School Of Humanities And Communication Arts

Philosophy of History and PoliticsWestern Sydney University Unit Code: 102582.1

Discipline: PHILOSOPHY

Student Contribution Band: 4

Level: 7

Credit Points: 10

Unit Enrolment Restrictions
Students must be enrolled in a postgraduate course.

About this Unit
What is History? What justifies the State? These questions have been an object of inquiry as much for philosophers as for historians and political theorists. Large socio-political forces were at work during the Enlightenment and philosophers like Rousseau and Kant sought to understand these movements philosophically. For Rousseau, the lens was genealogical as he worked to produce a "natural history" of politics and society; for Kant, the historical lens was teleological as he narrated instead a philosophical history full of notions of progress and improvement. In the 19th century, philosophers like Hegel and Marx were concerned to think about history and politics as a dialectical movement, while Nietzsche applied Darwin's new theory of evolution to his understanding of history and morals alike. The great shockwaves wrought by the two World Wars of the 20th century brought new philosophical writers to the problems of history and politics, though now with an eye back toward the seemingly failed vision of inevitable progress so successfully peddled by the Enlightenment. This philosophical tradition and its changing approaches to history and politics will be the focus of this unit.

8083.2Bachelor of Research StudiesCURRENT

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