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History of Philosophy II: From Hegel to Derrida

Progress code: FI180GES2 / ECTS: 5
The course unit starts with the work of Hegel, who sees philosophy as a historical process. His main themes are freedom and rationality. Hegel’s belief in the progression of the history of philosophy was fiercely criticized by Nietzsche. Inspired by Nietzsche, 20th-century postmodern philosophers tried to unmask Enlightenment ideals such as truth and morality as attempts to claim power. In England, Russell also dismissed Hegel’s philosophy, helping to shape an analytical approach to philosophy that focused on language, logic and scientific methodology. Russell developed modern logic as the basis of mathematics, for example. His pupil Wittgenstein analysed the link between language and reality. The logical positivists, Popper and Quine, formulated important principles such as the principle of falsifiability, and explored the status of scientific language and theories. However, this intense focus on science prompted counter-reactions. How can mankind attach meaning and purpose to a world dominated by science and technology? Are human autonomy and free will still relevant? These and other similar questions were tackled by philosophers including Heidegger, Sartre and Levinas.
Last modified:05 June 2019 07.16 a.m.