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Philosophy at Dundee offers a wide range of undergraduate and postgraduate modules aimed at sharpening your sense of what philosophy is, how it developed, and why it matters today. Our teaching focuses on these areas in particular: history of philosophy, art and aesthetics, applied philosophy (of work, technology, and information), and the crossover between philosophy’s ‘continental’ and ‘analytic’ traditions.
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Unfinished Worlds: Hermeneutics, Aesthetics and Gadamer (2013)
This book explores the far-reaching consequences of Gadamer’s hermeneutical critique of aesthetics. Hans-Georg Gadamer’s poetics completely overturns the European aesthetic tradition. By concentrating on how we experience the meaning of artworks, Gadamer’s poetics has deep implications for how we can understand the meaning of poetry, art, literature, history and theology. This emphasis on participation promises an approach that will revolutionise how we appreciate and understand art, and gives us new ways to think about the value and productivity of the humanities. This is the first full-length study in English of Gadamer’s aesthetics. It draws on a significant proportion of Gadamer’s latter essays on art and aesthetics. It presents aesthetic attention as a form of practice.
Helping students and researchers get to grips with the work of this compelling but often baffling thinker, this introductory guide surveys the impact and continuing influence of the work of Friedrich Nietzsche on modern European thought. Interpreting Nietzsche explores how some of the most important thinkers of the 20th century have responded to the legacy of his writings. Each chapter focuses on how Nietzsche’s work has been read by such major figures as: Martin Heidegger Jacques Derrida Giles Deleuze Luce Irigaray Gianni Vattimo Encouraging students to take their studies further, each chapter also includes annotated guides to further primary and secondary reading.
Nihilism in Postmodernity is an exploration of the nature of the problem of meaninglessness in the contemporary world through the philosophical traditions of nihilism and postmodernism. The author traces the advent of modern nihilism in the works of Nietzsche, Sartre, and Heidegger, before detailing the postmodern transformation of nihilism in the works of three major postmodern thinkers: Lyotard, Baudrillard, and Vattimo. He presents a qualified defense of their positions, arguing that while there is much under-appreciated value in their responses to nihilism, they fail to address adequately the problem of contingency in contemporary life. Drawing on the critical encounters with nihilism in both existentialist and postmodern traditions, the author concludes by staking out future directions for combating meaninglessness.
In Unquiet Understanding, Nicholas Davey reappropriates the radical content of Gadamer’s philosophical hermeneutics to reveal that it offers a powerful critique of Nietzsche’s philosophy of language, nihilism, and post-structuralist deconstructions of meaning. By critically engaging with the practical and ethical implications of philosophical hermeneutics, Davey asserts that the importance of philosophical hermeneutics resides in a formidable double claim that strikes at the heart of both traditional philosophy and deconstruction. He shows that to seek control over the fluid nature of linguistic meaning with rigid conceptual regimes or to despair of such fluidity because it frustrates hope for stable meaning is to succumb to nihilism. Both are indicative of a failure to appreciate that understanding depends upon the vital instability of the “word.” This innovative book demonstrates that Gadamer’s thought merits a radical reappraisal and that it is more provocative than commonly supposed.
Nietzsche’s critiques of traditional modes of thinking, valuing and living, as well as his radical proposals for new alternatives, have been vastly influential in a wide variety of areas, such that an understanding of his philosophy and its influence is important for grasping many aspects of contemporary thought and culture. However Nietzsche’s thought is complex and elusive, and has been interpreted in many ways. Moreover, he has influenced starkly contrasting movements and schools of thought, from atheism to theology, from existentialism to poststructuralism, and from Nazism to feminism. This book charts Nietzsche’s influence, both historically and thematically, across a variety of these contrasting disciplines and schools of interpretation. It provides both an accessible introduction to Nietzsche’s thought and its impact and an overview of contemporary approaches to Nietzsche.
This book offers an incisive argument for the contemporary importance of Lyotard in light of posthuman trends. Jean Francois Lyotard was one of the leading French philosophers of his generation, whose wide ranging and highly original contributions to thought were overshadowed by his brief, unfortunate association with ‘postmodernism.’ This book demonstrates what a new generation of scholars are now discovering: that Lyotard’s work is incisive and essential for current debates in the humanities, especially those concerning the ‘posthuman’. Ashley Woodward presents a series of studies which explain Lyotard’s specific interventions in areas such as information theory, new media arts, and the changing nature of the human, and assesses their relevance and impact in relation to other current positions. It brings to light a ‘New Lyotard’ by focussing on undiscovered themes and connections in his work. It shows Lyotard’s relevance and importance for posthuman studies. It critically compares Lyotard’s thought to contemporary philosophers and philosophies, such as Deleuze, Badiou, Stiegler, Meillassoux and the speculative realism movement.
About the SCCP
The Scottish Centre for Continental Philosophy is a Research Centre based in the School of Humanities at the University of Dundee. It brings together academics from Scotland, the UK, and the wider world to form a hub of research on continental philosophy in Scotland. It aims to foster the study of continental philosophy in all its historical and contemporary forms and to make connections to other philosophical traditions and academic disciplines.
The Centre organises conferences, workshops and seminars. It brings together researchers and students interested in historical figures and contemporary debates. The Centre also connects to work in philosophy and the arts through its degree programme in Art and Philosophy and through research degrees in continental philosophy and the Art and Humanities MFA at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design.
We have international links and current research programmes with Paris 8, Deakin University and the Melbourne School of Continental Philosophy, the Association for Continental Philosophy of Religion, and the Australasian Society of Continental Philosophy. The Centre has Erasmus links with Freiburg, Grenoble, Turin, Ostrava, Tilburg and Bilkent.
Contact the Organising Committee:
School of Humanities
University of Dundee