According the Friedrich Nietzsche, “There are no eternal facts, as there are no absolute truths.” Tracing his life, and using some of his key works as our guides, we will explore Nietzsche’s views on morality, religion and politics, as we consider the relevance and resonance of Nietzsche’s thoughts in today’s world.
James Joyce stated “The demand that I make of my reader is that he should devote his whole life to reading my works.” Joyce has indeed been responsible for a vast amount of scholarship surrounding his oeuvre. Tracing his life, and using some of his key works as our guides, we will explore Joyce’s intriguing and sometimes perplexing work.
The branch of philosophy that deals with right and wrong is known as ethics. In this course we will examine various ethical theories and apply them to some of the most prominent problems of the modern world. Our exploration of ethics will be aided by Aristotle, Kant and J.S. Mill, as well as modern thinkers, such as Peter Singer. We will then apply their theories to modern issues including free speech and social media. So join me, Darren Harper, for a delightful few days of debating some of the modern world’s most incendiary issues over a glass of sherry at the Green Park Hotel.
During the first millennia Christianity became assimilated into Roman culture. The Greek idea of philosophy as rational examination independent of religious doctrine sat uncomfortably with the rise of Christianity. Questions about the nature of the universe and what constitutes a virtuous life were held to be answered in the scriptures and were no longer considered subjects for philosophical discussion. The philosophers in this course sought to integrate Greek philosophy into Christian religion.
Existentialism was one of the most influential intellectual movements of the 20th century, surging from its 19th century Kierkegaardian foundations in reaction against 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.
Dostoevsky stated that “It is better to be unhappy and know the worst, than to be happy in a fool’s paradise.” In this course we will use some of his key texts to explore Dostoevsky’s transition from Russia’s first ‘social novelist’, his last minute stay from execution, his refuge in Russian Orthodoxy to his struggles concerning faith, reason, free will and moral responsibility.