Contemporary Continental Philosophy

Course Code :2013UGEFIL
Study domain:Philosophy and Ethics
Location:Not at UA, but at UGent
Academic year:2017-2018
Semester:1st/2nd semester
Contact hours:45
Credits:10
Study load (hours):280
Language of instruction:English
Exam period:exam in the 1st and/or 2nd semester
Lecturer(s)Gertrudis Van de Vijver
Peter Reynaert
Arthur Cools
Sonja Lavaert

3. Course contents *

The aim of this seminar is to incite beginning researchers to set up innovating and
articulate academic research up to date with current literature, and to give shape to
their thought in one or more papers ready for submission to a peer reviewed journal.
Moreover, the students will be assisted in preparing a research proposal to be
submitted as a PhD application. The aim is eventually to attract and (co-) supervise
doctoral students who do active research on contemporary continental philosophy,
nationally and internationally. The assessment is continuous and end-of-term, and
concerns the participation during the meetings, the preparation of the paper(s), the
contribution to a research proposal, and the final paper(s).
Gertrudis Van de Vijver and Emiliano Acosta (UGent-VUB): “How does German
idealism manifest itself in contemporary continental philosophy?” Starting and
organizing point is Žižek’s The Sublime Object of Ideology and Gabriel, G. & Žižek, S.
(2009) Mythology, madness, and laughter: subjectivity in German idealism, two works
that will allow us to address the way in which the question of the subject and its
reflexivity appears today, after structuralism and (lacanian) psychoanalysis.
Sonja Lavaert (VUB): “Political institutions and their relation to language and art in
contemporary radical critical thought.” Excerpts from source texts of Agamben, Negri
and Virno will be read and commented in light of the focus on the following themes: the
perspective of the multitude; political institutions, imagination, language and art theory;
(the making of) subjectivity and forms of life; materialist ontology in the era of post-
Fordism; the use of the body, the use of life.
Peter Reynaert (UA): “Contemporary phenomenology and its relation to naturalism”.
Starting point is H. Carel and D. Meacham (eds.), Phenomenology and Naturalism,
Cambridge, CUP, 2013. An article by Peter Reynaert ”Naturalism as a categorymistake”.
In addition, we propose selected readings from contemporary
phenomenologists S. Ghallager and D. Zahavi: The Phenomenological Mind, London,
Routledge 2008.
Arthur Cools (UA) "Manifestations of the Sacred in Contemporary Continental
Philosophy". It is well known that Levinas' philosophy of subjectivity implies a basic
opposition between the sacred and the saint. In establishing this opposition, Levinas is
dealing with a certain legacy of Heidegger's philosophy and intends to refute it. Starting
from a reading of Levinas' article "Heidegger, Gagarin et nous", we will first discuss the
concept of subjectivity in Levinas' philosophy from a Blanchotian critical
perspective and then examine the meaning of the notion of the sacred and its
resurgence in philosophy of art (Blanchot and Nancy) and in political philosophy
(Agamben and Derrida). Selected reading of Levinas, Blanchot, Nancy, Agamben
and Derrida, and study of secondary literature around that theme.
Gertrudis Van de Vijver: “The importance of Jacques Lacan for 20th century (French)
philosophy”. One basic text of Lacan will be read ("La Science et la Vérité", or "Kant
avec Sade", or "Subversion to sujet et dialectique du désir") in order to address, once
more, the question of the subject in Lacanian psychoanalysis, with a view to clarify the
major epistemological modifications and subversions that were effectuated since the
Cartesian cogito.