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September 26, 2023


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Aspects of Western Philosophy. Instructor: Dr. Sreekumar Nellickappilly, Department of Humanities and Social Sciences,

IIT Madras. This course attempts to give an overview of the major philosophical trends and approaches of the European civilization. It starts with a discussion of the Greek philosophy where we find the historical beginnings of Western thought. After a discussion of the major contributions of the Greek thinkers like the pre-Socratics, Sophists, Socrates, Plato and Aristotle, the course will have a brief examination of Medieval philosophy. A detailed examination of the Modern Philosophy will follow where we discuss the Rationalism of thinkers like Descartes, Spinoza and Leibniz, the Empiricism of John Locke, George Berkeley and David Hume, the critical philosophy of Kant, the absolute idealism of Hegel and the historical materialism of Karl Marx. This will be followed by an examination of Nietzsche's criticism of western philosophy. The remaining portion deal with twentieth century contributions to western philosophy, with an examination of the major traditions of Analytic philosophy and Continental thought. (from

Course Curriculum

  • Lecture 01 – Greek Philosophy: Ionians, Pythagoras, Parmenides, Heraclitus and Democritus Unlimited
  • Lecture 02 – Sophists, Socrates; Philosophy of Man; Relativism and Subjectivism; the Idea of Good Unlimited
  • Lecture 03 – Plato’s Idealism: Theory of Ideas Unlimited
  • Lecture 04 – Plato: Theory of Knowledge, The Dialectical Method Theory of Soul Unlimited
  • Lecture 05 – Aristotle’s Criticism of Platonic Idealism and the Concepts of Form and Matter Unlimited
  • Lecture 06 – Aristotle’s Theory of Causation; Potentiality and Actuality Unlimited
  • Lecture 07 – Medieval Philosophy Unlimited
  • Lecture 08 – Medieval Philosophy (cont.) Unlimited
  • Lecture 09 – Rene Descartes: the Method in Philosophy Unlimited
  • Lecture 10 – Rene Descartes: the Mind-body Dualism Unlimited
  • Lecture 11 – Spinoza: the Concepts of Substance, Attributes and Modes Unlimited
  • Lecture 12 – Spinoza’s Pantheism: God-Nature Relationship Unlimited
  • Lecture 13 – Leibniz: Monadology Unlimited
  • Lecture 14 – The Empiricism of John Locke Unlimited
  • Lecture 15 – John Locke: Theory of Knowledge Unlimited
  • Lecture 16 – George Berkeley: Immaterialism Unlimited
  • Lecture 17 – George Berkeley: Critique of Abstract Ideas Unlimited
  • Lecture 18 – David Hume: Impressions and Ideas Unlimited
  • Lecture 19 – David Hume: the External World and the Self Unlimited
  • Lecture 20 – Critical Philosophy Unlimited
  • Lecture 21 – Immanuel Kant: Forms of Sensibility, Categories of Understanding Unlimited
  • Lecture 22 – Immanuel Kant: the Idea of Reason Soul, God and the World as a Whole Unlimited
  • Lecture 23 – Kant’s Ethics; Freedom and Immortality; Problems with Kant Unlimited
  • Lecture 24 – Hegel: The Conception of Geist (Spirit) Unlimited
  • Lecture 25 – Hegel: Absolute Idealism Consciousness, Self Consciousness and Reason Unlimited
  • Lecture 26 – Karl Marx: Historical Materialism Unlimited
  • Lecture 27 – Nietzsche: Critique of Western Culture, Religion and Morality Unlimited
  • Lecture 28 – Linguistic Turn in British Philosophy, Russell’s Logical Atomism Unlimited
  • Lecture 29 – Wittgenstein: Early Wittgenstein’s Conception of Language and Reality Unlimited
  • Lecture 30 – Wittgenstein: Conception of Language-Games and Forms of Life Unlimited
  • Lecture 31 – Logical Positivism; Against Metaphysics Scientific Conception of Philosophy Unlimited
  • Lecture 32 – Edmund Husserl: Phenomenology and the Methods of Reduction Unlimited
  • Lecture 33 – Phenomenological Reduction, Eidetic Reduction and Transcendental Reduction Unlimited
  • Lecture 34 – Martin Heidegger: Phenomenological Hermeneutics; Concept of Being Unlimited
  • Lecture 35 – Martin Heidegger: Authentic and Inauthentic Existence; Truth as Disclosure Unlimited
  • Lecture 36 – Existentialism Unlimited
  • Lecture 37 – Sartre’s Conception of Human Existence Unlimited
  • Lecture 38 – The Concept of Being-in-Itself, Being-for-Itself and Being-for-Others Unlimited
  • Lecture 39 – Postmodernism Unlimited
  • Lecture 40 – Deconstruction, Feminism, Discourse Theory Unlimited

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