Philosophy & Literature Courses
Philosophy: The Mystique of Existentialism
Friday 4th until Sunday 6th June 2021
Existentialism was one of the most influential intellectual movements of the 20th century, surging from its 19th century Kierkegaardian foundations in reaction to the experience of Nazi domination and occupation. Its exponents, including Jean-Paul Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir and Albert Camus, have left a rich literary and philosophical legacy.
The Lazy Philosopher’s Guide to Plato
Friday 11th until Monday 14th June 2021
According to A. N. Whitehead, ‘The European philosophical tradition is… a series of footnotes to Plato.’ This course will consider Plato’s enduring influence by examining, and discussing, many of his ideas including virtue and the good life, justice in Socrates’ unapologetic apology, the allegory of the cave and beauty.
The Lazy Philosopher’s Guide to Kafka
Friday 3rd until Sunday 5th September 2021
According to Kafka, “It is often safer to be in chains than to be free.” Tracing his life and key works, we will explore some of Kafka’s ideas including the blending of the realistic and the fantastic, how bureaucratic forces limit an individual’s freedom and end by looking at his legacy, which was only made possible by his lifelong friend and literary executor Max Brod.
A Crash Course in Global Philosophy
until Wednesday 20th October 2021
Much of the world’s philosophy has historically been ignored by the West. Yet, if philosophy is a love of wisdom, there is no doubt that the philosophy of other cultures can only enrich us. This course will explore some of the philosophical contributions from the rest of the globe, including India, China, and the Muslim world.
The Lazy Philosopher's Guide to Religion & Atheism
Sunday 28th November until Wednesday 1st December 2021
Does religion still play an important part in Western societies? Taking inspiration from Alain de Botton’s book, Religion for Atheists, this course will begin by laying down the foundations of the philosophy of religion before exploring what religion can still contribute to a modern society, from an atheist’s point of view.
Fantastic Female Philosophers
until Wednesday 15th December 2021
Female philosophers are often overlooked, and though there are few examples in the ancient and medieval worlds due to patriarchal dominance, they have made themselves salient in modernity. This course will celebrate the contributions made by female philosophers throughout the last two millennia, including Ban Zhao, George Eliot, Hannah Arendt, Simone du Beauvoir and Judith Butler.
Philosophy: The Wisdom of the Stoics
until Friday 11th March 2022
Stoicism is often misunderstood as languishing through life without complaint. In this course we will see how thinkers such as Seneca, Epictetus and Marcus Aurelius confronted one of the key questions of the ancient world: ‘How should we live?’ and supplied us with pragmatic ways in which to flourish.
The Lazy Philosopher's Guide to Tolstoy
until Wednesday 6th April 2022
Tolstoy was as much a philosopher as a writer, and beyond his most famous works he applies his genius to the whole of the human condition. Using some of his short stories, this course will explore Tolstoy’s views on art, politics, religion and living an authentic life.