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19th Century Continental Philosophy


Key information

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Module description

This module introduces two of the most influential and subtle of modern philosophers: G.W.F. Hegel and Friedrich Nietzsche. Beginning with a brief overview of Kant’s philosophy, the course examines how Hegel and Nietzsche attempt, in very different ways, to refine, transform, or destroy the legacy of the Enlightenment. The focus, in particular, will be on the conception of the self, of normativity, and of the philosophical method, that emerges from texts such as Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit and Nietzsche’s Genealogy of Morality. All texts will be studied in translation.

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Assessment details

Summative assessment: 1 x 3,000 word essay (100%)

Teaching pattern

One one-hour weekly lecture and one one-hour weekly seminar over ten weeks.

Suggested reading list

Kant, ‘An Answer to the Question: What is Enlightenment?’ in Kant’s Political Writings ed.Reiss and trans.Nisbet, pp.54-60.

Houlgate, S., An Introduction to Hegel: Freedom, Truth, and History (Oxford: Blackwell 2005), chs.1-2

Stern, R., Routledge Philosophy Guide to Hegel and the Phenomenology of Spirit, (London: Routledge, 2002),

Nietzsche. Beyond Good and Evil, trans.Hollingdale (Penguin: London, 1990) Part 1 ‘On the Prejudices of the Philosophers’.

Nietzsche, Genealogy of Morality, ed.Ansell-Pearson, trans.Diethe (Cambridge: CUP, 2007)