Twentieth Century European Philosophy


Spring 2014 quarter

Taught by


This upper-division program is intended for students who are interested in the revolutionary philosophical theories that have shaped significant parts of contemporary political, social and cultural critiques.  There will be a special focus on philosophy of language, phenomenology and post-structuralism, covering the work of Wittgenstein, Husserl, Arendt, Heidegger, Merleau-Ponty, Foucault, Derrida, and other 20th century European thinkers. These philosophers developed a vocabulary of concepts for understanding the relation of the individual mind to the cultural and interpersonal environment in which that mind develops and functions.

Students will be expected to have some familiarity with the European philosophical tradition, solid academic writing skills, and some experience reading and analyzing dense philosophical texts. The activities of the program will include close reading and analysis of primary texts within the context of their composition and the writing of reflective, argumentative and synthetic essays in response to those texts. Much of the class time will be devoted to student-led seminar discussions. Students will be encouraged to explore connections between the theories encountered in the program readings and their own social, political and personal concerns. Students will write a culminating essay that may serve as a writing sample for application to graduate school.

Program Details

Fields of Study

Preparatory for studies or careers in

advanced undergraduate and graduate-level study in philosophy, the humanities, and social science.

Location and Schedule

Campus location



Offered during: Day


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Online Learning

No Required Online Learning

More information about online learning.


Date Revision
October 23rd, 2013 New opportunity added.

Registration Information

Credits: 16 (Spring)

Class standing: Junior–Senior

Maximum enrollment: 25


Course Reference Numbers

Jr - Sr (16 credits): 30385
Jr - Sr (1-16 credits): 30632

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