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This course is at Advanced level and so would not be suitable for people who are new to studying philosophy. It would be an ideal continuation course for students who have previously studied on our Intermediate level courses and who now want a course that will look at the work of a particular philosopher or theme in some depth. It may also be suitable for people who have had some previous grounding in 20th Century French Philosophy, and who now want to study in more depth.
Although you should have some previous experience of studying philosophy it is not expected that you need to have familiarity with Badiou et al, as this is what the course will aim to provide.
This course explores new questions and concepts introduced by 21st century philosophers, and places them within the context of the history of philosophy and within existing political and social conditions. We will focus on Badiou's concept of The Event, and the distinction it makes between knowledge and truth; Nancy's concept of The Inoperative Community, its relation to politics, language, and ontology, and the possibilities it opens for new collective identities; Agamben's concept of the Apparatus, and its role in contemporary forms of subjectivation and knowledge creation; and Malabou's concept of Plasticity, the ability of all living matter to undergo radical change, and its implications for diverse fields such as neuroscience, psychoanalysis, and politics.
By the end of the course, you should be able to:
- Assess the significance of these concepts within the history of philosophy
- Explain and analyse the philosophies of Badiou, Nancy and Agamben
- Compare and contrast 21st and 20th century continental philosophies
- Apply the insights you have developed to current political, social, economic and technological debates.
The course will be taught in a seminar style, and there will be an opportunity for students to give a presentation on an aspect of the week's content before each session, discuss and debate. Short excerpts will be provided to read during class and at home, which will cover important concept and arguments. Every three lessons will focus on the concept of a different philosopher and the set of problems this concept attempts to solve, problems which will be shown to belong specifically to our time.
Students will be expected to engage with readings at home each week. Texts will be supplied by the tutor, and there will be no expectation to purchase them.
Other Upper Intermediate or Advanced level Philosophy courses at the Mary Ward Centre or other similar establishments.
The 21st century has seen a crisis in the intellectual force of continental philosophy, with the passing of major philosophers such as Jacques Derrida, Gilles Deleuze and Jean-François Lyotard, among others. But with this crisis arrives an opportunity to incite a new vibrant movement of critical thought that can account for our current epoch. Active philosophers and academics such as Jean-Luc Nancy, Alain Badiou, Catherine Malabou and Giorgio Agamben offer new provocations and interventions in science, art, politics and metaphysics, which this course will examine. We will explore the growing body of knowledge formed within the conditions of 21st century life, and follow the many diverse questions that these philosophers elicit: Where do we belong to and what do we share with each other? How does technology capture our subjectivation? Can philosophy engage with science and politics without dominating them? These questions and others will be evaluated carefully by closely reading prominent 21st century philosophical texts, and within the context of contemporary events and concerns that shape our living reality. Through our discussion, we will endeavour to understand how philosophy is slowly detaching from some of its traditions and passionately confronting acute questions and issues that are on the agenda, as it charts its own future.
Philosophy in the second half of the 20th century was faced with the demands of formulating an adequate response to the world after the second world war: the rise of different forms of totalitarianism, the horrors of the war itself and the role of technology in bringing this about became urgent issues. We will examine two forms of response to this situation. Firstly, we will examine how Critical Theory attempted to explain and move beyond the social contradictions that had been laid bare during this period. Following on from this, the question of the place of language in our relations with the world came to a central focus of attention, giving birth to the ideas of structuralism and post-structuralism. In this part of the course we will engage with the work of Lacan, Derrida, Foucault and Deleuze.
'What is science? How is it different to pseudo-science? What counts as evidence for a theory? What kinds of things are theories? Are they true? If they are true, how is it that they change and get superseded by new better theories? What makes a theory 'better'? What is scientific knowledge and why is so prized as a form of knowledge? What explains the social success of science? These are all questions and topics that will be addressed and discussed in this summer term Philosophy of Science course.'
This is an online course. Do we need to secure our claims of knowledge before understanding what is absolutely true? How do we know what we know? What is the relation between our consciousness and the external world? Is the process of knowing immediate or mediated? Who is free in the master-slave relation? What is an ethical act in relation to the state? What does the death of Christ reveal to us? What is absolute knowing? G.W.F. Hegel's Phenomenology of Spirit seeks address these questions through an examination of the development of self-consciousness and the cultural-historical forms it takes in what he calls 'spirit'. This is Hegel's most revolutionary text, and has influenced all subsequent philosophy, Marxism, feminism, anti-colonial theory, existentialism, and postmodernism.
Daniel Weizman has a PhD from the Centre for Research in Modern European Philosophy (CRMEP) at Kingston University. His research focuses on the origins of French structuralism and the work of Gilles Deleuze. Daniel's approach to teaching philosophy is to foster connections between the discipline and our current reality in order to encourage critical reflection and inquiry. By creating a space for students to critically engage with conceptual philosophical structures on the one hand, and our lived experiences on the other, Daniel aims to facilitate an intellectual journey which seeks out the problems that are at the core of 21st century life, whether in politics, science, art, economics or technology.
For more information contact The Departmental Administrator at firstname.lastname@example.org
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