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PHI2002 : Post-Kantian Philosophy: Materialism

  • Offered for Year: 2023/24
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Stephen Overy
  • Owning School: School X
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus

Your programme is made up of credits, the total differs on programme to programme.

Semester 2 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 5.0
European Credit Transfer System


This module aims to introduce students to reponses to Kantian philosophy that can be broadly classified as anti-idealist, materialist, or realist. It will address the issue of ‘correlationism’, and explore a variety of philosophies that attempt to escape the issues that entails. It will demonstrate twentieth century theories of the unconscious and evaluate their impact of the history of philosophy.

Outline Of Syllabus

Materialist and realist critiques of Kantianism. Early theories of the will (Schopenhauer and Nietzsche). The Freudian unconscious. Post-Freudian psychoanalysis and psychoanalytic materialism (Lacan/Deleuze and Guattari/Lyotard). Critiques of materialism and the return to Kant.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion120:0020:00Essay preparation and completion
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture81:008:00N/A
Structured Guided LearningStructured research and reading activities101:0010:00Specific research or reading activities developed and directed a academic staff
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching81:008:00Tutorials
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops21:002:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study152:0052:00Review lecture material, prepare for small group teaching and assessment
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

This module complements the examination of Kant’s critical philosophy, and Hegel’s response to it, presented in PHI2001, by subjecting the paradigm of idealism in philosophy to philosophical-historical analysis. The study of Freud’s work and Deleuze’s reading of Freud not only challenges the modern presumption of reason as a definitively human characteristic, and the subject as the grounding for ontological and epistemological positions, but introduces students to a mode of critical philosophy as history of ideas. In doing so, it shall supplement their exposure to the Kantian model of critical philosophy as a defining point in the history of philosophy. Students are encouraged to a detailed reading of a key philosophical texts that comprise this history, and to the consideration of those texts in the light of appropriate secondary criticism, as indicated on the reading list provided.

Assessment Methods

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

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay2A1002000 word essay
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The end-of-semester essay allows students the necessary scope to propose their own historical account of the history of idealism/materialism, as it has unfolded subsequent to the onset of the Enlightenment. It also provides students with the opportunity of identifying and discussing some philosophical implications of their historical account, and so of exhibiting their newly-acquired capacity to render historical work as a critical practice. The assessment’s focus on issues that consider ontological and epistemological possibilities allows students the opportunity to avail themselves of one or more of the various perspectives offered to them by secondary commentaries and therefore to hone their skills in research.

Reading Lists