World Philosophies in Context
- Start date
- End date
- Year of study
- Year 1
- Term 1
- Module code
- FHEQ Level
- Department of Religions and Philosophies
‘World Philosophies in Context’ introduces students to some of the major themes in philosophical thought across the globe as they have emerged within particular social and political environments.
The module emphasises philosophy is a lived social practice: to understand the productive energy of a region's philosophical traditions and ideas is to understand philosophy's place and function within its unique socio-political environment. Students will identify key themes around which philosophical debate in a given context has developed, and then explore what is at stake in the development of certain ideas and the disagreements between various thinkers.
The purpose of the module is not to provide a comprehensive survey of world philosophies, as that it is impossible over 11 teaching weeks, but to encourage students to explore the diverse forces in response to which we shape human thought.
Objectives and learning outcomes
- Identify key themes within the philosophical traditions of India, Japan, Africa, and the Islamic world, and Europe.
- Explain philosophical ideas of these traditions within their historical, political and social contexts.
- Evaluate the relationship between speculative ideas and the socio-political contexts in which they arise, circulate, and develop.
Scope and syllabus
Week 1: Introduction, motivation, and overview of the module
Week 2: What is ‘World Philosophy’? Unlearning and New Learning
Week 3: On the Orientalisation of Islamic Philosophy
Week 4: Introduction to Jainism
Week 5: Introduction to Egoless Perspectivism
Week 6: Reading Week
Week 7: Introduction to 20th-Century Japanese Philosophy (Nishida Kitarō and the Kyoto School)
Week 8: Introduction to Social and Political Philosophy in Colonial India
Week 9: Introduction to Native American Philosophy
Week 10: Introduction to African Philosophy
Week 11: Workshop
Method of assessment
- One essay of 1,000 words OR video essay or multimedia presentation (5 minutes, 3 pages/slides)-(30%)
- One essay of 2,000 words OR video essay or multimedia presentation (10 minutes, 5-10 pages/slides)-(70%)
- Edelglass, W. and Garfield, J.L. (eds.) 2011. The Oxford Handbook of World Philosophy. Oxford: Oxford University Press
Important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules.