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Contemporary European Philosophies

  • Module code: PH7601
  • Year: 2018/9
  • Level: Year 7
  • Credits: 30.00
  • Pre-requisites: None
  • Co-requisites: None

Summary

This module involves the guided study of major works of contemporary European philosophy, with a focus on themes of time and temporality, broadly understood. The texts will be drawn from the last couple of decades. The module will analyse texts that explore the tension between historical and political time and experiential temporality. The module will focus on concepts such as epochality, the event, historical time, kairos, messianism, memory, anticipation, and revolution. Authors studied may include thinkers like Agamben, Badiou, Cixous, Derrida, Habermas, Negri, Stiegler and Sloterdijk. The module will study texts in the original language (French, German and Italian) and in English translations where available (and French translations for the German and Italian texts). An adequate reading knowledge of French will be a requirement for registration on the course.

Aims

The aims of this module are to:

  • Provide students with an understanding of the distinctive features, issues and problems of contemporary European philosophy through knowledge of key texts, informed by critical awareness of current debates in the field.
  • Enable students to understand and assess recent contributions to philosophical debate in European philosophy.
  • Enable students to connect technical philosophical discussion of time and temporality with broader cultural and political tensions and tendencies.

Learning outcomes

Upon successful completion of this module, students will be able to:

  • Understand some central issues under debate in contemporary European philosophy through knowledge of key texts.
  • Understand the differences between ontological and phenomenological approaches to the issues of time and temporality.
  • Critically assess the internal coherence of concepts such as kairos, revolution and the event.
  • Undertake the work of close textual analysis of demanding philosophical texts with reference to the original languages in which they were written.
  • Comprehend, reconstruct and interpret philosophical arguments, and situate these arguments in the context of the history of philosophy and wider debates in European philosophy.

Curriculum content

The module includes:

  • Detailed philosophical analysis of the centrality of the concept of the event in contemporary European philosophy.
  • Examination of the relationship between the concepts of event, kairos and revolution in contemporary European philosophy.
  • Location of philosophical debate and concepts within a wider cultural, historical and political field.
  • Consideration of the relationship between contemporary philosophy and the tradition of modern philosophy from which it emerged and which it contests.

Teaching and learning strategy

This module will be taught by means of a mix of lectures and seminars, supplemented by individual tutorials and private study. Emphasis is placed on seminar-based discussion.

Breakdown of Teaching and Learning Hours

Definitive KIS Category Indicative Description Hours
Scheduled learning and teaching Seminars and lectures 28
Scheduled learning and teaching Group and individual tutorials (2 hours scheduled plus office hours) 2
Scheduled learning and teaching Directed and Independent Learning 270
Total (number of credits x 10) 300

Assessment strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to test a student's ability to meet the module's learning outcomes. Summative assessment involves two pieces of written work:

  • A 1,500-word exercise, normally submitted at or before the mid-way point of the module, worth 20% of the final mark.
  • A 3,500 to 4,000 word essay, worth 80% of the final mark.

The skills required to prepare these assessed elements will be developed in a variety of formative activities throughout the module, notably through class discussion, feedback on in-class presentations, and individual tutorials. Ability to work in original languages, while a significant learning outcome, will not be independently assessed. Preparation of the final essay normally includes a scheduled tutorial with the module tutor.

Mapping of Learning Outcomes to Assessment Strategy (Indicative)

Learning Outcome Assessment Strategy
Understand the distinctive features, issues and problems of contemporary European philosophy. Assessed formatively through class discussion, presentations and tutorials, and summatively through the two pieces of individual written work.
Understand the differences between ontological and phenomenological understandings of time and temporality. Assessed formatively through class discussion, presentations and tutorials, and summatively through the two pieces of individual written work.
Critically assess the internal coherence of concepts such as kairos, event and revolution. Assessed formatively through class discussion, presentations and tutorials, and summatively through the two pieces of individual written work.
Undertake the work of close textual analysis of demanding philosophical texts with reference to original languages. Assessed formatively through class discussion, presentations and tutorials, and summatively through the two pieces of individual written work. While attention will be paid to original language texts this learning outcome will not be formally assessed.
Comprehend, reconstruct and interpret philosophical arguments, and situate these arguments in the context of the history of philosophy. Assessed formatively through class discussion, presentations and tutorials, and summatively through the two pieces of individual written work.

Breakdown of Major Categories of Assessment

Assessment Type Assessment Name Assessment Weighting
CWK Exercises 1500 words 20
CWK Essay 3500-4000 words 80
Total (to equal 100%) 100%

Achieving a pass

It IS NOT a requirement that any major assessment category is passed separately in order to achieve an overall pass for the module

Bibliography core texts

Giorgio Agamben, Il tempo che resta (2004)

 ______________, Che cos'è il contemporaneo (2008)

 Badiou, Alain, Logiques des mondes. L'étre et l'événement, Vol. 2 (2006)

 ___________, Le Siècle (2005)

 Cixous, Helene, Stigmata: Escaping Texts (1998)

 Derrida, Jacques, Spectres de Marx. L'état de dette, le travail du deuil et la nouvelle Internationale (1993)

 ______________, Dire l'événement, est-ce possible? (2001)

 ----------------------, Voyous  2005

 Habermas, Jürgen, Die Zukunft der menschlichen natur (2002)

Jullien, François, Du "temps". Elements d'une philosophie du vivre (2001)

 _______________, Les transformations silencieuses (2009)

 Meillassoux, Quentin, Après la finitude. Essai sur la nécessité de la contingence (2006)

 Negri, Tony, La constitutizione del tempo (1997)

 __________, Kairos, Venus, Moltitudine (2000)

 Hans-Jörg Rheinberger, On Historicizing Epistemology (2010)

 Sloterdijk, Peter, Regeln für den Menschenpark (1999)

 ______________, Zorn und Zeit (2006)

 _______________, Du musst dein Leben ändern: Über Anthropotechnik (2011)

 Stiegler, Bernard, La Technique et les Temps 1 (1994), 2 (1996) & 3 (2001)

Bibliography recommended reading

G. Borradori, Recoding Metaphysics (1989)

 J. Cleves et.al., The Work of Giorgio Agamben on Law, Literature and Life, (2008)

 J. Derrida et.al., Ghostly Demarcations: A Symposium on Jacques Derrida's Spectres of Marx (2008)

 P. Hallward, Think Again: Alain Badiou and the Future of Philosophy (2004)

 A. Murray, Giorgio Agamben (2010)

 Timothy S. Murphy, The Philosophy of Antonio Negri: Vol. 1 Resistance in Dialectic, Vol. 2 Revolution in Theory (2010)

 Michael Naas, Taking on the Tradition: Jacques Derrida and the Legacies of Deconstruction (2002)

 C. Wolfe, What is Posthumanism? (2010)

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