From anxiety to terror: philosophy of horror

Course Dates: 27/01/18
Time: 10:30 - 16:30
Location: KS - Keeley Street
Tutor: John Goff

Whether real or imagined, horror erupts into everyday life at unexpected moments. From unspoken anxiety to cold terror, horror takes many forms, displacing rational thought with things that belong to what or where?


What is the course about?

A philosophical and psychological examination of horror both in more general terms, and specifically as relevant to horror fiction such as that of cinema. The idea of horor, its forms, causes, and possible benefits will be discussed.

What will we cover?

Horror as an idea, and the idea of horror.
The forms that horror takes in fiction, especially cinema, but also to some extent in the world.
Some ideas about how horror arises and the role it plays in our psychological and cultural life.

What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...

Discuss the significance of horror as an enduring genre of fiction.

What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?

No particular skills are required. An interest in the nature and significance of horror, and its relation to philosophy and psychology.

How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?

Course will run in a seminar format with short slide-based presentations with ongoing Q&A and group discussions. Some clips from films will be used for illustrative purposes. Short small group discussion-based exercises.

Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?

Nothing other than your own note-making materials.

When I've finished, what course can I do next?

You might be interested in John Goff's Japanese philosophy course (HP112) on Thursday afrernoons, starting on 12th April, or his one-day course on post-scarcity philosophy (HP032), on Saturday 19th May.
For further information regarding our philosophy courses on offer, please go to our website -

General information and advice on courses at City Lit is available from the Student Centre and Library on Monday to Friday from 12:00 – 19:00.
See the course guide for term dates and further details


Book your place

Course Code: HP090

Sat, day, 27 Jan - 27 Jan '18

Duration: 1 session

Full fee: £49.00
Senior fee: £39.00
Concession: £25.00
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Please note: Different fees may apply for international students. Read full guidance.