By the end of the course, the student should be able:
to assimilate and deepen his or her understanding of certain key topics of philosophical anthropology; the lectures will stem from philosophical texts;
to relate these themes to certain scientific models (particularly, models from neuroscience and psychopathology);
to situate these themes in the context of more general cultural movements (particularly, the current social and political situation);
furthermore, the course seeks to develop the student's ability for analyzing, synthesizing, and communicating the subject matter dealt with. The student will have the opportunity to practice these by undertaking a private study of a topic in anthropology of his or her choice.
The course introduces topics central to philosophical anthropology by linking these to the history of philosophy, to scientific and technological development, and to the cultural history of ways of thinking and feeling. The historical dimension plays just as important a role as the systematic dimension insofar as the course seeks to lead the student to a critical reflection about the "contemporary status" of the human being. After a comparative analysis of Socratic and Augustinian anthropology, we shall analyze in detail the critiques of these put forward by the masters of suspicion of the first generation (Marx, Freud, Nietzsche), and of the second generation (structuralism, Foucault).
Content and teaching methods
Ten three-hour lectures addressing an anthropological issue using central philosophical texts as spring-board; the issues chosen will also be considered in relation to scientific and social discussions (see above).
Each lecture is supplemented by individual study: the obligatory reading of complementary texts (reading package), and the writing of a short paper (maximum two pages), to be handed-in to the lecturer by the pre-established deadline.
Two sessions of group work using the individual work as springboard, and the writing of a critical summary (maximum ten pages), to be handed-in to the lecturer by the pre-established deadline.
The reading of four works that illustrate the interdisciplinary nature of philosophical anthropology (neuropsychology, psychoanalysis, literary texts, philosophical essays, etc.) culminating in a personal report on these readings. Although this can be guided by certain questions or problems freely chosen by the student, the report should be related to a theme in anthropology and should address at least two of the texts read (references are obligatory). The report should be six pages maximum, and should be handed-in to the lecturer by the pre-established deadline.
Other information (prerequisite, evaluation (assessment methods), course materials recommended readings, ...)
Pre-requisites : Introductory philosophy course
Supporting Material : Class notes, reading package
Assessment : Oral exam and personal essay about a choice of proposed readings"
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