EU437 Half Unit
Europe Beyond Modernity
This information is for the 2018/19 session.
Prof Simon Glendinning COW 2.12
This course is available on the CEMS Exchange, MBA Exchange, MSc in EU Politics, MSc in EU Politics (LSE and Sciences Po), MSc in Global Europe: Culture and Conflict, MSc in Global Europe: Culture and Conflict (LSE & Sciences Po), MSc in International Relations (Research), MSc in Political Economy of Europe, MSc in Political Economy of Europe (LSE and Sciences Po) and MSc in Social Anthropology (Religion in the Contemporary World). This course is available with permission as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.
This course engages with the deepest roots and fundamental trajectory of the contemporary European world as identified by three major thinkers of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries: Nietzsche, Heidegger and Derrida. Taking up and problematising the claim made by Emmanuel Levinas that "Europe is the Bible and the Greeks", the course explores the idea that Europe today is a cultural and political movement in deconstruction, a movement beyond its own modern self-understanding which might be summarised by Nietzsche's madman's pronouncement of the death of God. As Derrida, a leading theorist of this conception puts it, "one should, more prudently, say "Greek, Christian and beyond" to conceive the formation of the contemporary European heritage. This suggestion not only makes it possible to acknowledge many other important cultural sources in this heritage (Judaic and Islamic at the very least) but also, and above all, directs us towards what, in Nietzsche's wake, can be identified as "the passage beyond" - the movement in which the European tradition "tends of itself to break with itself". There is no suggestion that the heritage and future of Europe are disconnected in this "passage beyond", and none of the authors explored in this course seek to reject the European heritage or want simply to destroy it. On the contrary, and always in its name, the attempt is made in their writings to effect a renewal of the European world which could propel it in a new direction beyond Enlightenment modernity. The key themes in this renewal will be explored in relation to a "beyond modernity" condition becoming visible in philosophy, politics, technology and religion.
10 hours of lectures and 15 hours of seminars in the LT. 1 hour and 30 minutes of seminars in the ST.
Students on this course will have a reading week in Week 6, in line with departmental policy.
Two 2,000 word essays; seminar presentation.
- Friedrich Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil
- Martin Heidegger, The Question Concerning Technology
- Jacques Derrida, "Faith and Knowledge" in Religion (eds Derrida and Vattimo)
- Robert Pippin, Modernism as a Philosophical Problem.
Online assessment (100%) in the ST.
The online assessment for this course will be administered via Moodle. A review session will take place in Week 1 of the ST in preparation for this assessment. Assessment questions will be made available via Moodle in Week 2 of the ST. Students will answer 2 of 8 questions. Answers to questions will be submitted in Week 5 of the ST.
Department: European Institute
Total students 2017/18: 23
Average class size 2017/18: 13
Controlled access 2017/18: Yes
Value: Half Unit
Personal development skills
- Team working
- Problem solving
Although this course focuses on carefully selected philosophical texts, there is no expectation that students taking the course will have a background in philosophy.