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PH 460 - Advanced Seminar - Cross-Cultural Philosophy

The idea behind this 400 course, an upper-level seminar is that those IES Abroad students who already have a relatively solid background in philosophy might find a forum where they are able to study philosophy on a more advanced level than the one offered by the course “PH360 CROSSCULTURAL PHILOSOPHY”. PH460 is “built upon” PH360 in the sense that while all students in the seminar attend PH360 (meeting twice a week for two classroom-hours, i.e. 2x90 minutes), they are also offered an additional session, meeting once a week for two classroom hours (90 minutes). The main goal of the additional session, creating a real upper-level seminar atmosphere is to help students write a seminar paper of about 20 standard pages on a topic they are particularly interested in, and/or they already have done some research on, at their respective home universities. The basic presupposition behind the course is as behind PH360: 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 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. 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. (A “field-trip”, guided by the instructor to Budapest will try to back up the inter-cultural atmosphere of the course as well.)

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