About the course

This is the “Continental Philosophy” course in the Philosophy department at the University of British Columbia, taught by Christina Hendricks.

Course description (from the syllabus)

This course is focused on the “genealogical” writings of Nietzsche and Foucault (Genealogy of Morality, Discipline and Punish, and History of Sexuality Vol. I, plus the last volume of the History of Sexuality (Care of the Self), which may or may not be considered genealogical, as we’ll discuss). We will consider what such “genealogies” are, and in what ways they can function as political practice by encouraging their audiences to think and act differently. We’ll also discuss whether genealogy works differently in the hands of Nietzsche and Foucault. Many other topics will come up along the way, including Nietzsche and Foucault’s views on truth and knowledge, power, and ethics.

Target audience: There are no prerequisites for this course, but it is most appropriate for philosophy majors and those who have taken at least two courses in philosophy.  If you aren’t sure whether your background in philosophy will be adequate preparation, please talk with Christina.


Learning Objectives (and their relationship to course activities)

Students who successfully complete the course will be able to:

1.  Explain their view of the nature and potential effects of genealogical texts by Nietzsche and Foucault (readings and discussions, papers).

2.  Demonstrate familiarity with several of the important debates in the literature about the particular texts we are reading (readings and discussions, group project on secondary literature, annotated literature report for research paper)

3. Provide an original, well-supported contribution to one or more of the debates in the secondary literature (research paper).

4.  Demonstrate understanding of the argument of at least two assigned readings and the ability to ask critical questions and moderate discussion about them (student presentations, both individual and group).

5. (optional) Demonstrate ability to make a philosophical argument or provide information about philosophical arguments in a non-traditional way (i.e., not through an essay) (digital artifact).


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