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Intermediate Philosophy Part 1 : Reason and Unreason

It is not uncommon to hear today calls for a defence of and a return to Enlightenment values: but what exactly were they? The flourishing of the natural sciences from the 17th Century onward brought about not just an entirely new conception of the nature of the world but also a radical rethinking of the nature of reason itself, which in turn had profound implications for our understanding of the self and of society. But rather than a celebration of the serene progress of triumphant reason, the Enlightenment itself might be better understood as a series of crises. We will explore the myriad of issues these developments raise through an examination of the great thinkers of the 17th, 18th and 19th Centuries.

26 September 2022 – 12 December 2022
Monday, 18:00 to 20:00
Course Code:416
£132 / £46
12 Meetings
1 Rushworth St
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Hegel - Phenomenology Of Spirit: Part 1

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.

27 September 2022 – 13 December 2022
Tuesday, 18:00 to 20:00
Course Code:422CS
£150 / £53
12 Meetings
Online Course
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Philosophy for Beginners Part 1

Explore some of the most important ideas, themes and thinkers in the history of Western philosophy. Learn about some of the central problems of philosophy, and how to puzzle them our for yourselves.

28 September 2022 – 14 December 2022
Wednesday, 14:00 to 16:00
Course Code:410
£132 / £46
12 Meetings
42 Queen Square
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Advanced Philosophy: Adorno

Is Odysseus the prototype of the bourgeois individual? Has the Enlightenment destroyed the cultural need for myths? Is there a connection between instrumental reason and the rise of Nazism? What is the thinker's role in society? Is philosophy obsolete? What does art have to teach us? Is the jazz produced by Tin Pan Alley in 1930s ideologically problematic? Is thinking and feeling possible after the Holocaust? Is there a correlation between the way we open and shut doors and fascism? Theodor W. Adorno's (1903-1969) extensive body of work examines all these questions and more. In this course we will cover the major writings of Adorno, exploring the different facets of his thinking.

29 September 2022 – 15 December 2022
Thursday, 18:00 to 20:00
Course Code:425CS
£150 / £53
12 Meetings
1 Rushworth St
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Intermediate Philosophy Part 2: Nihilism, Phenomenology and Existentialism

One unexpected outcome of the Enlightenment period was the rise of nihilism, a crisis of finding any real meaning in the emerging scientific worldview. The development of the new philosophical movement of phenomenology can be seen as, in part, a response to this crisis. Husserl sought to analyse the role of consciousness in constituting meaning in experience in a way which united our daily experience of the world with the scientific world view. The approach he developed was swiftly challenged in the name of a more embodied and historically situated account of meaning by the work of Heidegger, de Beauvoir, Sartre and Merleau-Ponty. This course will explore how the emergence of phenomenology as a philosophical method came to be inextricably linked to the wider issue of Existentialism as a response to the urgent problems of the 20th Century.

16 January 2023 – 27 March 2023
Monday, 18:00 to 20:00
Course Code:417
£121 / £42
11 Meetings
1 Rushworth St
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Hegel - Phenomenology Of Spirit: Part 2

This a 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.

17 January 2023 – 28 March 2023
Tuesday, 18:00 to 20:00
Course Code:423CS
£137 / £48
11 Meetings
Online Course
View Course

Philosophy For Beginners Part 2

Explore some of the most important ideas, themes, and thinkers in the history of Western philosophy. Learn about some of the central problems of philosophy, and how to puzzle them out for yourselves.

18 January 2023 – 29 March 2023
Wednesday, 14:00 to 16:00
Course Code:411
£121 / £42
11 Meetings
42 Queen Square
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19 January 2023 – 30 March 2023
Thursday, 18:30 to 20:30
Course Code:413
£121 / £42
11 Meetings
42 Queen Square
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Advanced Philosophy: Kierkegaard

Kierkegaard fears that in the modern world people are giving up what it means to be a self in the profound sense of ethical integrity and spiritual depth. He says, 'a self is the last thing the world cares about and the most dangerous thing of all for a person to show signs of having. The greatest hazard of all, losing the self, can occur very quietly in the world, as if it were nothing at all. No other loss can occur so quietly; any other loss - an arm, a leg, five dollars, a wife, etc. - is sure to be noticed.' According to Kierkegaard, the loss of a self leads to all manner of social, political, and ethical injustices - in short, it leads to despair. In this course we will examine Kierkegaard's existential philosophy of becoming an authentic 'self' ready to meet one's social responsibilities with ethical and spiritual integrity. We will explore Kierkegaard's double approach: to understand what causes people to lose a sense of self and to understand how to become a self in the Kierkegaardian sense.

19 January 2023 – 30 March 2023
Thursday, 18:00 to 20:00
Course Code:426CS
£136 / £48
11 Meetings
1 Rushworth St
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Upper Intermediate Philosophy: Feminist Philosophy

Second Wave Feminism, which in the Western world can loosely be dated from the 1960s into the 1980s, is a contested project whose implications have not yet been fully realised. Moving beyond the demands for suffrage and political representation associated with the first wave, the second wave sought to interrogate the reality of women's lives to their very core, from family life to sexuality, biology to feminist metaphysics. Among its main conceptual and practical concerns were the meaning of patriarchy, the limits to equality, consciousness-raising, sexual emancipation and the possibility of women-centred living of multiple kinds. Discussion of core texts will be structured in such a way as to bring the debates to life in the present. No previous study of this topic is necessary for you to engage with the course.

20 January 2023 – 31 March 2023
Friday, 13:00 to 15:00
Course Code:420CS
£136 / £48
11 Meetings
42 Queen Square
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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 2023 – 17 July 2023
Monday, 18:00 to 20:00
Course Code:418
£121 / £42
11 Meetings
1 Rushworth St
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:Upper Intermediate Philosophy: What is this Thing called Science?

24 April 2023 – 26 June 2023
Monday, 13:00 to 15:00
Course Code:421CS
£99 / £35
8 Meetings
42 Queen Square
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Hegel - Phenomenology Of Spirit: Part 3

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.

25 April 2023 – 11 July 2023
Tuesday, 18:00 to 20:00
Course Code:424CS
£150 / £53
12 Meetings
Online Course
View Course

Philosophy For Beginners Part 3

Explore some of the most important ideas, themes and thinkers in the history of Western philosophy. Learn about some of the central problems of philosophy, and how to puzzle them out for yourselves.

26 April 2023 – 28 June 2023
Wednesday, 14:00 to 16:00
Course Code:412
£110 / £39
10 Meetings
42 Queen Square
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27 April 2023 – 29 June 2023
Thursday, 18:30 to 20:30
Course Code:414
£110 / £39
10 Meetings
42 Queen Square
View Course

Advanced Philosophy: Cybernatics and Society

In the 1940s in America and the UK a scientific revolution took place under the banner of 'cybernetics', an umbrella science of 'communication and control in animal and machine' whose axioms, models and inventions would come to structure our age. The internet, the ultimate cybernetic machine, binds societies together while ripping them apart and ensnaring them in mass surveillance. Machine learning is promising the emergence of a supra-human form of intelligence rooted in the signature cybernetic analogy of computer and brain, as well as the mass automation of human labour, or `cybernation' as activists in the 1960s called it. 'Cyber' names the newest pillar of warfare. Earth system science conceives of our planet cybernetically as an immensely complex network of feedback loops that are becoming rapidly unstable: climate change. French philosopher Gilbert Simondon called the founding text of cybernetics 'a new Discourse on Method' while Martin Heidegger declared it to be 'the end of metaphysics'. No one can deny the influence of cybernetics upon our age, though few would claim to grasp it directly, let alone philosophically. This course provides an opportunity to do so. To grasp the way the foundational texts and concepts of cybernetics structure a particular way of constituting our world and also of understanding it as such.

27 April 2023 – 29 June 2023
Thursday, 18:00 to 20:00
Course Code:427CS
£110 / £39
10 Meetings
1 Rushworth St
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