This seminar will explore the dark side of the Enlightenment, or Age of Reason. The fiction and philosophy we will read shock and challenge all our pieties and inhibitions. How did the age that brought us liberty, equality, and fraternity also bring us such gleefully conspicuous cruelty, terror, and vice? How do our texts both expose and indulge these? We will approach them with a view to better understanding the ethical thought and moral values of the Enlightenment. Reading them requires reflection on human conduct and character, as understood in the period that brought us the ethical values and democratic political system we still inhabit.