Fall 2014 - Undergraduate Course Descriptions
Description of Course:
In this undergraduate course I would like to explore problems of twentieth-century continental philosophy in their hermeneutic context by reading some of the principal texts in German and French thinking during this period. Beginning with Heidegger's "Letter on Humanism", we will then read some French philosophers who were deeply influenced by Heidegger, such as Levinas,Derrida, Jean-Luc Nancy, and Maurice Blanchot. We will pursue close, textual readings, as we attempt to raise ethical questions dealing with the "other"---in dialogue and as deconstruction. Primary among our concerns will be the way philosophers attempt to rethink what philosophy is in wake of the destructive history of the twentieth century and the issue of what Paul Celan termed "that which happened."
Jacques Derrida, Of Hospitality "The Force of Law"
Martin Heidegger, Basic Writings "The Letter on Humanism"
Emmanuel Levinas, Totality and Infinity
Maurice Blanchot, Writing the Disaster
Jean-Luc Nnacy, On the Creation of the World or Globalization
Course Requirements/Evaluation Criteria:
TWO essays of 5-9 pp. length, a Protokoll of 1-2 pp. length, and a final paper proposal of 1-2 pp.