Continental Philosophy

This module introduces three of the most important thinkers from the ‘continental’ tradition of philosophy, with a focus on moral and political questions. The aim is to give you an understanding of their main ideas and help you develop your own critical perspective on them. We begin by looking at Friedrich Nietzsche’s provocative account of the origins and development of morality. We then turn to Michel Foucault, who adapts Nietzsche’s method of historical analysis in order to challenge our assumptions about progress, freedom and welfare in modern societies. Finally, we turn to Hannah Arendt. Using a parallel method of historical analysis, Arendt examines the social and political elements that came together in the disaster of Nazi and Stalinist totalitarianism.