RECENT COURSES & READING GROUPS
Introduction to Social and Political Philosophy
Fall 2019 (on campus); Spring 2020 (semi-online)
“Life in Health and Sickness”
Spring 2020 (online)
This was a semester-long, interdisciplinary reading group, involving both doctoral students and faculty members. We studied the works of Friedrich Nietzsche, Helmuth Plessner, Georges Canguilhem, and other major representatives of Lebensphilosophie (German, "life philosophy", or "philosophy of life"), a school of thought that is grounded on cultural criticism, sociology, and philosophical biology. It focuses more on the corporeal and lived elements of human experience and life.
I will organize more of these reading groups in the future. If you are interested in the rich tradition of Lebensphilosophie, please feel free to join our group. I will post new updates here.
There is a tendency in teaching this type of introductory courses. Instructors generally neglect the “social” in the “social and political philosophy” and focus entirely on the discussion of texts considered classical or "representative" in political philosophy. Our goal in this course is to break with this tendency in order to gain a solid understanding of dysfunctional political relationships as well as explore the socio-economic structural factors that undermine human freedom and autonomy.
The social and political thinkers that are covered in this course include Leo Strauss, Hannah Arendt, Milton Friedman, Ibn Khaldun, Karl Marx, Immanuel Kant, Friedrich Nietzsche, Friedrich Engels, Carl Schmitt, Michael Bakunin, Chantal Mouffe, and Erik Olin Wright.