Logo Students

PHIL703 – Foundations of Research in Modern European Philosophy

2017 – S1 External

General Information

Pdf icon Download as PDF
Unit convenor and teaching staff Unit convenor and teaching staff
Michael Olson
W6A 723
by appointment
Jean-Philippe Deranty
W6A 736
by appointment
Credit points Credit points
4
Prerequisites Prerequisites
Admission to MRes
Corequisites Corequisites
Co-badged status Co-badged status
Unit description Unit description
This course introduces students to a central question or theme in modern European philosophy by returning to some of the pivotal writings of that tradition. This might take the form of an examination of what ‘transcendental’ philosophy is through a reading of Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason, for example, or an analysis of the meaning of freedom through a reading of Hegel’s Philosophy of Right. Specific topics and readings vary by year.

Important Academic Dates

Information about important academic dates including deadlines for withdrawing from units are available at http://students.mq.edu.au/student_admin/enrolmentguide/academicdates/

Learning Outcomes

  1. Acquire a coherent and advanced knowledge of the variety of ways politics and aesthetics have and continue to come into relation and how these relations have been analysed in the philosophical tradition.
  2. Analyse and synthesise information from a variety of disciplinary sources, including philosophical and literary texts, fine and popular art, history, and political theory.
  3. Clearly and coherently articulate philosophical arguments in scholarly and conversational media.
  4. Analyse and critically evaluate philosophical arguments.
  5. Apply acquired knowledge and skills in the context of philosophical scholarship.
  6. Work in cooperation with others and reflect on individual and group performance to identify opportunities for improvement.

Assessment Tasks

Name Weighting Due
Research essay 60% Week 13
Short Papers 30% throughout semester
Discussion and Participation 10% thoughout semester

Research essay

Due: Week 13
Weighting: 60%

The major assessment for the unit is a 4000-word research essay that addresses the theme of the seminar.  Students will determine the topic of their own essays in consultation with the instructors.

Assessment criteria are outlined on the rubric provided on ilearn.


This Assessment Task relates to the following Learning Outcomes:
  • Acquire a coherent and advanced knowledge of the variety of ways politics and aesthetics have and continue to come into relation and how these relations have been analysed in the philosophical tradition.
  • Analyse and synthesise information from a variety of disciplinary sources, including philosophical and literary texts, fine and popular art, history, and political theory.
  • Clearly and coherently articulate philosophical arguments in scholarly and conversational media.
  • Analyse and critically evaluate philosophical arguments.
  • Apply acquired knowledge and skills in the context of philosophical scholarship.

Short Papers

Due: throughout semester
Weighting: 30%

During the course of the semester, students will write five short papers (approximately 500 words each) that will serve as the basis for seminar discussion in that week. These papers, which each determine 6% of the final mark, should summarize the central arguments of the week's readings and briefly explain how those arguments bear on the theme of the unit, the relationships between aesthetics and politics.

The schedule of individual deadlines will be worked out in the first week of the seminar.

Assessment criteria include the accuracy of the paper's engagement with the material, the quality of its explanation of how that material relates to the theme of the course, and the technical and stylistic quality of the paper.


This Assessment Task relates to the following Learning Outcomes:
  • Acquire a coherent and advanced knowledge of the variety of ways politics and aesthetics have and continue to come into relation and how these relations have been analysed in the philosophical tradition.
  • Analyse and synthesise information from a variety of disciplinary sources, including philosophical and literary texts, fine and popular art, history, and political theory.
  • Clearly and coherently articulate philosophical arguments in scholarly and conversational media.
  • Work in cooperation with others and reflect on individual and group performance to identify opportunities for improvement.

Discussion and Participation

Due: thoughout semester
Weighting: 10%

Active preparation for and participation in in-person or online discussion.

The criteria by which this assessment is evaluated include both the quality (insight, concision, comprehension) and quantity of student participation. 


This Assessment Task relates to the following Learning Outcomes:
  • Acquire a coherent and advanced knowledge of the variety of ways politics and aesthetics have and continue to come into relation and how these relations have been analysed in the philosophical tradition.
  • Analyse and synthesise information from a variety of disciplinary sources, including philosophical and literary texts, fine and popular art, history, and political theory.
  • Analyse and critically evaluate philosophical arguments.
  • Apply acquired knowledge and skills in the context of philosophical scholarship.
  • Work in cooperation with others and reflect on individual and group performance to identify opportunities for improvement.

Delivery and Resources

In addition to in-class discussion for traditional students, this unit will involve online discussion boards.  Regular access to ilearn is thus a necessity. 

Unit Schedule

The following is a provisional schedule for the semester:

Week One: Introductions 

What do “aesthetics” and “politics” mean? 

             

PART I. Starting from the Artwork 

Week Two: Lorenzetti's Siena Fresco 

Art 

Ambrogio Lorenzetti, “The Allegory of Good and Bad Government” (fresco, 1338-1339) 

Readings 

Quentin Skinner, “Ambrogio Lorenzetti’s Buon Governo Frescoes: Two Old Questions, Two New Answers,” Journal of the Warburg and Coutauld Institutes, vol. 62 (1999), 1-28. 

Nirit Ben-Aryeh Debby, “War and peace: the description of Ambrogio Lorenzetti’s Frescoes in Saint Bernardino’s 1425 Sienna Sermons,” Renaissance Studies, vol. 15, no. 3 (2001), 272-286.   

 

Week Three: Visualising an Idea 

Art 

Abraham Bosse, Frontispiece of Thomas Hobbes’ Leviathan (etching on paper, 1751) 

Readings 

Justin Champion, “Decoding the Leviathan: Doing the History of Ideas through Images, 1651-1714,” in Michael Hunter (ed.), Printed Images in Early Modern Britain: Essays in Interpretation (Farnham, UK: Ashgate, 2010), 255-275. 

Magnus Kristiansson and Johan Tralau, “Hobbes’ hidden monster: A new interpretation of the frontispiece of Leviathan,” European Journal of Political Theory, vol. 13, no. 3 (2014), 299-320. 

 

 

Week Four: Representing the Sovereign 

Art 

Diego Velasquez, “Las Meninas” (oil on canvas, 1656) 

Hans Holbein the Younger, "Portrait of Henry VIII" (oil on canvas1536-1537) 

Hyacinthe Rigaud, "Portrait of Louis XIV" (oil on canvas, 1701) 

Readings 

Michel Foucault, “Las Meninas,” in The Order of Things: An Archaeology of the Human Sciences [1966] (London: Routledge, 1970), 3-18. 

Daniel Arasse, “The Eye of the Master,” in Take a Closer Look [2000], trans. Alyson Waters (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2013), 129-159. 

  

PART II. Aisthesis and Perception 

  

Week Five: De gustibus non disputandum est 

Readings 

David Hume, “Of the Standard of Taste” [1757], in The Philosophical Works of David Hume, ed. T.H. Green and T.H. Grose, 4 vols. (London: Longman, Green, 1874-1875), vol. 3, 246-273. 

Pierre Bourdieu, Distinction: A Social Critique of the Judgement of Taste [1979], “The Aristocracy of Culture,” trans. Richard Nice (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1984), 11-96. 

Art 

Johann Sebastian Bach, The Well-Tempered Clavier (1722). 

George GerschwinRhapsody in Blue (1924).  

Johann Strauss II, The Blue Danube (1866).  

  

Week Six: Everyday Pleasures 

Readings 

Theodor Adorno, Minima Moralia: Reflections on a Damanged Life [1949]trans. E.F.N. Jephcott (London: Verso, 2005), ## 19-20, 74-78. 

Theodor Adorno, “On the Fetish Character in Music and the Regression of Listening” [1938], in Adorno, The Culture Industry (London: Routledge, 1991), 29-61. 

Art 

Musical extracts from TchaikoskySymphony No5, Brahms' First Symphony, Marx Brothers A Night at the Opera 

Prints from Alfred BrehmThe Lives of Animals (1876) 

    

Week Seven: Regimes of the Arts 

Readings 

Jacques RancièreMute Speech [1998], trans. G. Rockhill (New York: Columbia University Press, 1998), 29-51.  

Jacques Rancière, “The Poet of the New World (Boston, 1841-New York, 1855)”, in Aisthesis [2011], trans. Zakir Paul (London: Verso, 2013), 55-74. 

Art 

Extracts from Ralph Waldo Emerson, “The Poet”, and Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass. 

  

PART III. Art as Friend and Foe of Political Order 

  

Week Eight: Platonic Ambivalence 

Readings 

Plato, Republic [c 380 BCE]trans. Tom Griffith (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000), 595-608b.  

Plato, Laws [348 BCE], Book VII. 

Graham Pont, “Plato’s Philosophy of Dance”, in Jennifer Neville (ed.), Dance, Society and the Body Politick (University of New England, 2008), 267-281. 

Art 

Extracts from Star Trek, Season 3, Episode 10, "Plato's Stepchildren"

Missy Eliott "Lose Control"  

  

Week Nine: Greek Tragedy 

Art 

Aeschylus, The Eumenides [458 BCE], in Aeschylus II, Loeb Classical Library, ed. E. Capps, T.E. Page, and W.H.D. Rouse, trans. H.W. Smyth (London: William Heineman, 1928), 269-371.  

Readings 

Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, extract from Essay on Natural Law [1802]in Hegel. Political Writingstrans. H. B. Nisbet (Cambridge University Press2004), 147-163 . 

Jean-Pierre Vernant, “Myth and Tragedy,” in Essays on Aristotle’s Poetics, Amelie Oksenberg Rorty (ed.) (Princeton University Press, 1992), 33-50. 

Martin Thibodeau, “The Essay on Natural Law: Tragedy in Ethical Life”, in Hegel and Greek Tragedy (Lexington, 2013), 55-92. 

  

Week Ten: A Lost Aura 

Reading 

Walter Benjamin, “Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproducibility” [1936], in Illuminations, ed. Hannah Arendt, trans. Harry Zohn (New York: Schocken Books: 2008), 217-251. 

Art 

Leni Riefenstahl (dir.), The Triumph of the Will (1935). 

Dziga Vertov (dir.), Man with a Movie Camera (1922). 

  

PART IV. Art as Agent of Political Change 

  

Week ElevenArt and Conservative Revolution 

Readings 

Martin Heidegger, “The Origin of the Work of Art” [1935-1937; published 1950] in Basic Writings, ed. David Farrell Krell (San Francisco: harper Collins, 1993), 139-212. 

Ernst Jünger, “Total Mobilisation [1930], trans. Joel Golb & Richard Wolin in Richard Wolin (ed.), The Heidegger Controversy: A Critical Reader (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1998), 119-139.  

Michael Zimmerman, Heidegger’s Confrontation with Modernity: Technology, Politics, and Art (Bloomington, IN: University of Indiana Press, 1990).

 Art

Ernst Jünger photographs

Fritz Lang (dir.), Metropolis (1927)

 

Week Twelve: Visual Enlightenment 

Reading 

Rolf Reichardt, “Light against Darkness: The Visual Representations of a Central Enlightenment Concept,” trans. Deborah Louise Cohen, Representations, no. 61 (1998), 95-148. 

Art 

Francesco Cepparuli, "Truth Opens the Eyes of the Blind" (1744; engraving).   

 

Week Thirteen: Art and Progressive Revolution 

Readings 

T.J. Clark, “Painting in the Year 2,” Representations, no. 47 (1994), 13-63. 

Mona OzoufFestivals and the French Revolution, trans. Alan Sheridan (Harvard University Press, 1988), xv-xviii, 33-60, 197-216. 

Art 

Jacques-Louis David, "The Death of Marat" (oil on canvas, 1793). 

Policies and Procedures

Macquarie University policies and procedures are accessible from Policy Central. Students should be aware of the following policies in particular with regard to Learning and Teaching:

Academic Honesty Policy http://mq.edu.au/policy/docs/academic_honesty/policy.html

Assessment Policy http://mq.edu.au/policy/docs/assessment/policy_2016.html

Grade Appeal Policy http://mq.edu.au/policy/docs/gradeappeal/policy.html

Complaint Management Procedure for Students and Members of the Public http://www.mq.edu.au/policy/docs/complaint_management/procedure.html​

Disruption to Studies Policy http://www.mq.edu.au/policy/docs/disruption_studies/policy.html The Disruption to Studies Policy is effective from March 3 2014 and replaces the Special Consideration Policy.

In addition, a number of other policies can be found in the Learning and Teaching Category of Policy Central.

Student Code of Conduct

Macquarie University students have a responsibility to be familiar with the Student Code of Conduct: https://students.mq.edu.au/support/student_conduct/

Results

Results shown in iLearn, or released directly by your Unit Convenor, are not confirmed as they are subject to final approval by the University. Once approved, final results will be sent to your student email address and will be made available in eStudent. For more information visit ask.mq.edu.au.

Student Support

Macquarie University provides a range of support services for students. For details, visit http://students.mq.edu.au/support/

Learning Skills

Learning Skills (mq.edu.au/learningskills) provides academic writing resources and study strategies to improve your marks and take control of your study.

Student Enquiry Service

For all student enquiries, visit Student Connect at ask.mq.edu.au

Equity Support

Students with a disability are encouraged to contact the Disability Service who can provide appropriate help with any issues that arise during their studies.

IT Help

For help with University computer systems and technology, visit http://www.mq.edu.au/about_us/offices_and_units/information_technology/help/

When using the University's IT, you must adhere to the Acceptable Use of IT Resources Policy. The policy applies to all who connect to the MQ network including students.

Graduate Capabilities

PG - Discipline Knowledge and Skills

Our postgraduates will be able to demonstrate a significantly enhanced depth and breadth of knowledge, scholarly understanding, and specific subject content knowledge in their chosen fields.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • Acquire a coherent and advanced knowledge of the variety of ways politics and aesthetics have and continue to come into relation and how these relations have been analysed in the philosophical tradition.
  • Analyse and synthesise information from a variety of disciplinary sources, including philosophical and literary texts, fine and popular art, history, and political theory.
  • Clearly and coherently articulate philosophical arguments in scholarly and conversational media.
  • Analyse and critically evaluate philosophical arguments.
  • Apply acquired knowledge and skills in the context of philosophical scholarship.

Assessment tasks

  • Research essay
  • Discussion and Participation

PG - Effective Communication

Our postgraduates will be able to communicate effectively and convey their views to different social, cultural, and professional audiences. They will be able to use a variety of technologically supported media to communicate with empathy using a range of written, spoken or visual formats.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • Clearly and coherently articulate philosophical arguments in scholarly and conversational media.
  • Work in cooperation with others and reflect on individual and group performance to identify opportunities for improvement.

Assessment tasks

  • Research essay
  • Short Papers
  • Discussion and Participation

PG - Critical, Analytical and Integrative Thinking

Our postgraduates will be capable of utilising and reflecting on prior knowledge and experience, of applying higher level critical thinking skills, and of integrating and synthesising learning and knowledge from a range of sources and environments. A characteristic of this form of thinking is the generation of new, professionally oriented knowledge through personal or group-based critique of practice and theory.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • Analyse and synthesise information from a variety of disciplinary sources, including philosophical and literary texts, fine and popular art, history, and political theory.
  • Analyse and critically evaluate philosophical arguments.
  • Apply acquired knowledge and skills in the context of philosophical scholarship.

Assessment tasks

  • Research essay
  • Short Papers
  • Discussion and Participation

PG - Research and Problem Solving Capability

Our postgraduates will be capable of systematic enquiry; able to use research skills to create new knowledge that can be applied to real world issues, or contribute to a field of study or practice to enhance society. They will be capable of creative questioning, problem finding and problem solving.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • Analyse and synthesise information from a variety of disciplinary sources, including philosophical and literary texts, fine and popular art, history, and political theory.
  • Clearly and coherently articulate philosophical arguments in scholarly and conversational media.
  • Analyse and critically evaluate philosophical arguments.
  • Apply acquired knowledge and skills in the context of philosophical scholarship.

Assessment tasks

  • Research essay
  • Short Papers
  • Discussion and Participation

PG - Engaged and Responsible, Active and Ethical Citizens

Our postgraduates will be ethically aware and capable of confident transformative action in relation to their professional responsibilities and the wider community. They will have a sense of connectedness with others and country and have a sense of mutual obligation. They will be able to appreciate the impact of their professional roles for social justice and inclusion related to national and global issues

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcome

  • Work in cooperation with others and reflect on individual and group performance to identify opportunities for improvement.