The Birth of Reason
Full course description
The first course will take you on a journey of discovery from Antiquity to early Modernity. You will study and contextualize the ideas of leading thinkers of Antiquity (Pre-Socratics, Sophocles, and the big three, viz. Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle), of the Middle Ages (among others Augustine, Thomas Aquinas and William of Ockham) and of Early Modernity (featuring Machiavelli). Emphasis will be on how their ideas came into being and paved the way for a rationalised, disenchanted and anthropocentric world view (with a profound disregard of animals and other more natural forms of life), and on how they contributed to the further development of culture and society.
- learn to recognise the theoretical assumptions underlying the dominant paradigms of today’s global society;
- be able to analyse, evaluate, and reflect upon the complex arguments brought forward by the great thinkers studied in this course;
- enhance your critical thinking and flexibility of mind.