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Freedom and Domination - PHL254

‘Freedom' is the most important norm for modern societies, but what do we really mean when we appeal to freedom? Is there more freedom in modern liberal societies than in other forms of society? If so, does this make them better? What about the negation of freedom, the experience of domination? How are we to define it, what are the structures and the forms of domination in modern society? This unit explores these questions by studying four key philosophical reference points in the modern reflection on the nature and conditions of freedom and domination. We begin by examining the culmination of the Enlightenment conception of freedom in the political and historical writings of Kant. We then explore Hegel’s criticism of Kant and his emphasis on the social condition of freedom. In the second part of the course, we explore two equally influential critiques of modern society that challenge the claim that modern individuals are genuinely free: first Marx’s analysis of the economic and political origins of social domination; and finally, Nietzsche’s diagnosis about the crisis of meaning in modern culture and his radical challenge to Enlightenment ideals.

Credit Points: 3
When Offered:

S2 Day - Session 2, North Ryde, Day

S2 External - Session 2, External (On-campus dates: None)

Staff Contact(s): Associate Professor Jean-Philippe Deranty

(12cp at 100 level or above) or admission to GDipArts Prerequisite Information


NCCW(s): PHIL254
Unit Designation(s):
Unit Type:
Assessed As: Graded
Offered By:

Department of Philosophy

Faculty of Arts

Course structures, including unit offerings, are subject to change.
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