Universitat Internacional de Catalunya

Modern Culture

Modern Culture
First semester
Main language of instruction: Spanish

Other languages of instruction: Catalan, English

Teaching staff

They must be agreed upon according to the needs of the students.


To introduce the distinctive and characteristic elements of European Modern Culture, from the Renaissance to the outbreak of the French Revolution.

Pre-course requirements

Those of the Degree.


-To know and interpret the main keys that make up modern culture in Western Europe.

- To know how to differentiate and appreciate the continuities and ruptures that can be seen between the different cultural manifestations from the 15th century until 1789.

- To verify the overwhelming presence that these cultural characteristics still have today.


  • E11 - Ability to interpret data and relate it to appropriate theories.
  • E12 - To acquire knowledge and understanding of imaginary, iconic and symbolic languages and their representation.
  • E13 - To acquire knowlege of the general diachronic framework of the past.
  • E15 - Ability to identify and value the different elements which make up cultural heritage.
  • E22 - To acquire knowledge of and the ability to use data collection instruments (biliographic catalogues, inventory archives, documentary sources, electronic sources, etc).
  • G01 - To analyse and interpret social and cultural environments to identify need, opportunities, weaknesses and strenghts..
  • G02 - To lead, cooordinate and form part of interdisciplinary work teams.
  • G03 - To search for and/or administer economic resources within the framework of an institution or company, or a cultural programmes, project or service.
  • G05 - To act responsibly and produce high-quality, rigorous and efficient work that benefits society.
  • G08 - Ability to carry out research.

Learning outcomes

1. The student acquires key concepts about culture and cultural experiences.

2. The student applies theoretical knowledge in analysis and discussions of classroom activities and autonomous work.

3. The student knows and selects specific documentation on cultural experiences.

4. The student practices teamwork strategies.

5. The student learns to contextualise cultural phenomena and relate them to their social and political dimension.

6. The student connects concepts from the different subjects worked transversally.

7. The student learns to diagnose problems in the cultural intellectual field.

8. The student applies/transfers theoretical and/or abstract concepts from each of the topics to real situations.

9. The student reads and analyses essays on current topics.

10. The student writes narrative and descriptive texts

11. The student analyses and diagnoses cases of cultural complexity.

12. The student organises data and/or scattered information.



1.- What is the Early Modern Age?
1.1.- The irruption of the concept 
1.2.- The chronological limits (beginning, end, intermediate stages)
1.3.- Reductionisms in the approach
1.4.- Continuities and ruptures

2.- Cultural currents: Renaissance, Baroque and Enlightenment
2.1.- XVI century: Renaissance and Religious Reformation
2.2.- XVII century: crisis, Baroque and mentalities
2.3.- XVIII Century: Enlightenment and Revolution


General considerations on Modernity.


The 17th century and the reception of the Cartesian work: rationalism and empiricism.

Rationalism: Spinoza and Leibniz.

Empiricism: Locke, Berkeley and Hume.

The philosophy of Enlightenment.

The transcendental philosophy: Kant.

Considerations on post-Kantian philosophy.


Unit 1: The wise humanist and the prince of the Renaissance.

The Prince (1513), by Machiavelli.
Utopia (1516) by Tomàs Moro.
Macbeth (1607), by Shakespeare.
Unit 2: Reason and madness.

Praise of Folly (1511), by Erasmus de Rotterdam.
Don Quixote (1605-1615), by Cervantes.
Evaluation: Comparative analysis of two texts.



1. The Renaissance and Mannerism.

1.1 Terminology, periodisation and historiography.

1.2 A new aesthetic.

1.3 The architecture of Quattrocento and Cinquecento. Principles and typologies.

1.4 The figurative arts of Quattrocento and Cinquecento. Centres, genres and themes.

1.5 Mannerism and the search for originality.

1.6 The art of the Counter-Reformation.

1.7 The spread of Renaissance in Europe. The Hispanic Renaissance.

2. The Baroque and the Rococo.

2.1 The baroque city and its spaces.

2.2 Baroque civil architecture.

2.3 Catholic and Protestant Architecture during the time of the Baroque.

2.4 Themes and trends in the figurative arts of Baroque.

2.5 The Hispanic Baroque. The Golden Age of Spanish painting.

2.6 The world of Rococo.

Teaching and learning activities

In person

The course will combine theory sessions explaining the syllabus given by the group of professors and practical sessions for reading texts, analysing sources and images, as well as programmed and previously prepared discussions.

Evaluation systems and criteria

In person


Each professor who teaches the course will evaluate their students through an essay and an exam that will be carried out, preferably, during the last session of that topic. With the grade from these two items, each professor will calculate their average and, with the four resulting means, the average grade of the Modern Culture course will be obtained, with a small difference in value between the topics that make up the course, since History consists of 3 credits while Philosophy, Literature and Art have 2 each.

In the second call, the student will retake the parts of the course that they failed but the grades of the items that they have already passed will be saved. If you fail any part again, you will have to re-take the whole course, including what you passed in the previous course.

The Erasmus student will undergo the same evaluation as the rest of the students except with regards to spelling.

It should be noted that the professors who teach this course will be very rigorous in relation to two specific topics, plagiarism and spelling.

Plagiarism is taking the ideas written by another person and presenting them as if they were your own ideas, without quoting the author. Plagiarism (a term that comes from the Latin word for ‘kidnapping’) is deceptive and dishonest.

  • Examples of plagiarism are: copying, paraphrasing or summarising someone’s words without properly quoting the source or without inserting the quotation marks that are necessary when making a direct quote.
  • To avoid plagiarism, the source must be quoted whenever ideas written by another person are used and even if the quote is not direct and is paraphrasing or summarising the ideas of another. In direct quotes, use quotation marks and quote the source. In an academic essay, it is not enough to generically record the bibliography used, but it is necessary to explicitly mention the source where ideas written by another person are collected.

Plagiarism in written essays for this course is unacceptable and, therefore, all work in which plagiarism is committed will be evaluated with a zero.

And with regard to spelling mistakes, we consider that correctly using the language in written tests, essays and oral presentations is very important in this course, both from the point of view of grammar and spelling as well as punctuation and wording. Likewise, the appropriate use of terms specific to the discipline is particularly relevant.

According to faculty regulations, at least 0.10 points will be deducted for each misspelling in exams and papers.  

Bibliography and resources


-DOMINGUEZ ORTIZ, A.: Historia Universal Moderna, Barcelona, Vicens Vives, 1983.

-FLORISTÁN, A. (Coord) Historia Moderna Universal. Barcelona: Ariel, 2004. (2ª ed).

-GIRALT, E; ORTEGA, R.; ROIG, J.: Textos, mapas y cronología, Barcelona, Teide, 1985.

-JULIÁ, J.R. (Dir). Atlas de historia universal. 2 vols. Barcelona: Planeta, 2000.

- MARAVALL, J.A. La cultura del Barroco. Barcelona: Ariel, 2002.

-MARTÍNEZ RUIZ, E.; GIMÉNEZ, E.: i altres, Introducción a la Historia Moderna, Madrid, Itsmo, 1991.

-MOLAS, P.; DANTÍ, J.; RIERA, E.: Història Universal, vol. III: Història Moderna, Barcelona, Editorial 92 1992.

-MOLAS, BADA, ESCARTIN, SANCHEZ MARCOS, GUAL, MARTINEZ: Manual de Historia Moderna Barcelona, Ariel, 1993.

-TODOROV, T. El espíritu de la Ilustración. Barcelona: Galaxia Gutenberg, 2008.


BERKELEY, G., Tratado sobre los principios del conocimiento humano, trad. C. Mellizo, Alianza editorial, Madrid, 1992.

--- : Tres diálogos entre Hilas y Filonús, trad. G. L. Sastre, Espasa Calpe, Madrid, 1996.

DESCARTES, R., Regles per a la direcció de l’enginy, trad. Salvi Turró,  Barcelona, Edicions 62, 1998.

--- : Discurso del método, trad. M. García Morente, Espasa-Calpe, Madrid, 1970.

--- : Meditaciones metafísicas, trad. M. García Morente, Espasa-Calpe, Madrid, 1970.

HUME, D., Tratado de la naturaleza humana, trad. F. Duque, Orbis, Barcelona, 1984.

KANT, I., Crítica de la razón pura, trad. P. Ribas, ed. Alfaguara, Madrid, 1978.

---: Crítica de la razón práctica, trad. M. García Morente, ed. Sígueme, Salamanca, 1995.

---: Crítica de la facultad de juzgar, trad. R. R. Aramayo, Madrid, A. Machado Libros, 2003.

LEIBNIZ, G.W., Meditaciones sobre el conocimiento, la verdad y las ideas, trad. Miguel Candel Sanmartín (versión hipertexto en http://www.ub.es/telemac)

--- : Discurso de metafísica, trad. A. C. Piñán, ed. Orbis, Barcelona, 1983.

--- : Monadología, trad. M. Fuentes, ed. Orbis, Barcelona, 1983.

LOCKE, J, Ensayo sobre el entendimiento humano, trad. Edmundo O’Gorman, FCE, México, 1999.

SPINOZA, B., Tratado de la reforma del entendimiento, trad. Atilano Domínguez, Madrid, Alianza, 1988.

--- : Ètica demostrada segons l’ordre geomètric, trad. J. Olesti, Marbot Ediciones, Barcelona, 2013.  

Works of a general nature:

AA.VV., Estudis cartesians, Societat Catalana de Filosofia, Barcelonesa d’Edicions, Barcelona, 1996.

CASSIRER, E., La filosofía de la Ilustración, México, FCE, 1972.

--- : El problema del conocimiento en la filosofía y en la ciencia modernas, México, FCE, 1979 (vol. I y II).

--- : Kant. Vida y doctrina, México, FCE, 1993.

HAZARD, P., La crisis de la conciencia europea, Madrid, Alianza, 1983.

--- : El pensamiento europeo en el siglo XVIII, Madrid, Alianza, 1985.

HEIDEGGER, M., “La época de la imagen del mundo” (Die Zeit des Weltbildes) en Caminos del bosque (Holzwege), trad. Helena Cortés y Arturo Leyte, Madrid, Alianza, 1995.

MARTÍNEZ MARZOA, F., Historia de la filosofía, Madrid, ed. Istmo, 1973 y 1994, (vol. II).

--- : Cálculo y ser(Aproximación a Leibniz), Madrid, Visor, 1991.

--- : Releer a Kant, Barcelona, ed. Anthropos, 1992.

MORRIS, C.R., Locke, Berkeley y Hume, Oxford University Press, 1987.

TURRÓ, S., Descartes. Del hermetismo a la nueva ciencia, Barcelona, ed. Anthropos, 1987.

---: Filosofia i Modernitat. La reconstrucció de l’ordre del món, Barcelona, Edicions de la Universitat de Barcelona, 2016.

Materials online


- http://plato.stanford.edu

- http://frank.mtsu.edu/~rbombard/RB/spinoza.new.html (Studia Spinoziana)

- www.leibniz.es

- http://www.davidhume.org


Argan, Giulio Carlo. Renacimiento y Barroco I. De Giotto a Leonardo da Vinci. Madrid: ediciones Akal, 1987.

Argan, Giulio Carlo. Renacimiento y Barroco II. De Miguel Angel a Tiepolo. Madrid: ediciones Akal, 1988.

Cámara Muñoz, Alicia; Carrió-Invernizzi, Diana. Historia del arte de los siglos XVII y XVIII. Redes y circulación de modelos artísticos. Madrid: Editorial Universitaria Ramón Areces, 2015.

Castex, Jean. Renacimiento, Barroco y Clasicismo. Madrid: Akal, 1994.

Murray, Peter y Linda.  El arte del Renacimiento. Barcelona: Destino, 1991.



Teaching and learning material