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PHIL704 – Research Topics in Modern European Philosophy

2017 – S2 External

General Information

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Unit convenor and teaching staff Unit convenor and teaching staff Associate Professor
Jean-Philippe Deranty
Contact via jp.deranty@mq.edu.au
By appointment
Credit points Credit points
4
Prerequisites Prerequisites
Admission to MRes
Corequisites Corequisites
Co-badged status Co-badged status
Unit description Unit description
The unit will examine contemporary research in the field of Modern European Philosophy. Examples of areas to be explored include recent developments in the Frankfurt School tradition of Critical Theory (especially the ‘recognition’ paradigm’), theories of subjectivity and intersubjectivity, and recent developments in French Philosophy (especially aesthetics). The unit will revolve around a current ‘hot ‘topic of research in this area. Students will be brought up to speed on this topic so that they are in a position to begin to pursue their own research project.

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 in-depth understanding of a key text of modern European philosophy, Hegel's Elements of the Philosophy of Right (1820).
  2. Acquire in-depth understanding of the significance of a key text of modern European philosophy for contemporary debates.
  3. Articulate clearly and coherently philosophical arguments in written and oral form.
  4. Analyse and critically evaluate philosophical arguments and their application to contemporary social issues.

Assessment Tasks

Name Weighting Due
Research Essay 60% Week 13
Essay preparation portfolio 30% Week 10
Online discussion 10% Throughout the semester

Research Essay

Due: Week 13
Weighting: 60%

4,000-5,000 word research essay.


This Assessment Task relates to the following Learning Outcomes:
  • Acquire in-depth understanding of a key text of modern European philosophy, Hegel's Elements of the Philosophy of Right (1820).
  • Acquire in-depth understanding of the significance of a key text of modern European philosophy for contemporary debates.
  • Articulate clearly and coherently philosophical arguments in written and oral form.
  • Analyse and critically evaluate philosophical arguments and their application to contemporary social issues.

Essay preparation portfolio

Due: Week 10
Weighting: 30%

Essay preparation portfolio, consisting of the following sections:

- a self-constructed essay question and a short description of its significance and relevance

- an outline with brief summaries of the key points and arguments

- a short annotated review of the core literature to be used in the essay

- a review of peers' work


This Assessment Task relates to the following Learning Outcomes:
  • Articulate clearly and coherently philosophical arguments in written and oral form.
  • Analyse and critically evaluate philosophical arguments and their application to contemporary social issues.

Online discussion

Due: Throughout the semester
Weighting: 10%

Consistent participation in online seminar discussions.


This Assessment Task relates to the following Learning Outcomes:
  • Acquire in-depth understanding of a key text of modern European philosophy, Hegel's Elements of the Philosophy of Right (1820).
  • Acquire in-depth understanding of the significance of a key text of modern European philosophy for contemporary debates.
  • Analyse and critically evaluate philosophical arguments and their application to contemporary social issues.

Delivery and Resources

The unit has a dual structure:

- an in-depth reading, section by section, of Hegel's Elements of the Philosophy of Right (1820). 

- after each section, a focus on a key issue raised in the section just studied. Through this focus we  explore the tremendous legacy of Hegel's social and political thought on a wide range of important questions and topics.

 

The unit will be delivered by way of weekly seminar discussions. 

The seminar is scheduled on Wednesdays, 1-3pm, in Room Y3A 210.

The main texts will be provided through the unit's iLearn space.

Further references and sources will be provided during the semester.

Unit Schedule

Week 1: Presentation of the course. Conceptual introduction and problem-setting.

The difficulty of locating Hegel’s social and political philosophy in the theoretical landscape: liberalism, republicanism, communitarianism, socialism, conservatism, authoritarianism and other “isms”.

The core problems of social and political philosophy.

 

Week 2: Introduction to Hegel’s Philosophy. The place of the philosophy of right in the system. Outline of the Philosophy of Right.

Heikki Ikaheimo, “Holism and Normative Essentialism in Hegel’s Social Ontology”, in Recognition and Social Ontology, 145-210.

Outline of Hegel’s Philosophy of Right, p.3-8.

 

Week 3: Hegel’s theory of freedom.

Introduction to the Philosophy of Right, ## 1-32.

 

Week 4: Alternative models of freedom: negative, positive and social.

Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, “Negative and Positive Freedom”.

Quentin Skinner, “A Third Concept of Liberty”

Axel Honneth, “Three, Not Two Concepts of Liberty” and extracts from Freedom’s Right.

 

Week 5: Hegel’s theory of property

Philosophy of Right, ##34-75.

 

Week 6: Property, freedom, rights

John Locke, extracts from Second Treatise of Government.

Jon Roemer, “A Challenge to Neo-Lockeanism”.

 

Week 7: Citizenship as concrete freedom

Philosophy of Right, ##142-157 and 257-272.

 

Week 8: The nature of political sovereignty

Extracts from Rousseau, The Social Contract.

Annelien de Dijn, “Rousseau and Republicanism”.

Jürgen Habermas, “On the Past and Future of Sovereignty and Citizenship”.

 

Week 9: Society as division of labour

Philosophy of Right, ##182-208, 230-256.

 

Week 10: Theory of political institutions

Philosophy of Right, ##271-320.

Week 11: Hegel and radical democracy (I)

Feuerbach, Principles of the Philosophy of the Future, ##37-62.

Andrew Chitty, “The basis of the State in the Marx of 1842”.

Marx, Critique of Hegel’s political philosophy (1843), extracts.

 

Week 12: Hegel and radical democracy (II)

Dewey, extracts from The Public and Its Problems.

Richard Bernstein, “Dewey’s Vision of Radical Democracy”.

Axel Honneth, “Democracy as Reflexive Cooperation”.

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 in-depth understanding of a key text of modern European philosophy, Hegel's Elements of the Philosophy of Right (1820).
  • Acquire in-depth understanding of the significance of a key text of modern European philosophy for contemporary debates.

Assessment tasks

  • Research Essay
  • Essay preparation portfolio

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

  • Articulate clearly and coherently philosophical arguments in written and oral form.
  • Analyse and critically evaluate philosophical arguments and their application to contemporary social issues.

Assessment tasks

  • Research Essay
  • Essay preparation portfolio
  • Online discussion

PG - Capable of Professional and Personal Judgment and Initiative

Our postgraduates will demonstrate a high standard of discernment and common sense in their professional and personal judgment. They will have the ability to make informed choices and decisions that reflect both the nature of their professional work and their personal perspectives.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcome

  • Articulate clearly and coherently philosophical arguments in written and oral form.

Assessment task

  • Online discussion

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

  • Acquire in-depth understanding of a key text of modern European philosophy, Hegel's Elements of the Philosophy of Right (1820).
  • Acquire in-depth understanding of the significance of a key text of modern European philosophy for contemporary debates.
  • Analyse and critically evaluate philosophical arguments and their application to contemporary social issues.

Assessment tasks

  • Research Essay
  • Essay preparation portfolio
  • Online discussion

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 outcome

  • Articulate clearly and coherently philosophical arguments in written and oral form.

Assessment tasks

  • Research Essay
  • Essay preparation portfolio

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

  • Analyse and critically evaluate philosophical arguments and their application to contemporary social issues.

Assessment tasks

  • Essay preparation portfolio
  • Online discussion