Themes in Contemporary Philosophy
The objective of this course is to examine a variety of philosophical questions as posed by contemporary thinkers – thinkers who nevertheless engage in dialogue with their predecessors and who, in some respects at least, continue to grapple with questions that have long perplexed human beings.
The limits of knowledge, subjectivity, being and reality, power, the public space, as well as the concept of history constitute a few of the themes we’ll encounter – in essay form, in thought experiments, in film, in comedy, plays, poetry and more.
Through reading, reflecting, discussion and debate, we will attempt to collectively establish definitions for the terms we use and carry out our own philosophical investigations and creations, as a group and individually. We will collaborate throughout the semester on a working lexicon which will offer up definitions of concepts and ideas.
Final student projects will take the form of a traditional analytic paper, poetic prose or poetry, short story or scenario, but all must elaborate upon a philosophical question, explore its different forms and articulations and lead to a conclusion.
It is also our aim to refine our use of the English language – grammatical structures and style – both in our written and oral expression. As such, grammar work and linguistic points will be integrated into class when and if questions or incongruities arise.