Other Services
Close

Upper Intermediate Philosophy: Geo-Philosophy in the Age of Climate Crisis

Building upon the predictions concerning the ramifications of human activity on earth's resources, a pertinent question emerges: Can philosophy play any role in navigating this predicament? This course aspires to conjure such an intervention and sheds light on the intertwining of philosophy with the human relation to the Earth, a concern extending beyond the realms of present-day debates. Indeed, it reveals a deep-seated enigma that has been a constant companion of Western philosophy since its very dawn - what is the nature of the bond between thought and the Earth? Through an exhaustive exploration emphasising the Earth's enduring, yet often enigmatic, presence across the trajectory of philosophical debate, this course lays the foundation for a philosophical retort to the looming ecological reality. The course will traverse key philosophical texts, commencing with the pre-Socratic philosophers and the Stoics, and continuing through Plato and Aristotle; progressing to philosophers of the enlightenment such as Descartes, Leibniz, Hobbes, Rousseau, and Kant; and concluding with 19th and 20th-century thinkers like Nietzsche, Marx, Heidegger, and Deleuze. Together, we will asses how the history of the concept 'Earth' has shaped our relation to the natural world, and the possibility of forging a new perspective, one which could pave the way towards a revitalized relationship with our environment, ultimately crafting a different future trajectory.
  • Who is it for?

    This course is at Upper Intermediate/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 the philosophers in question, as this is what the course will aim to provide.

  • What does it cover?

    This course explores the evolution of the concept of the Earth in Western philosophy, unravelling the intricate relationship between philosophical thought and the natural world, framed by the backdrop of the current climate crisis. Our focus will be on influential philosophical works, spanning from the pre-Socratics up to 20th-century thinkers, dissecting their unique reimagination of the concept and the integral role it plays within their overarching philosophies. Weekly, we will delve into excerpts that engage with the concept of the Earth in a variety of ways, scrutinising the political and societal underpinnings supporting this concept, and evaluating their relevance and contributions to life in the 21st century amidst the climate crisis - essentially, the interventions they might propose for our contemporary predicament.

    By course completion, participants should be equipped to:
    - Understand and critically analyse philosophy's interaction with nature
    - Discuss the impact of the concept of Earth on human relationships with it
    - Envision a fresh interpretation of our environment that can potentially chart a novel future
    - Apply the insights gained to contemporary debates in art, technology, and politics

  • What will it be like?

    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.

  • What else do I need to buy or do?

    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.

  • What could it lead to?

    Other Upper Intermediate or Advanced level Philosophy courses at the Mary Ward Centre or other similar establishments. These can include an emphasis on Science, Phenomenology, Existentialism, Language and Difference.

Available Courses

Upper Intermediate Philosophy: Geo-Philosophy in the Age of Climate Crisis

Building upon the predictions concerning the ramifications of human activity on earth's resources, a pertinent question emerges: Can philosophy play any role in navigating this predicament? This course aspires to conjure such an intervention and sheds light on the intertwining of philosophy with the human relation to the Earth, a concern extending beyond the realms of present-day debates. Indeed, it reveals a deep-seated enigma that has been a constant companion of Western philosophy since its very dawn - what is the nature of the bond between thought and the Earth? Through an exhaustive exploration emphasising the Earth's enduring, yet often enigmatic, presence across the trajectory of philosophical debate, this course lays the foundation for a philosophical retort to the looming ecological reality. The course will traverse key philosophical texts, commencing with the pre-Socratic philosophers and the Stoics, and continuing through Plato and Aristotle; progressing to philosophers of the enlightenment such as Descartes, Leibniz, Hobbes, Rousseau, and Kant; and concluding with 19th and 20th-century thinkers like Nietzsche, Marx, Heidegger, and Deleuze. Together, we will asses how the history of the concept 'Earth' has shaped our relation to the natural world, and the possibility of forging a new perspective, one which could pave the way towards a revitalized relationship with our environment, ultimately crafting a different future trajectory.

22 April 2024 – 15 July 2024
Monday, 13:00 to 15:00
Course Code:421CS
£147 / £51
11 Meetings
High Street, Stratford
Enquire

Can't see what you want?

Intermediate Philosophy Part 3: Society, Language and Difference

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.

24 April 2024 – 10 July 2024
Wednesday, 11:00 to 13:00
Course Code:419C
£152 / £53
12 Meetings
High Street, Stratford
View Course

Advanced Philosophy: The Legacy Of Alain Badiou

French philosopher Alain Badiou is often recognized as the last living torchbearer of the influential 'May 68' generation that boasted figures like Michel Foucault, Gilles Deleuze, and Jacques Derrida. Badiou's comprehensive philosophical interventions are highlighted by his magnum opus, Being and Event, a masterpiece that beautifully encapsulates and undermines the essence of French continental philosophy. Being and Event uniquely merges set theoretic mathematics with Lacanian psychoanalysis, interwoven with the sensitivity of Mallarmé's poetry and the intensity of post-Marxist political thought. Badiou's work, rich in depth and diversity, has sparked significant conversations and critical thinking in the philosophical community. This course offers a deep dive into Badiou's intellectual ecosystem, exploring the intricate intersections of diverging ideologies and thought systems converging in his work, focusing particularly on Being and Event and subsequent texts. We will also investigate his significant influence on leading contemporary philosophers, such as the provocative Slavoj Žižek, the insightful Bruno Bosteels, and the innovative Quentin Meillassoux. The impact of Badiou's thinking extends beyond his own work, creating ripples that continue to shape 21st century philosophical discourse.

25 April 2024 – 11 July 2024
Thursday, 18:00 to 20:00
Course Code:427CS
£168 / £59
12 Meetings
1 Rushworth St
View Course

Upper Intermediate Philosophy: Aspects Of The Philosophy Of Art

This course covers an investigation into some of the perennial thinkers and topics within philosophical aesthetics within the Western tradition: It is structured broadly in two parts, the first looking at the thoughts and theories on art provided within the philosophies of 6 key thinkers within this tradition: Plato, Aristotle, Hume, Kant, Nietzsche and Heidegger; the second on some central issues within contemporary philosophy debates within the philosophy of art, such as the definition of art and artworks, the different art forms, meaning in art, fakes and forgeries, and art criticism and appreciation. In doing so it will not only address the contemporary relevance of the thought of historical thinkers, but will also address some key historical and contemporary philosophy, ranging beyond aesthetics, and touching on the philosophy of language, logic, culture, politics, history, ontology and epistemology.

25 September 2023 – 11 December 2023
Monday, 13:00 to 15:00
Course Code:419CS
£161 / £56
12 Meetings
High Street, Stratford
View Course

Meet The Tutor

For more information contact The Departmental Administrator at admin@marywardcentre.ac.uk

Journey Planner.

See how long it will take you to get to college. Please select the campus of the course you wish to study.

Plan my journey