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Module code: PH355
Credits: 5
Semester: 2
Department: PHILOSOPHY
International: Yes
Coordinator: Prof. Philipp Rosemann (PHILOSOPHY)
Overview Overview

This module introduces students to the main differences between modern and postmodern philosophy, which crystallize around the relationship of reason to history. While Kant and Hegel—modern philosophers—argue that reason drives history, postmodern thinkers like Nietzsche, Heidegger, and Foucault invert the relationship. They thus question the autonomy of reason, which they regard as being essentially linked to other forces: not only time and history, but also (e.g.) the Dionysian and, indeed, unreason.
Linking reason to time raises the spectre of relativism: there is no truth that transcends time. Metaphysics therefore becomes the ‘history of Being’ (Heidegger) while ethics turns into a quest for individual authenticity. How to address this relativism remains one of the main challenges of philosophy in the twenty-first century.

Readings include Kant, ‘What is Enlightenment?’; Hegel, Introduction to the Philosophy of History; Nietzsche, The Birth of Tragedy; Heidegger, ‘The Question concerning Technology’; Foucault, preface to History of Madness; MacIntyre, chapters 19 and 20 from Whose Justice? Which Rationality?

Open Learning Outcomes
Open Teaching & Learning methods
Open Assessment
Open Autumn Supplementals/Resits
Open Timetable
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