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PHI3002 : Postmodern Political Thought, Domination and Resistance

Semester 2 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 5.0


General: To introduce students to particular themes and issues in contemporary political philosophy and their relation to culture and society.

How do we as human beings position ourselves vis-à-vis the rest of the living world? What gives us the right to to dominate other life forms and to exploit them for our ends? How have philosophers, form antiquity to the present day, legitimated the allegedly superior position of human being in the order of things and on what grounds has this supposed legitimacy been critiqued? What ethical, political, and ontological implications are opened up by these questions?

Outline Of Syllabus

Topics investigated include:
1. From values to worldviews: modernity, scientific reason, culture and historical transformations
2. The meaning of postmodern: crisis, history and the rationality of narratives
4. Postmodern ethical emancipation
5. Political liberalism
6. Virtual resistance
The subjects of the lectures will be augmented by discussions in tutorials of specific issues using examples drawn from contemporary culture.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion301:0030:00Preparation and completion of essay
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture101:0010:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching101:0010:00Tutorials
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study501:0050:00Review lecture and other source material and prepare for small group teaching
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lectures provide students with a systematic account of the concepts and ideas of the treated thinkers and their relation to key aspects of life e.g. politics, art, science. Students are given a structured reading list, a set of lecture notes with tutorial summaries, supported by controlled questions and references to specific works in order to develop the interpretative, logical and analytical skills required for good argument.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay2A1002000 words or 2 essays of 1000 words each.
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The students have the choice between picking an essay title out of six standard topics or designing their own with their tutor’s help and approval. This makes it possible to assess knowledge possession and advanced theoretical understanding as well as the critical and creative verbal skills of the student. The essays test the ability to think analytically, creatively, self-critically and independently as well as managing one’s own work to set time limits. This assessment method also gauges the students’ ability to move between generalisation and appropriately detailed discussion, to cite relevant texts and interpret them adequately, to discover examples in support of or to challenge a position, and to distinguish between relevant and irrelevant considerations.

Reading Lists