PH 360 CROSS-CULTURAL PHILOSOPHY IES Abroad Vienna

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1 PH 360 CROSS-CULTURAL PHILOSOPHY IES Abroad Vienna DESCRIPTION: The basic presupposition behind the course is that philosophy is an activity we are unable to resist : since we reflect on other people, the events around us, on ourselves and on our actions, and since we are also able to reflect on that reflection, and so on, we are, in a certain sense, always already in philosophy, yet there are various ways of performing this reflection. Thus, we may even feel at home in philosophy. The course is not a classic introduction to philosophy, and it does not follow the logic of the history of philosophy, since it looks at philosophy not as something which can be explained (or contains self-explanation ) across time but as a rich collection of questions and problems worth visiting again and again. Thus, the course may also be of some interest to those who already have some experience with philosophy and/or are familiar with the texts to be studied and interpreted (please see below), while it does not require any previous training in the field. The ultimate presupposition is that whether later a professional philosopher or not, each of us should develop a personal and unique philosophy of her or his own. The cross-cultural aspect of the course is highlighted by juxtaposing the so-called Continental (German-French) and the Analytic (British and American) traditions in philosophy, throughout the semester. (3 Credits) For 4 credits, you may take PH 460, which is this course supplemented by a Seminar (Monday 15:00-16:30), please see separate description! CREDITS: 3 credits CONTACT HOURS: 45 hours LANGUAGE OF INSTRUCTION: English PREREQUISITES: Since each technical term will carefully be explained and clarified, previous training in philosophy is an advantage but by no means a prerequisite. Some genuine interest in philosophical problems is, however, presupposed. METHOD OF PRESENTATION: There will be 20, ninety minute-long meetings; each 90-minute-long class will be concerned with two major activities: there will be a discussion of the piece under the heading Compulsory reading; the compulsory readings will be available on the Moodle page of the course. The course will pay careful attention to the intercultural aspects of the ideas under discussion, with special reference to the immediate context: Vienna, a town famous for forming and shaping philosophical ideas in the 20 th century. The course will rely on student-presentations but there will also be lecture-like explanations from the instructors. The most important goal, however, is to have discussions and debates throughout the term on the basis of the readings. Thus, the course is intended as a real dialogue: it will, besides the traditional lecture-format, heavily rely on student participation in the form of short class-presentations and contributions to the discussions. REQUIRED WORK AND FORM OF ASSESSMENT: Take-home Midterm exam: (30%) three short essays, answering three questions out of the choice of six, testing (1) familiarity with the basic concepts covered, (2) the ability to reproduce arguments (3) critical thinking: taking a stand, evaluating the feasibility of a certain position Take-home Final exam: (40%) there will be some excerpts from the compulsory readings, students will have to comment on these, (otherwise the goal of testing as under the Midterm exam ) Class participation: (30 %) presentation in front of the class + taking part in the discussions. Absences should be excused. If you cannot attend for some serious reasons (such as illness, or emergency), please contact, if possible, the Registrar in the Registrar s Office (personally, or by phone) before the class you are going to miss.. If you feel you have problems, come to see me, or send me an LEARNING OUTCOMES: By the end of the course students will be able to: aware that philosophy has its own characteristic areas and reductions and an awareness of how these areas are related and of these reductions is one of the most important tasks of philosophy acquainted with the most significant areas of philosophical thinking, from the standpoint of our present situation aware that there are two major traditions in Western philosophy: the Continental and the Anglo- Saxon one, but in the past twenty years they have started to seek not what would divide but what would connect them

2 able to acquire the rudiments of philosophical argumentation in both traditions and they should realise that philosophy may bring not only torment but joy, too ATTENDANCE POLICY: See IES Abroad Vienna handbook. CONTENT: Week Content Assignments Week 1: 1 st meeting (18 Sept): 2 nd meeting (19 Sept): Introduction Getting acquainted and introduction: when are we already in philosophy? What is at stake in philosophy? What distinguishes philosophy form other disciplines? Should philosophy prepare us for living our lives? Chief Concepts: philosophy, philosophy as wisdom, as theory, as culture and history, as an activity, as a form of life) Chief Concepts: the philosopher s position, an audience for philosophy, meditation, reflection, the arrogance of philosophy Jean-Paul Sartre: The Wall, In Walter Kaufmann (ed.), Existentialism from Dostoyevsky to Sartre, New York: Meridian Books, 1957, pp Week 2: 3 rd meeting (25 Sept): 4 th meeting (26 Sept): Week 3: 5 th meeting (2 Oct): 6 th meeting (3 Oct): Metaphysics Chief Concepts: movement, stability, illusion, reality, idea Chief Concepts: matter of fact, cause, effect, induction, deduction Philosophy as clarification and linguistic analysis: analytic philosophy Gábor Chief Concepts: knowledge, perception, descriptions, logic, natural laws Chief Concepts: reference, meaning, object, proper names, identity Plato: The Allegory of the Cave, from The Republic In John Cottingham (ed.): Western Philosophy. An Anthology (henceforth: WPhA) Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1996, pp David Hume: The Problem of Induction and The Relation between Cause and Effect from Enquiry concerning Human Understanding, In WPhA, pp Bertrand Russell, The Problems of Philosophy., [1912], Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1998, Chapter 1 (pp. 1-6), Chapter 3 (pp ), Chapter 5 (pp ), Chapter 6 (pp ), Chapter 7 (pp )

3 Gottlob Frege, Sense and Reference [1892], translated by Max Black, In The Philosophical Review, Vol. 57/3, 1948, pp Week 4: 7 th meeting (9 Oct): 8 th meeting (10 Oct): Week 5: 9 th meeting (16 Oct): 10 th meeting (17 Oct): Week 6: 11 th meeting (06 Nov): 12 th meeting (07 Nov): Week 7: What can I know? Doubt and certainty: epistemology in continental philosophy Chief Concepts: opinion, metaphysical certainty, truth, falsity, doubt Chief Concepts: argument, proof, innate ideas, scepticism, existence of the self Experience and the mind: epistemology in analytic philosophy Gábor Chief Concepts: sense(s), primary qualities, secondary qualities, idea in the mind, the mind as a blank page Chief Concepts: consciousness, thought, abstraction, subjective, objective MIDTERMS are due in PRINT on 17 October, in class! Ethics, the good life and political philosophy Gábor Chief Concepts: action, event, responsibility, normative ethics, categorical imperative Chief Concepts: individual, society, authority, revolution, state Lived experience and the self : identity in continental philosophy and psychoanalysis René Descartes: First Meditation: What can be called into doubt? and Second Meditation: The nature of the human mind, and how it is better known than the body from Meditations on First Philosophy, In John Cottingham (ed.), Descartes: Selected Philosophical Writings, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp René Descartes: Third Meditation: The existence of God, from Meditations on First Philosophy, In John Cottingham (ed.), Descartes: Selected Philosophical Writings, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1988, pp John Locke: The Senses as the Basis of Knowledge from Essay Concerning Human Understanding In WPhA, pp George Berkeley: Nothing Outside the Mind from Principles of Human Knowledge, In WPhA, pp Immanuel Kant: Duty and Reason as the Ultimate Principle, from Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals, In WPhA, pp Jean-Jacques Rousseau: Society and the Individual from The Social Contract, In WPhA, pp

4 13 th meeting (13 Nov): 14 th meeting (14 Nov): Week 8: 15 th meeting (20 Nov): 16 th meeting (21 Nov): Week 9: 17 th meeting (27 Nov): 18 th meeting (28 Nov): Week 10: 19 th meeting (04 Dec): 20 th meeting (05 Dec): Chief Concepts: phenomenon, phenomenology, phenomenological reduction, epoché, subject Chief Concepts: ego, id, the unconscious, dreamwork, psychoanalysis What, then, is time? : time and history Gábor Chief Concepts: cosmological time, inner timeconsciousness, temporality, finitude, narrative Chief Concepts: historical consciousness, spirit, superstructure, ideology, the absolute Being: ontology and existence in continental philosophy Chief Concepts: Dasein, hermeneutical circle, nothingness, the uncanny ( Angst ), metaphysics Chief Concepts: (the knight of) faith, irrationality, subjectivity, the absurd, existentialism Art: aesthetics Chief Concepts: the beautiful, the sublime, aesthetics, imagination, universality, Chief Concepts: mythology, imitation, poetry, metaphor, plot: 05 December: FINALS are due in PRINT in CLASS!!! Leszek Kolakowski : The Foundations of Certainty: What Can We Know and How Can We Know It?: EDMUND HUSSERL, In Kolakowski: Why Is There Something Rather Than Nothing? Trans. by Agnieszka Kolakowska, New York: Basic Books, 2007, pp Sigmund Freud: Introductory lectures on Psychoanalysis In WPhA, pp Augustine: Book 11 of The Confessions, New York: Penguin Books, 1961, 1:1-14:17; 29:39-31:41 G. W. F. Hegel: Philosophy of History: Introduction from Lectures on the Philosophy of World History, In Stephen Houlgate (ed.), The Hegel Reader, Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1998, pp Martin Heidegger: The necessity, structure, and the priority of the question of being In Heidegger, Being and Time, Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1987, pp Søren Kierkegaard: The Knight of Faith and the Knight of Infinite Resignation from Fear and Trembling, In Robert Bretall (ed.): A Kierkegaard Anthology, New York: The Modern Library, 1946, pp Immanuel Kant: The Concept of the Beautiful In The Critique of Judgment, In WPhA, pp Friedrich Nietzsche: The Two Faces of Art from The Birth of Tragedy, In WPhA, pp

5 REQUIRED READINGS: Augustine, The Confessions, New York: Penguin Books, Augustine: Book 11 of The Confessions, New York: Penguin Books, 1961, 1:1-14:17; 29:39-31:41 Austin, J. L. Lectures I-III In Austin, How To Do Things With Words, ed. by J. O. Urmson, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1962, pp Austin, J. L., How To Do Things With Words, ed. by J. O. Urmson, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1962 Berkeley, George: Nothing Outside the Mind from Principles of Human Knowledge, In WPhA, pp Bretall, Robert (ed.), A Kierkegaard Anthology, New York: The Modern Library, Cottingham, John (ed.), Descartes: Selected Philosophical Writings, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, Cottingham, John (ed.), Western Philosophy. An Anthology (=WPhA), Oxford: Basil Blackwell, Descartes, René: First Meditation: What can be called into doubt? and Second Meditation: The nature of the human mind, and how it is better known than the body from Meditations on First Philosophy, In John Cottingham (ed.), Descartes: Selected Philosophical Writings, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp Descartes, René: Third Meditation: The existence of God, from Meditations on First Philosophy, In John Cottingham (ed.), Descartes: Selected Philosophical Writings, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1988, pp Fogelin, Robert J. The Web of Language and The Language of Argument In Robert J. Fogelin, Understanding Arguments. An Introduction to Informal Logic. Third edition, San Diego, New York, etc.: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich Publishers, 1987, pp Fogelin, Robert J., Understanding Arguments. An Introduction to Informal Logic. Third edition, San Diego, New York, etc.: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich Publishers, Freud, Sigmund: Introductory lectures on Psychoanalysis In WPhA, pp Hegel, G. W. F.: Philosophy of History: Introduction from Lectures on the Philosophy of World History, In Stephen Houlgate (ed.), The Hegel Reader, Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1998, pp Heidegger, Martin, Being and Time, Oxford: Basil Blackwell, Heidegger, Martin: The necessity, structure, and the priority of the question of being In Heidegger, Being and Time, Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1987, pp Houlgate, Stephen (ed.), The Hegel Reader, Oxford: Basil Blackwell, Hume, David: The Problem of Induction and The Relation between Cause and Effect from Enquiry concerning Human Understanding, In WPhA, pp Kant, Immanuel: Duty and Reason as the Ultimate Principle, from Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals, In WPhA, pp Kant, Immanuel: The Concept of the Beautiful In The Critique of Judgment, In WPhA, pp Kaufmann, Walter (ed.), Existentialism from Dostoyevsky to Sartre, New York: Meridian Books, 1957 Kierkegaard, Søren: The Knight of Faith and the Knight of Infinite Resignation from Fear and Trembling, In Robert Bretall (ed.): A Kierkegaard Anthology, New York: The Modern Library, 1946, pp Kolakowski, Leszek: The Foundations of Certainty: What Can We Know and How Can We Know It? EDMUND HUSSERL, In Kolakowski: Why Is There Something Rather Than Nothing? Trans. by Agnieszka Kolakowska, New York: Basic Books, 2007, pp Kolakowski. Leszek, Why Is There Something Rather Than Nothing? Trans. by Agnieszka Kolakowska, New York: Basic Books, 2007 Locke, John: The Senses as the Basis of Knowledge from Essay Concerning Human Understanding In WPhA, pp Nietzsche, Friedrich: The Two Faces of Art from The Birth of Tragedy, In WPhA, pp Plato: The Allegory of the Cave, from The Republic In John Cottingham (ed.): Western Philosophy. An Anthology (henceforth: WPhA) Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1996, pp Rousseau, Jean-Jacques: Society and the Individual from The Social Contract, In WPhA, pp Sartre, Jean-Paul: The Wall, In Walter Kaufmann (ed.), Existentialism from Dostoyevsky to Sartre, New York: Meridian Books, 1957, pp RECOMMENDED READINGS: Grayling, A. C. (ed.), Philosophy: A Guide through the Subject, Oxford: Oxford University Press, Hammond, Michael, Jane Howarth and Russell Keat (eds.), Understanding Phenomenology, Oxford: Basil Blackwell, Urmson, J. O. and Jonathan Rée (eds.), The Concise Encyclopaedia of Western Philosophy and Philosophers, new edition, completely revised, London and New York: Routledge, 1991.

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