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  • Current Courses

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        General Admission Contact
        The New School for Social Research
        Office of Admission
        79 Fifth Avenue, 5th floor
        New York, NY 10003
        212.229.5600 or 800.523.5411
        SocialResearchAdmit@newschool.edu

        Admissions Liaison
        Miranda Young

        Department of Philosophy
        6 East 16th Street, room 1015A
        New York, NY 10003
        212.229.5707 x3078

        Mailing Address
        79 Fifth Ave, room 1015A
        New York, NY 10003

        Chair
        Zed Adams

        Senior Secretary
        Despina Dontas

        Student Advisors
        James Trybendis
        Samuel Yelton

        Philosophy Student Handbook (PDF)

        Admission Links

    • Courses in the Department of Philosophy combine deep intellectual analyses of important thinkers with a robust and comprehensive survey of their important thoughts. Through studying both, students learn underlying concepts and examine bigger intellectual implications.

      Please consult the New School Course Catalog for a full list of courses. Spring 2020 courses include:

      • Modern Deductive Logic, GPHI 5016
        Christopher Prodoehl, Part-Time Faculty

        The purpose of this course is to provide students with knowledge and understanding of the basic concepts of modern deductive logic, both in syntax and semantics. We start with sentential logic and discuss methods of constructing truth tables, truth trees, and derivations (for both SD and SD+ systems). We then turn to predicate logic and consider certain differences and similarities between sentential and predicate logic and adjust the methods of truth trees and derivations to predicate logic.

      • Gender and Its Discontents, GPHI 5406
        Chiara Bottici, Associate Professor of Philosophy, and Pantea Farvid, Assistant Professor of Applied Psychology

        This is a required core course for the university-wide graduate certificate in Gender and Sexuality Studies and is open to all graduate students who are interested in sexuality and gender studies. Our starting point is the acknowledgment that sex- and gender-based modes of social organization are pervasive and that their prominence and persistence are reflected in sex- and gender-conscious research across the humanities, the arts, the social sciences, design, and studies dedicated to social policies and innovative strategies for social intervention. We expand on this starting point through both an in-depth survey of influential theoretical approaches to sex and gender, such as Marxist feminism, theories of sexual difference, queer studies, and postcolonial and decolonial feminism, and attention to the significance of different approaches. Topics to be explored include equality and rights, exploitation and division of labor, the construction of gender, performativity, gender images, narrative and identity.

      • Descartes, GPHI 6035
        Omri Boehm, Associate Professor of Philosophy

        The course is a general introduction to the philosophy of Descartes and the classical problems associated with it (e.g., the constitution of the modern subject, instrumental thinking, the problem of dualism, and the Cartesian circle). The core text is Meditations on First Philosophy, but we will illuminate that text with excursions to the Objections and Replies, Discourse on Method, Passions of the Soul, and Descartes's correspondence. Emphasis is placed on the role of the will and of Cartesian ethics in addressing (if not quite resolving) the classical metaphysical and epistemological challenges to Descartes.

      • Heidegger's Being and Time, GPHI 6053
        Simon Critchley, Hans Jonas Professor of Philosophy

        Martin Heidegger is the most important and influential philosopher in the 20th-century Continental tradition, and Being and Time is his magnum opus. The focus of this course is for students to simply read carefully and critically the first division of the book and as much of the second division as we can cover. The objective of the course is for students to develop a firm grasp of the key philosophical issues and concepts raised by the project that Heidegger called fundamental ontology. These include Heidegger’s relation to Husserl and his critical adoption of the phenomenological method; his critique of traditional epistemology; his account of the nature of the world and the relation of persons to world; his critique of the Cartesian understanding of world and space; his account of intersubjectivity and his critique of modernity; the key concept of "thrown projection" and an explanation of the various "existentials" (state-of-mind, understanding, and discourse); his concepts of thrownness, falling, and inauthenticity; his account of moods and anxiety as the basic attunement of the human being; the meaning of care as the being of the human being; his critique of the realism-versus-idealism debate; his concept of truth and his critique of the traditional concept of truth; and being-toward-death, conscience, authenticity, and historicity.

      • Kant's Critique of Pure Reason, GPHI 6065
        James Dodd, Professor of Philosophy

        The course will involve a close reading of the Critique of Pure Reason. Among the topics we analyze in class are the motivations for the Copernican turn; the synthetic a priori; the nature of space, time, and causality; transcendental idealism as the thesis that we know appearances and not things in themselves; Kant's understanding of subjectivity; the transcendental deduction; and Kant's claim that rational thinking results in unavoidable metaphysical illusions (e.g., the Antinomies).

      • American Pragmatism, GPHI 6091
        Richard Bernstein, Vera List Professor of Philosophy

        This course focuses on the origins of major themes of classical pragmatism, including the nature of inquiry, community, warranted assertability, truth, signs, and democracy. Readings include texts by Pierce, James, Dewey, and Mead.

      • Eros, Madness, and Plato, GPHI 6124
        Cinzia Arruzza, Associate Professor of Philosophy

        Lovers of philosophy, of the laws, of spectacles, of boys, of the demos, of immortality, of beauty, of the Good; good lovers; bad lovers; mad lovers; tyrannical lovers; shoeless lovers; lovers with shoes ... What should we make of eros in Plato’s dialogues? Is there one single theory of eros, or do different dialogues offer different perspectives and theories? Is eros a rational desire for the Good, a maddening sexual passion, or a malleable desire and source of motivation? In this lecture course, we focus on Plato’s Symposium, Phaedrus, and passages from Books V and IX of The Republic in order to investigate the nature of eros and its relation to madness and philosophy.

      • Memory, History, Trauma, GPHI 6657
        Ross Poole, Part-Time Assistant Professor

        In this course, we are concerned with the continued presence of the past in individual, social, and political life. In the first part (roughly, a third) of the course, we begin with a survey of work on memory over the past 30 or so years (the "memory boom") and then examine relevant work by some of its most important theorists, including Walter Benjamin, Freud, and Jan and Aleida Assmann. In the second part (roughly two thirds) of the course, we look at some of the questions that have been the concern of memory studies — and memory politics — over the past few years, including: To what extent is the notion of trauma appropriate to historical events? What is the political role of memory? What is the relationship between memory and history? What is at stake in the "history wars" being waged in the United States, Germany, Israel, and Australia? What forms of commemoration are appropriate to past horrors (e.g., slavery, the Holocaust, the AIDS crisis, the Vietnam War, 9/11)? Who has the responsibility to remember these events?

      • The Animal Question in Ethics and Politics, GPHI 6745
        Alice Crary, University Distinguished Professor

        Over the last few decades, a rich literature has developed on ethics and animals. In this seminar, we discuss in detail two of the most substantial recent works: Christine Korsgaard's 2018 book, Fellow Creatures: Our Obligations to the Other Animals, and Shelly Kagan's 2019 book, How to Count Animals, more or less. In addition to discussing theoretical issues in this domain, we address the practical consequences of the views under discussion. Please note: This seminar is taught jointly by Alice Crary (NSSR) and Dale Jamieson (NYU) and is open to students at NYU as well as NSSR. The meetings of the seminar will be held alternately at NYU and NSSR. Arrangements have been made for Christine Korsgaard to visit the seminar; Shelly Kagan nay visit as well.

      • The Second Sense, GPHI 6746
        Zed Adams, Associate Professor of Philosophy

        Vision has long dominated philosophical thought about our perceptual access to the world. As Hans Jonas once noted, "Since the days of Greek philosophy sight has been recognized as the most excellent of the senses." In this seminar, we challenge the dominance of vision by attending to another, equally excellent sense: the sense of hearing. We will consider the question of how to distinguish hearing from the other senses, how to characterize the nature of sound, and how to understand the voice's intimate connection to personal identity. Figures discussed include Casey O'Callaghan, Fiona Macpherson, Jacques Derrida, and Stanley Cavell.

      • Nietzsche, Heidegger, and Other Greeks, GPHI 6747
        Dmitri Nikulin, Professor of Philosophy
        This seminar is dedicated to a close reading of ancient Greek texts by Hesiod, the pre-Socratics, Plato, and Aristotle and their interpretations by Schlegel, Nietzsche, Heidegger, Hannah Arendt, and other modern thinkers.

      • Klein and the Neo-Kleinians, GPHI 6750
        Alan Bass, Part-Time Faculty

        This course presents an in-depth view of the work of Melanie Klein and of some of her most important followers, such as Wilfred Bion, Hanna Segal, Betty Joseph, John Steiner, and Michael Feldman.

      • Reading Walter Benjamin, GPHI 6751
        Nancy Fraser, Henry A. and Louise Loeb Professor of Political and Social Science, and Eli Zaretsky, Professor of History

        By any reckoning, Walter Benjamin remains a brilliant star in the firmament of 20th-century critical theory and “western Marxism.” But what can he teach us now, in the 21st century? In this seminar, we undertake a systematic reading of some of Benjamin’s major works in order to probe the thought of this brilliant, idiosyncratic thinker.

      • Critical Theories of Race: Slavery, Empire, Capital, GPHI 6755
        Nancy Fraser, Henry A. and Louise Loeb Professor of Political and Social Science, and Asad Haider, Assistant Professor of Philosophy

        In this course, we engage in a critical reconstruction of the concept of race. Foregrounding approaches that have challenged the concept of race as a biological or cultural-essentialist foundationalist category, we explore materialist theories that examine the place of race and racism in social systems of expropriation and exploitation — especially capitalism, slavery, colonialism, and neo-imperialism. Readings include texts by Oliver Cromwell Cox, C.L.R. James, W.E.B. Du Bois, Saidiya V. Hartman, Frantz Fanon, Amilcar Cabral, José Carlos Mariátegui, Stuart Hall, Walter Rodney, Angela Davis, Barbara Fields, and Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor.

      • Foucault, 1976-1979: Biopolitics, Neo/liberalism, and the Problem of Political Rationality, GPHI 6759
        Daniel Rodriguez-Navas, Assistant Professor of Philosophy

      • Jacques Lacan, GPHI 6760
        Jamieson Webster, Part-Time Faculty

        Many become familiar with the work of French psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan through a few of his major papers collected in the volume Écrits or through his system as discussed by thinkers in diverse fields such as Shoshana Felman, Judith Butler, Slavoj Žižek, and Alain Badiou, to name only a few. In this course, we study the transcripts of Lacan’s 28 years of seminars. Exploring texts ranging from his reading of key works by Freud to his interpretations of Schreber’s Memoir of My Nervous Illness, Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Sophocles’ Antigone, Plato’s The Symposium, and Joyce’s Ulysses, we touch on the question of the unconscious, language, anxiety, symptoms, trauma, and desire.

      • Making Social Theory Helpful, GPHI 6761
        Christian Madsbjerg, Visiting Professor of Applied Humanities

        Social theory can be a practical tool for everyday use in any professional setting. Even some of the most rarefied theory from the social sciences can inform our practical activity. In this class, students learn how to put social theory to use. We read canonical texts usually confined to the realm of academic debates as a way of attaining understanding and solving practical problems. We see how the works of Ernesto Laclau help us change people’s minds, how Anthony Giddens' thought serves a key to improving the relationship between doctors and their patients, how Pierre Bourdieu helps us understand what we wear, how Merleau-Ponty offers us a way to think about and design VR systems, and how Heidegger helps us understand why engineers have trouble designing driverless cars (and perhaps what to do about it). Although the reading material in this class is theoretical, we explore ways to put it to practical use. Instructor Christian Madsbjerg has helped build a global strategy firm, ReD Associates, with some of the world’s largest and most admired companies by deriving insights and methods from philosophy, anthropology, and social theory.
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