• Summer Semester
  • Spring Semester
  • Fall Semester


Critical Politics: Marx, Popper, Foucault

Dr. Ilana Arbel
In this course we discuss some of the main issues in modern and postmodern political philosophy. The first part of the course is dedicated to Karl Marx’s critical project. We then discuss Karl Popper’s and Michel Foucault’s critiques, which were developed in reaction to Marxism. The main texts of the course are: E. Kant, “An Answer to the Question: What Is Enlightenment?"; K. Marx, The Communist Manifesto; K. Popper, “Science: Conjectures and Refutations”; The Open Society and Its Enemies; M. Foucault, The History of Sexuality 1; “What Is Enlightenment?”; N. Chomsky & M. Foucault, “Human Nature: Justice versus Power”.


Introduction to the History of Modern Thought

Dr. Idan Shimoni
Although philosophy has a long and impressive history beginning in ancient Athens, the conceptual constructs which constitute the heart of this discipline have been to a great extent reinvented in early modernity. Modern thinkers have revived the basic concepts of philosophy by asking fundamental questions like 'What can we know?' 'Is there a real world outside the mind?' 'Can we prove the existence of God?' 'What is personal identity?' 'What is the relation between body and mind?' 'What is the nature of human rationality?' We will discuss the main ideas and key concepts of 17th and 18th centuries by means of close reading of the metaphysical and epistemological writings of the most important philosophers of this era: Francis Bacon, Rene Descartes, Baruch Spinoza, Wilhelm Gottfried Leibniz, George Berkeley, David Hume, and Immanuel Kant. We shall also at timed consider the ethical, religious and political aspects of their systems of thought.


Introduction to Philosophy of Science

Dr. Itzik Yosef
The course will review central philosophical approaches during the scientific revolution of the 17th century and onward. We will first try to understand what the philosophy of science is and why we need it, or in other words what are the questions that this field of knowledge seeks to answer. We begin with the early attempts of Francis Bacon and Rene Descartes to describe the role of experience and reason as building blocks of scientific knowledge. We then proceed to philosophical principles of Isaak Newton's approach to science, followed by David Hume's scepticism and criticism of inductive inferences. Finally, we will review the philosophical crisis which accompanied the collapse of classical physics in the early 20th century and the main philosophical answers which were developed in response to this crisis.
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