PH 360 - Cross-Cultural Philosophy
The basic presupposition behind the course is that philosophy is an activity we “are unable to resist”: since we reflect on the events around us, on ourselves and on our actions, and since we are also able to reflect on that reflection, and so on, we are, in a certain sense, “always already in philosophy”, yet there are various ways of performing this reflection. Thus, we may even “feel at home” in philosophy. The course is not a classic “introduction to philosophy”, and it does not follow the logic of the “history of philosophy”, since it looks at philosophy not as something which can be “explained” (or contains “self-explanation”) across time but as a rich collection of questions and problems worth visiting again and again. Thus, the course may be of interest to those who already have some experience with philosophy and/or are familiar with the texts to be studied and interpreted (please see below), while it does not require any previous training in the field. The ultimate presupposition is that whether later a “professional” philosopher or not, each of us should develop a personal and unique philosophy of her or his own. The cross-cultural aspect of the course is highlighted by juxtaposing the so-called Continental (German-French) and the Analytic (British and American) traditions in philosophy, throughout the semester.