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ACE 016: Social Science Seminar II

Richard Adams

(Submission #134)

Course Description

ACE 016, Social Sciences Seminar II, a course in the curriculum of Adult Collegiate Education, is described in Queens College’s Undergraduate Bulletin as follows: “A continuation of the study of the historical development of Western civilization from the Reformation to modern times, through an analysis of sources, both original and secondary. In addition to the perspectives of the older, well-established disciplines of history and philosophy, the course will draw upon the newer social sciences: economics, sociology, and political science.”

“A continuation” above refers to the fact that ACE 016 is the second course in a two-course sequence of courses, the first of which is ACE 015. A proposal that ACE 015 be approved as a PLAS course is being submitted separately.

In line with the description, instructors in ACE 016 typically assign, first, chapters in a history of Western civilization that deal with the Reformation, the commercial revolution, the rise of national states, the scientific revolution, the Enlightenment (including the American Revolution), the French Revolution, Napoleon, the industrial revolution, currents of thought in the early nineteenth century (such as romanticism, conservatism, liberalism, radicalism, socialism, and nationalism), the revolutions and counterrevolutions in nineteenth-century Continental European states, currents of thought in the middle and later nineteenth century (such as realism in art and literature, positivism, Darwinism, Marxism, anarchism, and feminism), the unifications of Italy and Germany, and the rise of extreme nationalism leading to World War I. (This is as far into “modern times” as instructors in ACE 016 usually find it feasible to get, though some occasionally try to get as far as the eve of World War II.)

In the second place, also assigned, in whole or in significant part, will be pertinent sources both primary and secondary, in history, philosophy, sociology, political theory, social psychology, and economics, such as the following: Weber’s Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism, Hobbes’s Leviathan, Locke’s Second Treatise of Civil Government, Rousseau’s Social Contract, Mill’s On Liberty and On the Subjection of Women, Freud’s Civilization and Its Discontents, and Heilbroner’s Worldly Philosophers: The Lives, Times, and Ideas of the Great Economic Thinkers (from Adam Smith to Keynes and Schumpeter). Finally, written reports (one of them also to be presented orally in class) will be assigned on two books, one historical and the other (not historical but otherwise) socially scientific or philosophical, selected by the student from lists of alternatives.


Area of Knowledge and Inquiry: Analyzing Social Structures (SS)
Context of Experience: Not Applicable
Extended Requirement: Not Applicable

Additional Course information

Credits: 6
Prerequisites: ACE 015
Existing Course: Existing
Existing Course Number: ACE 016
Course Anticipated to be offered: Every Semester
Other (if specified): 
Number of Sections: 2
Number of Seats: 35


[Justification, Materials, Assessment, Administration (DOC)]   [Syllabus/Syllabi (DOC)]  

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