Term 1 — Descartes’ Meditations (Prof Ward E. Jones)
René Descartes’ Meditations on First Philosophy (1642) is one of the greatest and
most influential philosophical texts in the history of Western philosophy.
Beautifully and concisely written, it sets the agenda for a great deal of work in
the areas of epistemology, metaphysics, and philosophy of mind. We will
work carefully through this work, meditation by meditation, in order to gain
a sense of his challenging worldview and his compelling insights and
Text: René Descartes, Meditations on First Philosophy (Cambridge University
Press, translated by John Cottingham), plus various readings.
Term 2 — Twentieth Century European Philosophy (Prof T. Martin)
This course will introduce you to the thought of some of the key thinkers to
emerge from continental (i.e. not the UK) Europe last century. Apart from
making important contributions to Western philosophy, French and German
philosophers have had a significant impact on political theory, literature and
psychology. The two or three authors studied in the course may include
Martin Heidegger, Jean-Paul Sartre, Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Simone de
Beauvoir, Albert Camus, Michel Foucault, and Jacques Derrida.
Readings will be provided.
Term 3 — African Philosophy - (Prof P.Tabensky)
This course will introduce you to the tradition of Africana philosophy, and to the thought of one of the towering figures in the tradition. W.E.B. Du Bois, often described as ‘the Father of Pan-Africanism,’ produced a number of groundbreaking texts during his long career. Some of these, like The Souls of Black Folk (1903), are quite well-known, while others, like The World and Africa (1946), are more obscure. We will work carefully through a few texts of both kinds, in pursuit of a well-rounded picture of Du Bois’s preoccupations, limitations, and contributions.
Term 4 – Plato’s Republic (Dr. S. Vice)
The Republic is one of the most influential philosophical texts in the history of philosophy. Explicitly about the nature of justice in the individual soul and the state, it covers nearly all the areas of philosophy: the nature of the person, the ideal state and the flourishing life, the role of art in the state, moral education, and the ultimate nature of reality.
We will use the following edition: Plato, The Republic (Cambridge Texts in the History of Political Thought), translated by Tom Griffith and edited by G.R.F. Ferrari (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000).
This edition will be available in the Van Schaik bookshop.
All lectures in Psych Major
Tuesday Period 2; Wednesday Period 3; Thursday Period 4; Friday Period 5
Tutorials are on Mondays.
There are weekly tutorial assignments & four long assignments (one per term).
Assessment is by examination, tutorial performance, and term assignment.