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About this Lecture
In this module, we focus on the philosophy of utilitarianism, “the greatest good for the greatest number”. In particular, we think about Dickens’ critique of utilitarianism, and the characters that espouse it—most notably Mr. Gradgrind (“a man of realities, a man of facts and calculations”)
In this course, Dr Alfie Bown (University of Manchester) explores Dickens’ 1854 novel, Hard Times. As we move through the course, we think about the philosophy of Utilitarianism (thinking in particular about Mr. Gradgrind), about class (thinking in particular about Mr. Bounderby), about regulation and surveillance in Coketown (thinking in particular about Mrs. Sparsit) and, finally, about comedy (thinking in particular about the Circus).
Alfie Bown is Lecturer in Digital Media Culture and Technology at Royal Holloway, University of London. His principle research interests are in psychoanalysis, digital media, critical theory and videogames, though he has also published in nineteenth-century studies, film studies and medieval studies. He is author of The Playstation Dreamworld (2017) and In the Event of Laughter (2018) among other things. His most recent book is an edited collection of essays entitled Post-Memes: Seizing the Memes of Production (2019).
Cite this Lecture
Bown, A. (2018, August 15). Dickens: Hard Times - Utilitarianism [Video]. MASSOLIT. https://www.massolit.io/courses/dickens-hard-times-25755294-8d04-48a3-9a77-7f556425ed23/utilitarianism
Bown, Alfie. "Dickens: Hard Times – Utilitarianism." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 15 Aug 2018, https://www.massolit.io/courses/dickens-hard-times-25755294-8d04-48a3-9a77-7f556425ed23/utilitarianism