BA Year One
1) Introduction to the History and Context Programme
Seminar: Lecture 1 Summary
An introductory post briefly discussing my thoughts at the start of the course.
2) The Renaissance, 'Rebirth in Learning'
Seminar: Thomas More's Utopia, Descartes
A post looking at Thomas More's description of 'Utopia', a vision of the perfect world. The post also studies Descartes and the 'intellectual transition' from the Middles Ages to the modern world.
3) The Social Contract, Human Understanding
My notes on John Locke and the Social Contract, the 'states of nature' and the work of Hobbe's, the manual for revolution and Plato's forms.
4) Addison, The Spectator
Seminar: The Royal Exchange and The Spectator 476
A seminar summary post that discusses two texts by Adisson : The Royal Exchange and The Spectator 476. The post examines the rhetorical devices used by the writer and also the philosophical themes explored in each text.
Seminar Summary: Hume's Epistemology
A seminar post discussing the work of Hume. The post explains key terms such as causation and induction, and also examines Hume's Epistemology. The verification Principle is also discussed.
6) Adam Smith, Economics and Trade
Seminar: 'Of The Different Progress Of Opulence In Different Nations', A Modest Proposal
A seminar summary post that looks at two passages: 'Of The Different Progress Of Opulence In Different Nations' by Adam Smith, and 'A Modest Proposal' by Jonathan Swift. The post examines both pieces, identifying similarities and differences between them.
7) Romanticism, General Will and the Social Contract
Seminar Summary: Mary Wollstonecraft
My seminar paper on Mary Wollstonecraft, which discusses the views of society at the time the text was written and Mary's views on this society. The post also covers Rousseau, who had a conflicting view to Wollstonecraft's regarding the role of women.
8) Prometheus, Romanticism
Ode on a Grecian Urn Analysis
9) Kant and Hegel, Zeitgeist
Seminar Summary: Kant and Hegel
A seminar summary post looking at the founder of German idealism - Kant. The post also looks at the work of Hegel, who discusses the idea of 'the absolute'.
10) Communism, Capitalism
Seminar Summary: The Communist Manifesto
A seminar paper looking at the Communist Manifesto, which is widely considered one of the world's most influential political manuscripts. The post looks at the work of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, also explaining the concept of government intervention and the impact such a move has on the economy.
11) William Cobbett
Seminar Summary: Rural Rides
A post looking at 'Rural Rides' by William Cobbett, which explores themes such as estate ownership, corn laws, taxes, parliament and the Enclosure Policy.
Seminar Summary: J'accuse and the Dreyfus Affair
A seminar summary post examining the Dreyfus Affair, a story of social injustice, following the wrongful conviction of French army captain, Alfred Dreyfus. The post looks at the events leading up to and during the affair, also examining modern examples similar to the incident.
BA Year Two
1) Tabloid Nation [Updated]
Seminar Summary: Northcliffe, Rothermere, The Mirror
The paper begins with a discussion of Lord Northcliffe, whose publication 'Answers' served as a way into the cut-throat world of the newspaper industry. This seminar post examines the methods tabloids used to put themselves above their competitors, also describing the changes made to writing style and presentation as these papers changed owners.
2) Psychoanalysis, Anti-empiricism and Irrationality [Updated]
Seminar: Philosophy in the Modern World, Freud
A paper discussing the psychoanalytic theory of Sigmund Freud. The post begins with a description of Freud's early work and later explores his investigations into the interpretation of dreams. Freud's views on religion and its effects on society are also explored.
3) Structuralism-Hermeneutics: Hidden Meanings [Updated]
Seminar: Frege, Sense and Reference
A seminar summary beginning with a look at the philosophical question of 'meaning' put forward by philosophers during the 19th century. The paper looks in detail at the work of Gottlob Frege and his theory of 'signs'.
4) Economics - The Dismal Science: The Age of Uncertainty [Updated]
Seminar: The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money
This paper discusses the General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money by John Keynes. There are also discussions relating to Keynesian beliefs, Paul Krugman's review of the General Theory and the idea of government intervention
5) Totalitarianism [Updated]
A paper discussing how a totalitarianistic society would function, looking at Hannah Arendt's work on German political theory. The paper also examines Stanley Milgram's experiment on obedience.
6) Existentialism, Politics and Post-Humanist Morality [Updated]
Seminar: Existentialism and The Outsider
A seminar paper looking at the approaches taken by existentialists. The post also examines The Outsider by Albert Camus, explaining why the novel has links to the movements of existentialism and nihilism.
7) World and Newspaper History 1900 - 1920 [Updated]
Seminar: Tabloid Nation, Parts 1 and 2
A seminar paper on Gutenberg's printing press, the Age of Enlightenment and the developing world of the tabloid newspaper. The paper also takes a look at how newspapers have evolved in terms of content and writing style. The paper ends with a look at Murdoch's media empire.
8) The Wretched of the Earth / The Battle of Algiers [Updated]
Seminar: Satre's Preface to 'The Wretched of the Earth'
This post looks at Satre's Preface to 'The Wretched of the Earth', also drawing links to Existentialism. The seminar summary explores themes of oppression and colonisation, looking at the differences between the 'colonizers' and the 'natives'.
9) Modern Mathematics, Logic and Language [Updated]
This paper begins with a look at the world's earliest adopted number systems, also examining the views of Betrand Russell and the concept of infinity. The post discusses Peano's Axioms, Frege and John Stuart Mill.
10) New Left, New Journalism [Updated]
Seminar: New Journalism, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
This seminar summary post examines America in the 1960's and 70's, with the arrival of New Journalism. The post discusses the work of Tom Wolfe, who took the conventional writing style of Journalists of the time and reshaped it to encourage what he referred to as 'interpretive truth'.
11) Science and Technology, Logical Positivism [Updated]
A seminar analysis post looking at the work of the Vienna Circle and the philosophical views of Wittgenstein. The post covers the key chapters in the Tractatus and also explores the Circle's dismissal of empiricism.