Faculty of Arts
20th Century French Philosophy
We will study the development of 20th century French philosophy, focusing upon Vitalism, Existentialism, Evolutionism, Structuralism, Poststructuralism and Postmodernism. This will include the critical examination of the views of Henri Bergson, Jean-Paul Sartre, Albert Camus, Teilhard de Chardin, Ferdinand de Saussure, Claude Lévi-Strauss, Jacques Lacan, Roland Barthes, Jacques Derrida, Michel Foucault and Jean François Lyotard. A main goal will be to understand how, across the century, the foundations of French philosophising in the areas of metaphysics, ethics, social philosophy and literary theory shifted from a close attention to the lived qualities of individual experience, to a more social, language-centered understanding of people, as they stand within, and are significantly constituted by, historically variable social contexts. We will also explore how 20th century French philosophy embodied a revolutionary, anti-authoritarian spirit that was influenced significantly by the thought of Karl Marx, Friedrich Nietzsche and Sigmund Freud.
Coordinator(s) Associate Professor Robert Wicks
Jean-Paul Sartre, Essays in Existentialism (Citadel Press) Albert Camus, Myth of Sisyphus (Penguin Books) Michel Foucault, Discipline and Punish (Vintage)
These will be compiled in the Short Loan Materials section of the Main Library.
Coursework + exam
PHIL 335: 15.0 points
Any 30 points at Stage II in Philosophy, or EUROPEAN 100 and 15 points at Stage II in Philosophy