What is the course about?
The identity themes in Shakespeare’s Richard the Second, Hamlet and Othello are deeply philosophical explorations of subjectivity and moral undecidiblity.
Keirkegaard’s Fear and Trembling, Nietzsche’s Birth of Tragedy and Sartre’s Nausea are great works of literature and seminal philosophical texts.
Creators of literature such as Kafka, Beckett and Borges were philosophically engaged. In more recent times Richard Rorty redefined the relationship between literature and philosophy as being about the creation and displacement of strong metaphors. Rorty’s view echoed the work of Adorno and Marcuse and other Frankfurt school thinkers who sought to place the aesthetic on the frontline of critical philosophy.
What will we cover?
Identity and subjectivity in Shakespeare
The legacy of Keirkegaard and Nietzsche
The literary experiments of Sartre and Camus
The philosophical underpinnings of Beckett’s Waiting for Godot
The Aesthetic theories of Adorno and Marcuse
Richard Rorty on Metaphor
The post modern adventures of Jorge Luis Borges.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
Understand and apply key philosophical concepts of this era.
Identify and analyse the philosophical underpinnings of key literary texts of this era.
Use secondary sources to access and understand primary sources.
To proceed with confidence to develop an independent learning programme in this area of study.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
This course is intended as both an introduction to philosophy and an invitation to reapply existing knowledge.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
Teaching will be by interactive lecture and class discussion. Texts wherever possible will be made available a
week in advance.
Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?
A note book and a file would be essential. A copy of Nietzsche’s Beyond Good and Evil (CUP) and Sartre’s Nausea (Penguin) would be useful background reading.
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
You might be interested in HP130 - Philosophy and cultural theory - also taught by Barrie Selwyn and starting in January 2020. Please look in the prospectus or check our website - www.citylit.ac.uk - to see the full range of philosophy courses on offer.
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