Philosophy of the sublime: magic and imagination

Course Dates: 10/08/21 - 24/08/21
Time: 14:00 - 16:00
Location: Online
The philosophical sublime refers to those terrifying and delightful realities that exist beyond the common everyday, it is these that the magician seeks to experience and use to achieve a cosmic elevation of the self.
This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
Book your place
In stock
Full fee £59.00 Senior fee £47.00 Concession £36.00

Course Code: HP195

Tue, day, 10 Aug - 24 Aug '21

Duration: 3 sessions (over 3 weeks)

Or call to enrol:020 7831 7831

Please note: We offer a wide variety of financial support to make courses affordable. Just visit our online Help Center for more information on a range of topics including fees, online learning and FAQs.

What is the course about?

‘Magical’ traditions are diverse and wide-ranging but, in the Occident, draw on a common Neoplatonic inheritance. A philosophical account attempts to unfold those concepts key to a magical understanding of reality. Thinking about the relation between art and magic is taken central to this philosophical endeavour.

This is a live online course. You will need:
- Internet connection. The classes work best with Chrome.
- A computer with microphone and camera is best (e.g. a PC/laptop/iMac/MacBook), or a tablet/iPad/smart phone/iPhone if you don't have a computer.
- Earphones/headphones/speakers.
We will contact you with joining instructions before your course starts.

What will we cover?

-The significance of the ‘sublime’ incl. discussion of the meaning of ‘magic’ and its relation to ‘intense’ experiences, drawing on Deleuze & Guattari’s philosophy,
- Philosophical aspects of magical traditions incl. Neoplatonism, the metaphysics of Hermeticism and Jung’s ideas about the psychological aspects of alchemy.
- Constructional Psychosis and Sur-reality incl. the relation between art, ritual, chance and magical praxis.

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

Discuss magic and some of its metaphysical assumptions and practices within a philosophical, conceptual framework.

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

The course does not assume any prior knowledge, however some familiarity with or interest in the nature and meaning of reality from ‘non-scientific’ perspectives would be beneficial.

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

The course will run in seminar format with short presentations including group discussion and Q&A. There will be some readings discussed in pairs or small groups in the sessions. Slides and relevant links will be available online. No work outside class.

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

Note Making equipment of your own choice. Handouts of portions of relevant texts will be provided during the course.

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

Please visit City Lit's website for full information about courses coming up in September 2021.

John Goff Tutor Website

From reading Philosophy at a young age to the formal study of Cognitive Science, Philosophy & Psychology at the Universities of London and Sussex - after a prior career in video-arts - John Goff has been presenting philosophy courses to adults since the early 2000s. He uses a cross-disciplinary, seminar-based approach in his courses, drawing on Philosophy, Psychology and the wider Humanities & Social Sciences with an emphasis on the intersection of contemporary and classical European and Asian philosophical thought. He is the author of several works of philosophical fiction concerning artificial minds and organisms and alternative-human worlds including the novel 'The Last Days of the Most Hidden Man' and the novellas 'Eidopolis', 'Agents of Erasure' and 'Jupiter|Saturn'. His academic writings can be found on his page at ''.

Please note: We reserve the right to change our tutors from those advertised. This happens rarely, but if it does, we are unable to refund fees due to this. Our tutors may have different teaching styles; however we guarantee a consistent quality of teaching in all our courses.