After taking the course, students will be able to
- Distinguish between different approaches within political philosophy,
- Summarize and explain a number of prominent positions in the Western canon, and
- Apply different frameworks to analyse and evaluate current challenges.
In this course you will examine some fundamental philosophical texts dealing with political and ideological concepts of history and society, containing different views on the future of humanity and the possibility of human control. It presupposes understanding of themes from the two earlier courses of this part, and contains primary sources about utopianism/dystopianism, nihilism, philosophical pessimism, (radical) historicism, etc.
Basic questions are: “Does it make sense to talk about a general progress in world history?” “What is the role of religion in contemporary society?” “What may we expect from technology?” “What does the postmodern ‘end of grand narratives’ entail?” “How does hope relate to the rational expectations of autonomous people?”
This course will take place in the third quartile of the second year. It will be given by Jan Hoogland, Michael Nagenborg and Nils Wagner. Every class on Wednesday is intended as a seminar for information, reading suggestions and study guidelines, and for discussion with the teacher. Classes on Monday (except the first one) are preparatory group sessions. An extensive study guide will be available at the beginning of the course.