Course Suggestions

New: The Philosophy Of Jean-Paul Sarte

Everyone knows Sartres name and the movement of Existentialist philosophy he inspired, but how many have actually read his major tome Being and Nothingness (1943)? This course presents you with the opportunity to read and discuss the book from start to finish over 12 weeks. Starting with a discussion of his early work on Husserl and phenomenology, the course will then dive into Sartres central theories about nothingness, freedom, bad faith, temporality, the gaze, sexuality and resistance to oppression. Along the way, we will assess Sartres influence on Lacan, Deleuze and Badiou, and look ahead to the emergence of Marxist Existentialism in Sartres later, underrated classic, the Critique of Dialectical Reason (1960).

New: Advanced European Philosophy

This year we will focus our investigations on the Frankfurt School/Critical Theory and its influence on contemporary philosophy. The emphasis will be on aesthetics and ethics/politics as we investigate 2nd generation Frankfurt School through a study of the work of Habermas and Marcuse, their influence on thinkers like Nancy and Zizek, and the importance of these ideas in relation to our complex contemporary world. Participants should have extensive previous experience of studying European philosophy and enjoy a detailed reading of difficult texts combined with collaborative discussion.

Intermediate Philosophy Part 1 : Reason and Unreason

The Enlightenment, or Age of Reason comprised several strands of thought which historically culminated in the political upheaval of the French Revolution. We will begin by exploring its main ideas: freedom, progress, secularism, the role of a new science, the birth of modern subjectivity through a discussion of Kant, Rousseau and Hume. Some of these ideas will be harnessed to great effect by Hegel and German Idealism, and later critiqued by nineteenth century thinkers such as Schopenhauer, Kierkegaard and above all, Nietzsche — all three philosophers signalling a crisis of Enlightenment, a crisis which is both hazard and the opening to what Nietzsche calls the open sea.

Literature, Art and Economics

Economic life is driven by creativity, collective rules and emotions, not just by rational calculation. It is a product of imagination and social sentiments. How come then most economic theories study this dynamic process through static equilibrium models and narrow rationalistic assumptions?
This course will trust fiction writers and artists to give us another view of economic realities. We will call authors to the witness stand, as diverse as Aristophanes, Dickens, Zola and Ben Okri (and you may have others in mind you would like to see contributing their expertise). We will discuss painting and scenes from films. As any good fiction, economics is about metaphors, myths, fantasies, heroes and villains; it mixes cognitive truths and ideological falsifications. Let’s see if we can find a way along these blurred lines.

New: The Varieties Of Esoteric Christianity

Since the earliest beginnings of Christianity and its crystallisation into orthodox forms, both in the East and in the West, there have been alternative interpretations typically considered to be heretical by the mainstream churches. This course takes a sample of these from the 18th through to the 20th centuries and examines some leading thinkers and/or organisations that their ideas have given birth to. From the 18th Century we look at Emanuel Swedenborg, so influential for William Blake, and the subsequent founding of the New Church. From the latter part of the 19th Century we encounter ex-Theosophists including Anna Kingsford, whose work inspired The Order of the Cross, Rudolf Steiner, whose Christian Community became the religious wing of the Anthroposophical Society, and also Dion Fortune, whose Society of the Inner Light remains to this day a Christian esoteric fraternity. Finally, the long-term president of the Theosophical Society reveals in her writing a more favourable opinion of mystical Christianity than did her mentor H.P. Blavatsky.New: Creative Ageing: How Not To Retire

This course looks at the opportunities available to us in mid and later life as we continue to want to live active, fulfilling lives but still make changes in what we want to do and how we may want to do this. We will look at ways of working as we age and practical goal planning to help develop passion projects and creativity for ourselves. We will also look at the different ways in which we can stay connected with other people and develop new opportunities in this area.

New: Imaging The Medieval Monarch

We will interpret the symbolism of royal imagery visible in mosaics, paintings, monuments, coinage and ceremonial regalia that were used to portray a divine right to rule whether it be by legitimate succession or usurpation.

New: The Worlds Greatest Short Stories

An opportunity to get to read the greatest short stories ever written – in a single course. Well be asking ourselves the questions. What makes a short story great? And how have our ideas about that changed over time? Each week we will read several stories by a master of the genre including Chekhov, Joyce, Kipling, Kafka, Katherine Mansfield, Raymond Carver and Alice Munro.

Introduction To Complementary Therapies

This course is designed to help you learn the basics of four exciting complementary therapies: Indian Head Massage; Massage; Aromatherapy and Reflexology. The course aims to provide you with the necessary practical and theoretical skills to give safe and effective mini treatments for relaxation on family and friends.

Introduction To Diet And Nutrition Part 1

This course is designed to help you learn the basics of four exciting complementary therapies: Indian Head Massage; Massage; Aromatherapy and Reflexology. The course aims to provide you with the necessary practical and theoretical skills to give safe and effective mini treatments for relaxation on family and friends.