In the early 1900s, Einstein’s relativity theories, along with quantum mechanics, overturned Newton’s model of the physical universe, which had dominated thinking for three centuries. What’s more, the First World War suggested that Europe’s socially advanced countries had reverted to barbarism. Three centuries of Enlightenment rationality seemed to have reached a dead end, and philosophy changed radically in response.
Our course will begin by introducing three 20th-century philosophical schools: continental, analytic and pragmatic. We will examine philosophical themes that arose from these schools, including existentialism, structuralism and deconstruction. We’ll also introduce major contributors, including Husserl, Heidegger, Wittgenstein, Sartre and Foucault.
Note: Back by popular demand, from fall 2017.
Please note that enrollment in this course is reserved for adults 55+.