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Philosophy & Religion


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Ethics in Focus: What Is 'Duty'?

What is ‘duty’? We often talk about different kinds of duties in our daily life, such as a duty of education, a duty of not harming others, a duty of parental love, and so on. But why are they called duties? Immanuel Kant, who is considered as one of the most influential philosophers of all time, answered this question by claiming that human beings are ‘obligated’ or ‘bound’ to undertake certain actions and such actions are called duties. But do you agree that we have a duty of... [More]
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Thinking Dangerously Part 1: Plato to Schopenhauer

Who are philosophy’s most dangerous thinkers and why are they so scary? Plato, for instance, appears to have advocated a totalitarian state that banned art and poetry. Machiavelli believed that Princes should rule through terror. While these ideas sound dangerous, many of them have been misinterpreted and yet some ideas are more terrifying than actually thought. All of these thinkers challenge contemporary prejudices today. This course is an introductory course to dangerous... [More]
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Hermeneutic Philosophy: The Art of Interpretation

Hermeneutics is the theory and practice of textual interpretation. By the 20th century it had become the philosophy of understanding and meaning creation in all areas of human life. In this course we will follow the development of this branch of philosophy through its main exponents: Dilthey, Gadamer, Ricoeur and Habermas. We will then consider one of the most ‘hermeneutic’ literary critics of the 20th C: Harold Bloom. We will also look at some contemporary theories of metaphor.... [More]
Hermeneutic Philosophy: The Art of Interpretation
$260 inc GST / $234
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Nietzsche and Madness: The Late Writings

This course will provide an introduction to the late period of Friedrich Nietzsche’s philosophy, focusing on the year of his mental collapse, 1888. His late works have often been dismissed as the ravings of someone who has lost his mind or as merely a restatement of his earlier philosophical works. This course will challenge both opinions. In so doing it will establish an overview of his philosophy and explore how Nietzsche used the image of madness in a variety of ways. COURSE... [More]
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Philosophy of Fiction: Modernism to the Contemporary

The 19th century novel was primarily representational; its purpose was to describe or reflect the world, but in the Modern novel language is also understood as forming ‘reality’. The Modern novel responds to ideas in the new sciences; behavioral sociology; and psychology. The theory of the unconscious was of great interest to the Modern novelists, particularly the ‘mythic/primitive’ structure of our passions and desires. Thomas Mann’s monumental novel The Magic Mountain will be one... [More]
Philosophy of Fiction: Modernism to the Contemporary
$260 inc GST / $234
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Philosophy Basics: So, What Is Philosophy, Anyway?

In recent decades, Philosophy has escaped from the ivory tower of Academia into the public domain. Today, everyone is ‘philosophising’ all over the place, about everything! This is clearly important to us, but why? What is ‘Philosophy’? Is it mere pontificating, or something more? What, if anything, does it achieve? Is it like ‘Science’? Does it provide answers? Does it make progress? This introductory course philosophises about Philosophy itself! COURSE OUTLINE This short,... [More]
Philosophy Basics: So, What Is Philosophy, Anyway?
$86 inc GST / $77
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Creating Christianity – Writings of the Church Fathers and the First Ecumenical Councils

This course is a sequel to last year’s popular course on the making of the Christian canon in the second century and on the writings that did not make the cut. In this course, we examine the controversies of the 3rd, 4th and 5th centuries which led to the creation of the Christian church and the definition of orthodox Christianity in the historic creeds. With readings and discussion of the writings of the church fathers and so-called ‘heretical’ texts. SUGGESTED READING Henry... [More]
Creating Christianity – Writings of the Church Fathers and the First Ecumenical Councils
$185 inc GST / $167
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Philosophy Basics: Ontology - The Theory of Existence

Apples, rainbows and our sense of justice have absolutely nothing in common, except that they all somehow ‘exist’. But what does it mean to say that something ‘exists’, that something just ‘is’? What do existent things have or do that non-existent things don’t? Philosophers have pondered this question for millennia, yet there appears still to be no real consensus. In this short course we elaborate the underlying concepts, and construct from them a framework for understanding –... [More]
Philosophy Basics: Ontology - The Theory of Existence
$86 inc GST / $77
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There are places available