Wivenhoe Bookshop Magazine & Newsletter | Wednesday 23 October 2019

Philosophy in the Shed

NEW COURSE FROM SEPTEMBER 2019

Ludwig Wittgenstein

Wittgenstein & Hegel

Part I – Wittgenstein: Nothing is Hidden

A Course in Two Parts, with Dr Nicholas Joll

The course treats Ludwig Wittgenstein and Georg Hegel, two titans of philosophy.

SATURDAYS 10.00 – 11.30am from 21st September – 19th October

 

1          Sense and nonsense: Wittgenstein’s ladder

2          Rules and language: the beetle in the box

3          Psychology and aesthetics

4          Religion (‘queer as it sounds’)

5          Culture and value

The course will presuppose very little acquaintance with philosophy. It is possible to attend Part I but not part II, and vice-versa.

Michel Foucault said that Hegel stands at the end of every philosophical road. Wittgenstein revolutionised philosophy – twice. Both thinkers are important influences upon today’s philosophy. Indeed Wittgensteinians and Hegelians are still extant.

Should we join them? Can one join *both* camps? Reading is, as usual, wholly optional. Useful books for part I (Wittgenstein) include: Monk, *How to Read Wittgenstein* (Granta, 2005); Pears, *Wittgenstein* (Fontana, 1971); Kenny, *Wittgenstein* (Penguin, 1993 [1973]); McGinn, *Wittgenstein and the Philosophical Investigations* (Routledge, 1997). We will treat both ‘the early’ and ‘the later’ Wittgenstein but mainly the latter.

The fee for this 5 week course is £65 and includes the continental breakfast of croissants, conserves and fresh coffee.

To book your place, send us an email or call on 01206 82405

Wittgenstein & Hegel

Part II – Hegel: The Cunning of Reason

SATURDAYS 10.00 – 11.30am from 2nd November – 30th November

1          Adventures of the dialectic: into the Hegelian system

2          History and world-spirit

3          Mind and world

4          Ethics and politics: the actual and the rational

5          Philosophy, religion and the death of art

The course will presuppose very little acquaintance with philosophy. It is possible to attend Part I but not part II, and vice-versa.

Useful books for part II (Hegel) include: Singer, *Hegel: A Very Short Introduction* (Oxford UP, 2001 [1983]); Houlgate, *An Introduction to Hegel: Freedom, Truth and History*, 2nd edition (Wiley-Blackwell, 2005); Beiser, *Hegel* (Routledge, 2005); Stern, *Hegel and the Phenomenology of Spirit* (Routledge, 2002).

The fee for this 5 week course is £65 and includes the continental breakfast of croissants, conserves and fresh coffee.

To book your place, send us an email or call on 01206 82405

A Course in Two Parts, with Dr Nicholas Joll

Two (More) Titans: Heidegger and Adorno

Theodor Adorno

Part II: ADORNO

A Course in Two Parts, with Dr Nicholas Joll

The course treats Martin Heidegger and Theodor Adorno, two titans of philosophy.

SATURDAYS 10.00 – 11.30am from 15th June – 13th July

Part II: ADORNO
6 (/1) Dialectic of enlightenment
7 (/2) The culture industry
8 (/3) Minima moralia
9 (/4) Negative dialectic
10 (/5) Aesthetic theory

Theodor Adorno was exiled by the Nazis and is said to have refused to be in the same building as Heidegger. Adorno was interested in the dark side of the Enlightenment, in the sort of ethics that is possible today, in the critical function of art and the lack of a critical function of what passes for culture, in ‘the authoritarian personality’, in the flaws of ‘identity thinking’, and in the truth, and falsity, of philosophical Idealism. He too has been very influential. Perhaps surprisingly, the thought of the two men has interesting similarities; for one thing, they share extensive suspicions about the very enterprise of philosophy.

There is no excellent single introduction to Adorno, but one might try Deborah Cook, ed., Theodor Adorno: Key Concepts or Alex Thomson, Adorno: A Guide for the Perplexed.

The fee for this 5 week course is £65 and includes the continental breakfast of croissants, conserves and fresh coffee.

To book your place, send us an email or call on 01206 82405

Two (More) Titans: Heidegger and Adorno

Martin Heidegger

Part I: HEIDEGGER

A Course in Two Parts, with Dr Nicholas Joll

The course treats Martin Heidegger and Theodor Adorno, two titans of philosophy.

SATURDAYS 10.00 – 11.30am from 27th April – 25th May

Part I: HEIDEGGER
1 Being-in-the-world
2 Death, time, authenticity
3 Nazism
4 ‘Things’
5 Technology

Western philosophy has fundamentally and disastrously misrepresented the human condition. Or so Martin Heidegger claimed – throughout a long philosophical career in which he considered, among other topics: the relation of being to time; what it is to be authentic; the nature of death; the question, ‘What is a thing?’; and the essence of technology. Heidegger’s detractors say he was a muddle-headed Nazi. Indisputably, though, his influence upon philosophy has been huge.

The best introduction to Heidegger is Richard Polt, Heidegger: An Introduction. However, that book is light on the so-called later Heidegger – on that later work, try Julian Young, Heidegger’s Later Philosophy. Cooper, Heidegger, is good too.

The fee for this 5 week course is £65 and includes the continental breakfast of croissants, conserves and fresh coffee.

To book your place, send us an email or call on 01206 82405

PREVIOUS COURSES

Immanuel Kant

‘TWO TITANS’

A Course in Two Parts, with Dr Nicholas Joll

The course treats John Stuart Mill and Immanuel Kant, two titans of philosophy.

SATURDAYS 10.00 – 11.30am from 2nd Mar – 30th Mar

Part II: KANT

 

 

6 (/1) Reality & knowledge
7 (/2) Ethics
8 (/3) Enlightenment politics
9 (/4) Religion Within the Bounds of Reason Alone
10 (/5) Aesthetics

The course will presuppose very little acquaintance with philosophy. It is possible to attend Part I but not part II, and vice-versa.

A WORD ON READING. As usual, all reading is wholly optional. There is no single source of relevant primary texts. As a secondary text for Part I, I recommend either John Skorupski, Why Read Mill Today? (Routledge, 2007) or Roger Crisp, Mill on Utilitarianism (Routledge, 1997). For Part II, any of the following would be useful: John Kemp, The Philosophy of Kant (Oxford UP, 1968); Stephan Krner, Kant (Penguin, 1955); Andrew Ward, Kant: The Three Critiques (Polity, 2006; this is longer than the other two books but perhaps easier to obtain).

The fee for this 5 week course is £65 and includes the continental breakfast of croissants, conserves and fresh coffee.

To book your place, send us an email or call on 01206 82405

‘TWO TITANS’

John Stuart Mill

A Course in Two Parts, with Dr Nicholas Joll

The course treats John Stuart Mill and Immanuel Kant, two titans of philosophy.

SATURDAYS 10.00 – 11.30am from 19th Jan – 16th Feb

Part I: MILL

1 Utilitarian ethics
2 Progressive politics, I
3 Progressive politics, II
4 Reality & knowledge
5 Science & logic

The course will presuppose very little acquaintance with philosophy. It is possible to attend Part I but not part II, and vice-versa.

A WORD ON READING. As usual, all reading is wholly optional. There is no single source of relevant primary texts. As a secondary text for Part I, I recommend either John Skorupski, Why Read Mill Today? (Routledge, 2007) or Roger Crisp, Mill on Utilitarianism (Routledge, 1997). For Part II, any of the following would be useful: John Kemp, The Philosophy of Kant (Oxford UP, 1968); Stephan Krner, Kant (Penguin, 1955); Andrew Ward, Kant: The Three Critiques (Polity, 2006; this is longer than the other two books but perhaps easier to obtain).

The fee for this 5 week course is £65 and includes the continental breakfast of croissants, conserves and fresh coffee.

To book your place, send us an email or call on 01206 824050

PREVIOUS COURSES

‘Life, the Universe and Everything’

A Course in Two Parts, with Dr Nicholas Joll

Pt I: Life and the Universe.

SATURDAYS 10.00 – 11.30am from 8th Sept – 6th Oct

Week 1. Philosophy versus science?

Week 2. God.

Week 3. The universe.

Week 4. Death.

Week 5. Life

The course takes it’s title from, and makes some reference to, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. As usual, the course is in two 5 week parts. The first part is called ‘Life and the Universe’, and treats the following topics: philosophy’s relation to science; God; the idea of the universe; death; and the meaning of life.

The second part is called ‘….and Everything’, and this part covers: the relation between mind and body; the concept of identity; ‘the metaphysics of morals’; so-called philosophical idealism; and theories of truth.

The course will presuppose very little acquaintance with philosophy. It is possible to attend only one part of the course.

The fee for this 5 week course is £65 and includes the continental breakfast of croissants, conserves and fresh coffee.

To book your place, send us an email or call on 01206 824050

‘Life, the Universe and Everything’

Pt II: ‘….Everything’

SATURDAYS 10.00 – 11.30am from 20th Oct – 17th Nov

Week 6. Mind and body.

Week 7. Identity.

Week 8. The metaphysics of morals.

Week 9. Idealism

Week 10. Truth

The fee for this 5 week course is £65 and includes the continental breakfast of croissants, conserves and fresh coffee.

To book your place, send us an email or call on 01206 824050

 

Aesthetics – A Course in Two Parts, with Dr Nicholas Joll

Part I    Art & Nature

SATURDAYS 10.00 – 11.30am from 28th April – 26th May

1        Introducing aesthetics
2        Natural beauty and natural sublimity
3        Art and content (artist, audience, work)
4        Knowledge and truth
5        Ethics and Politics

 

Part II    Definition & Evaluation

SATURDAYS 10.00 – 11.30am from 9th June – 7th July

6 (/1)    What is art? Traditional theories (representation, expression, form)
7 (/2)    What is art? Recent theories
8 (/3)    Evaluating art: all in the eye of the beholder?
9 (/4)    Evaluating art: authenticity, forgeries, and ‘found’ art
10 (/5)   Aesthetics and science

. Those lists will make frequent mention of the following.

CARROLL, NOËL. *Philosophy of Art. A Contemporary Introduction*. Routledge, 1999. Good. Intended for undergraduates and so somewhat hard. Expensive.

WARBURTON, NIGEL. *The Art Question*. Routledge, 2003. Introductory. Short. *If you wanted to get a book – and only one book – for the course, then get this one*. Note, though, that it is somewhat more suited to part II than to part I.

WARBURTON, NIGEL. *Philosophy: The Basics*. Routledge; various editions. See the chapter on art.

SCRUTON, ROGER. *Beauty: A Very Short Introduction*. Oxford UP, 2011. Particularly relevant to part I of the course. Will not be to everyone’s taste.

One may see also:

JOLL, NICHOLAS. ‘The Finest and the Third Worst – Aesthetics and The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy’. Web. <https://interestingliterature.com/2014/04/10/guest-blog-the-finest-and-the-third-worst-aesthetics-and-the-hitchhikers-guide-to-the-galaxy/>.

Further details on reading will be provided later (namely, in week 1 and week 6).

Political Philosophy – A Course in Two Parts, with Dr Nicholas Joll

PART I: Justice, Or, Who Gets What?

SATURDAYS 10.00 – 11.30am from 13th Jan – 10th Feb

Wivenhoe Bookshop

Week 1. Distributive justice (I)
Week 2. Distributive justice (II)
Week 3. Global justice
Week 4. Retributive justice (punishment)
Week 5. Injustice

Sessions will run weekly at the bookshop. Prior exposure to philosophy is not required. It is possible to attend only one part of the course.

The following books are recommended to accompany the course:

Jonathan Wolff, An Introduction To Political Philosophy, revised edition, Oxford UP, 2006

David Miller, Political Philosophy: A Very Short Introduction, Oxford UP, 2003

They can be ordered through the bookshop at a 10% discount for course participants.

The fee for this 5 week course is £65 and includes the continental breakfast of croissants, conserves and fresh coffee.

To book your place, send us an email or call on 01206 824050

Political Philosophy – A Course in Two Parts, with Dr Nicholas Joll

PART II: Authority, Or, Says Who?

SATURDAYS 10.00 – 11.30am from 24th Feb – 24th Mar

Wivenhoe Bookshop

Week 1 (/6). Authority, states and obedience
Week 2 (/7). Democracy: for and against
Week 3 (/8). Competing conceptions of democracy
Week 4 (/9). Threats to democracy (I)
Week 5 (/10). Threats to democracy (II)

Sessions will run weekly at the bookshop. Prior exposure to philosophy is not required. It is possible to attend only one part of the course.

The following books are recommended to accompany the course:

Jonathan Wolff, An Introduction To Political Philosophy, revised edition, Oxford UP, 2006

David Miller, Political Philosophy: A Very Short Introduction, Oxford UP, 2003

They can be ordered through the bookshop at a 10% discount for course participants.

The fee for this 5 week course is £65 and includes the continental breakfast of croissants, conserves and fresh coffee.

To book your place, send us an email or call on 01206 824050

Unlikely Philosophical Propositions –  A Course in Two Parts, with Dr Nicholas Joll

PART I: Matter and Stuff

SATURDAYS 10.00 – 11.30am from 16th Sept – 14th Oct

Wivenhoe Bookshop

‘There is nothing so absurd but some philosopher has said it’ – thus Cicero, and others have echoed him. Yet, someone else has remarked that, ‘Truth is objective, not plausible’. This course tries to give a fair hearing to some rather surprising philosophical ideas.

1. You can’t step in the same river twice (Heraclitus) or even (Cratylus) once
2. Fire is not hot (Locke)
3. Matter is unreal (Berkeley)
4. Everything is conscious (panpsychism)
5. Strictly speaking, there are no objects any more (Heidegger)

The fee for this 5 week course is £65 and includes the continental breakfast of croissants, conserves and fresh coffee.

Sessions will run weekly at the bookshop. Prior exposure to philosophy is not required. It is possible to attend only one part of the course.

There is no one book recommended to accompany the course. A list of optional reading will be provided after each session.

To book your place, send us an email or call on 01206 824050

Unlikely Philosophical Propositions –  A Course in Two Parts, with Dr Nicholas Joll

PART II: Sincerity, Truth, Philosophy

SATURDAYS 10.00 – 11.30am from 4th Nov – 2nd Dec

Wivenhoe Bookshop

‘There is nothing so absurd but some philosopher has said it’ – thus Cicero, and others have echoed him. Yet, someone else has remarked that, ‘Truth is objective, not plausible’. This course tries to give a fair hearing to some rather surprising philosophical ideas.

1. Sincerity is impossible (Sartre)
2. ‘There is nothing outside the text’ (Derrida)
3. There is no such thing as society (Thatcher – and nominalism)
4. ‘Truth is what your contemporaries let you get away with’ (Rorty)
5. ‘If one tried to advance theses in philosophy, it would never be possible to debate them, because everyone would agree to them’ (Wittgenstein)

The fee for this 5 week course is £65 and includes the continental breakfast of croissants, conserves and fresh coffee.

Sessions will run weekly at the bookshop. Prior exposure to philosophy is not required. It is possible to attend only one part of the course.

There is no one book recommended to accompany the course. A list of optional reading will be provided after each session.

To book your place, send us an email or call on 01206 824050

PHILOSOPHY & THE EVERYDAY PART II with Dr Nick Joll

SATURDAYS 10.00 – 11.30am from 10th June to 8th July

Wivenhoe Bookshop

Part II

  1. Philosophy of education
  2. Multiculturalism
  3. Technology and economy
  4. Philosophy and privilege
  5. Living less wrongly: Adorno’s ethic for dark times

The fee for this 5 week course is £65 and includes the continental breakfast of croissants, conserves and fresh coffee.

Every day things happen that raise philosophical questions: why do we go to the places we go,  eat the things we eat ?  For this course, Dr Nick Joll will look at the philosophical ideas which underlie our  basic activities.

Sessions will run weekly at the bookshop. Prior exposure to philosophy is not required. It is possible to attend only one part of the course.

To book your place, send us an email or call on 01206 824050

NEW PHILOSOPHY TEA!

PHILOSOPHY AND THE HITCHHIKER’S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY PART II

With Dr Nicholas Joll

SATURDAYS 3.00 – 4.30 from 6th May – 3rd June

Wivenhoe Bookshop

PART II (‘FIT THE SECOND’)

 

 

Week 6 – Genuine People personalities

Week 7 – Is Tricia Trillian?

Week 8 – The Man Who Rules the Universe

Week 9 – God and Logic

Week 10 – WSOGMM and AUPSLOPT

Sessions will run weekly at the bookshop. Prior exposure to philosophy (or the work of Douglas Adams) is not required.

The fee for this 5 week course is £65 and includes tea, crumpets and conserves.

It is possible to attend only one part of the course. Towels optional. Panic unnecessary.

To book your place, send us an email or call on 01206 824050

PHILOSOPHY & THE EVERYDAY PART I

With Dr Nicholas Joll

SATURDAYS 10.00 – 11.30am from 6th May to 3rd June

Wivenhoe Bookshop

PART I.

 

  1. Animals
  2. Nature
  3. Citizenship and activism
  4. Media ethics
  5. Rhetoric and logic

The fee for this 5 week course is £65 and includes the continental breakfast of croissants, conserves and fresh coffee.

Every day things happen that raise philosophical questions: why do we go to the places we go,  eat the things we eat ?  For this course, Dr Nick Joll will look at the philosophical ideas which underlie our  basic activities.

Sessions will run weekly at the bookshop. Prior exposure to philosophy is not required. It is possible to attend only one part of the course.

The course will run from 10.00 – 11.30 on the following dates Sat 6th, 13th, 20th and 27th May and 3rd June.

To book your place, send us an email or call on 01206 824050

Introducing Nicholas Joll

Dr Nicholas Joll

Nicholas is the editor of Philosophy and The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (Palgrave Macmillan, 2012), of which Philosophy Now magazine said

‘The idea of the ever-expanding line-up of ‘and Philosophy’ books that use pop culture to introduce people to philosophy is to use television shows, movies, comic books and so on, such as this one, as a vehicle to explore basic (and sometimes not-so-basic) concepts in philosophy. Some of these books turn out better than others. This collection is perhaps one of the best examples to date [. .]‘

Read the full review here, and more on Nicholas’s blog here

Nicholas lives in Wivenhoe, got his PhD from the University of Essex, and has taught at the Universities of Essex and Hertfordshire and with the Open University. Outside philosophy, his interests include chess, chillies, and chickens.

 

R.I.P. Dr Colin Phillips

It is with great sadness that I bring news of the passing of Dr Colin Phillips.

DR Colin Phillips

Colin lectured in philosophy at the University of Essex from 1975 to 1984, when he took early retirement. He was awarded a first class honours degree in philosophy from Trinity College Cambridge and completed his PhD at Swansea. Colin’s interests were in the philosophies of language, mind and mathematics.

He is best remembered at the bookshop as inaugural tutor of the ‘Philosophy Breakfast’, a pioneering course which commenced in 2003.

The Saturday morning sessions originated from a pub conversation during which we asked Colin if it would be possible to hold a discussion group making philosophical issues such as free will, justice, and God accessible and pertinent to people’s daily lives.

“Absolutely” stated Colin, and so ‘Philosophy Breakfast’ was born, a winning combination of stimulating debate in good company with a continental breakfast of great coffee and fresh croissants.

After a decade, Colin retired and passed the baton to Dr Nicholas Joll, and the ‘Philosophy Breakfast’ remains as popular as ever.

We are indebted to Colin for both the initial realization of our idea, and ten exciting years of lively group discussion of key philosophical questions.

 

 

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