late 19th century’s American history? Has Social Darwinism been fully adopted in American culture?


Required Reading:

1) Thorstein Veblen, Selection from Theory of the Leisure Class (1899)

2) Thorstein Veblen, Selection from Theory of the Business Enterprise (1904)

3) Andrew Carnegie, Gospel of Wealth( excerpts) (1889)

Please refer to the book American Political Thinking: Readings From The Origins To The 21st Century, Robert Isaak 编著,北京大学出版社影印版本。


Reference Books:

1)Bannister, Robert C. Social Darwinism: Science and Myth in Anglo-American Social Thought (1989)

2)Degler, Carl N. In Search of Human Nature: The Decline and Revival of Darwinism in American Social Thought (1992).

3)Hofstadter, Richard, Social Darwinism in American Thought (1955)


第五章 资本主义学问及其反对者( Capitalism and its Opponents




Why  was capitalism severely criticized in 20th century American history?  How many different responses to the rise of capitalism in the early time of 20th century American politics? What is the primary thought of progressivism in 1920s? How much “new”  is the New Deal policy adopted by Franklin Roosevelt? How many forms could left-wing movements be roughly divided into in 20th century American history? What is the difference of Old Left and New Left?  Why does socialism ideology fail to take the predominant role in the modern American culture?


Required Readings:

1)      Critiques from the Left, American Political Thinking: Readings from the Origins to the 21st Century, Robert Isaak, P. 653-679.

2)      美国自由主义的历史变迁,钱满素,三联书店,第64-163页。


1)       Kelleher, William J.. Progressive Logic: Framing A Unified Field Theory of Values For Progressives. The Empathic Science Institute, 2005.

2)       Link, Arthur S. and McCormick, Richard L.. Progressivism (American History Series). Harlan Davidson, 1983.

3)       Kloppenberg, James T.. Uncertain Victory: Social Democracy and Progressivism in European and American Thought, 1870-1920. Oxford University Press, USA, 1988.

4)       Frost, Jennifer. "An Interracial Movement of the Poor": Community Organizing & the New Left in the 1960s (New York University Press, 2001)

5)       Gosse, Van. The Movements of the New Left, 1950–1975: A Brief History with Documents (Bedford/St. Martin's, 2004).

6)       Isserman, Maurice. If I had a Hammer: the Death of the Old Left and the Birth of the New Left, reprint edition (University of Illinois Press, 1993)


第六章  自由主义在20世纪美国学问中的发展(The Evolution of Liberalism




What is liberalism in term of political philosophy? Why is liberalism regarded as the fundamental ideology of American culture? What are the essential principles of liberalism? What is the role “Bill of Rights” in the early period of American history? In the light of Liberalism, what progress has American accomplished in term of race, gender and ethnicity? What are the social problems as a result of the thriving of liberalism?


Required Readings:

1)      Give me liberty, By Eric Foner, P. 237-261. P524-532. P. 963-972.

2)      American Political Thinking: Readings from the origins to the 21st century.  By Robert Isaak, Overcoming Slavery and the Civil War. P. 311-322.Black Perspectives On Ends and Means, P . 693-704.The Wisdom of Women. P 725-740.

3)      The American Intellectual Tradition,   By David Hollinger.  Selection from The Feminine Mystique(1963), By Betty Friedan. Selection from “ Compulsory Heterosexuality and Lesbian Existence”( 1980), by Adrienne Rich, Gender and Science 1990,( 1990) by Evelyn Fox Keller.

4)      关于美国当代多元学问主义,请仔细阅读发给大家的王恩铭教授的几篇文章。 


第七章  保守主义的崛起(The Rise of Conservatism



How can we define conservatism as a scope of political philosophy? What is the difference between European conservatism and the American counterpart?  How many periods can American conservatism movements be roughly divided into? What are the characteristics for each period?

What are the fundamental principles of Neo-conservatism in terms of economic, political and cultural perspectives?  Why is George W. Bush’ government so deeply impressed by Neo-conservatism? Can we draw a conclusion that Neo-conservatism is dramatically declining in the contemporary American politics?


Required Readings:

1)      多元学问主义v.s.新保守主义――解读当代美国社会与学问思潮兼论零四年美国总统选举, 王恩铭;(以电子文档发放)

2)      当代美国新保守主义的兴起,王恩铭;(以电子文档发放)

3)      布什主义与美国新保守主义,周琪;(以电子文档发放)

4)      美国的新保守主义思想运动,李志东、梅仁毅;(以电子文档发放)

5)      九一一事件与美国保守主义,郝雨凡;(以电子文档发放)

Further References:

1)      Russell Kirk, The Conservative Mind, from Burke to Santayana (Chicago: H. Regnery Co.,1953)

2)       The conservative movement / Paul Gottfried. Rev. ed. New York : Twayne Publishers, c1993.

3)       The neoconservative revolution : Jewish intellectuals and the shaping of public policy / Murray Friedman.  New York : Cambridge University Press, 2005.

4)      American conservative thought since World War II : the core ideas / Melvin J. Thorne.New York : Greenwood Press, 1990.



本课程在教学上以教师为主导,结合美国历史学问的发展过程,系统地先容美国自17世纪以来社会思潮的发展变化, 要求学生课后阅读有关章节的文献资料, 通过互动式教学激发同学参与课堂讨论得积极性,力求让同学们深入领会美国社会学问的精髓及其基本特征。




1American History, A Survey , Alan Brinkley, Mc Graw Hill Press.

2The Story Of American Freedom, Eric Foner, W.W. Norton & Company.

3American Political Thinking: Readings From The Origins To The 21st Century, Robert Isaak 编著,北京大学出版社影印版本。

4The American Intellectual Tradition, A Sourcebook , Edited by David A. Hollinger and Charles Capper, Oxford University Press,1993.

5 Main Currents In American Thought, 1620-1920 ,by Vernon Louis Parrington, 《美国思想史》, 陈永国等译,吉林出版社。






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