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Hence the problems of solipsism , truth and the existence of the external world came to dominate 17th century western thought. For Descartes, a substance is that which can be conceived independent of everything else and exist independent of anything else. Since Descartes conceived of the mind independent of everything else when doubting everything uncertain, and because if he wanted to God could produce a world in which only the mind existed, he came to define the mind as a different substance from that of body.

For Descartes, the mind is defined as an unextended substance and the body as an extended substance. This raised the fundamental question of how it is possible that mind and body interact with one another. One solution to the mind—body problem came from Cartesian Nicolas Malebranche — Malebranche maintained that created substances of a different kind cannot interact with one another. In fact, he believed substances of the same kind could not interact either because no necessary causation could be perceived.

He proposes then that it is God, an uncreated substance, who brings it about that each time one perceives a 'cause', one also perceives an 'effect'. Hence the doctrine is named occasionalism. Malebranche was well-known and celebrated in his own time, but has since become somewhat of an obscure figure in the history of western philosophy. French philosophy in the 18th century was deeply political.

It was heavily imbued with Enlightenment principles and many of its philosophers became critics of church and state and promoters of rationality and progress.

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These philosophers would come to have a deep influence on the politics and ideologies of France and America. Charles de Secondat, baron de Montesquieu — was a social commentator and political philosopher. His theories deeply influenced the American Founders. His belief that the state powers be separated into legislative , executive , and judicial branches formed the basis for separation of powers under the United States Constitution.

In The Spirit of the Laws , Montesquieu outlined the view that man and societies are influenced by climate. He believed that hotter climates create hot-tempered people and colder climates aloof people, whereas the mild climate of France is ideal for political systems. This theory may possibly have been influenced by similar sentiment expressed in Germania , an ethnographic writing by Tacitus , a writer frequently studied by Montesquieu. Voltaire — came to embody the Enlightenment with his criticisms of Church dogma and French institutions, his defence of civil liberties and his support of social reform.

The civil liberties for which he fought were those of the right to a free trial and freedom of religion. He is best remembered for his aphorisms and his satire of Leibniz known as Candide , which tells the tale of a young believer in Leibnizian optimism who becomes disillusioned after a series of hardships. Jean-Jacques Rousseau — distinguished himself from the progressive scientism of the Enlightenment with his proclamation in Discourse on the Arts and Sciences that art and science are corruptors of human morality.


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Furthermore, he caused controversy with his theory that man is good by nature but corrupted by society, which is a direct contradiction of the Christian doctrine of original sin. Some of his theories continue to be controversial, such as his idea called the general will , which has been both accused of fascism and praised for its socialist ideals. Diderot was harassed repeatedly by the police, and was even arrested. In the end, the bookseller began removing all articles he deemed controversial in fear of punishment.

Auguste Comte — was a philosopher born in Montpellier. He was the founder of the discipline of sociology and the doctrine of positivism , and may be regarded as the first philosopher of science in the modern sense of the term. Strongly influenced by the Utopian socialist , Henri de Saint-Simon , Comte developed the positive philosophy in an attempt to remedy the social malaise of the French revolution , calling for a new social paradigm based on the sciences.

Comte offered an account of social evolution , proposing that society undergoes three phases in its quest for the truth according to a general ' law of three stages '. Comte's stages were 1 the theological , 2 the metaphysical , and 3 the positive. Comte attempted to introduce a cohesive " religion of humanity " which, though largely unsuccessful, was influential in the development of various Secular Humanist organizations in the 19th century.

He also created and defined the term " altruism ". Comte was of considerable influence in 19th century thought, impacting the work of thinkers such as Karl Marx and John Stuart Mill.

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Ferdinand de Saussure — was a Swiss linguist who taught for many years in Paris. He was concerned with distinguishing linguistics from philology by moving from the study of the history of individual words and comparisons of languages to the study of the essential underlying structures of language. His small output of work, most of which was published posthumously, became the foundations of linguistics , semiotics and structuralism , the school of philosophy concerned with the underlying structures which form, limit and affect society, language and the human mind.

Saussure divided language into two parts: the langue , which is the system of signs and rules owned by a community, and parole , the individual acts of speech within the given community. This was likened by Saussure to chess and a game of chess, for before anyone can play, they have to know the rules and structure of the game. For Saussure, the essential unit of any language is the word, or sign. Like language, he divides the word into two inseparable parts: the signifier, which is the sound image, and the signified, which is the concept associated with the signifier.

Saussure stressed the arbitrariness of this association, maintaining that any signifier can refer to any signified. How a sign obtains its meaning is by what it is not within the langue, not what it is. It can already be seen clearly that language is highly dualistic for Saussure. Indeed, he maintained that man thought essentially in dichotomies. For Saussure, the way language can be studied is dualistic too.

It can be studied synchronically, i.

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It can be said that structuralists focussed on the synchronic aspects of culture, while poststructuralists , as a reaction toward the highly dualistic and deterministic characteristics, focussed on the diachronic aspects of culture in an attempt to invoke a grey area. While Ferdinand de Saussure was a relatively obscure thinker in his time, it may be said that Henri Bergson — was somewhat of a celebrity.

However, these images are insufficient and can only show the idea indirectly. The first is too homogeneous, the second is juxtaposed and complete whereas time is in a constant state of becoming, and the third forgets the heterogeneous nature of the idea. In fact, Bergson maintains that the case is the same for any other image of the idea one can produce.

Bergson calls this idea Duration and defines it as being qualitative, not quantitative, unextended, not extended, a multiplicity yet a unity, mobile and continuously interpenetrating itself. However, it should be warned that Bergson believes Duration cannot be represented by concepts either. Bergson calls the creation of concepts analysis and believes it can never represent the absolute. He likens it to constructing a model of a city out of a collection of photographs taken from every angle and a poem being translated and having commentary piled upon commentary: the model of the city can never replicate the feeling of being in the city itself and the translation and commentaries can never give the simple dimensional value of walking in the city itself.

The Duration can only be grasped through intuition , the sympathy by which one is transported into an object to grasp what is unique and ineffable within it. Intuition is a complete philosophical method that involves placing oneself within the Duration, and expanding it into a continuous heterogeneity, differentiating the extremities within it to create a dualism, before showing them to in fact be one. But depending on which point of view one recreates it from, one will either reconstruct it as a unity or a multiplicity.

Hence substance pluralism and substance monism are in fact two representations of the same phenomenon. Henri Bergson was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in "in recognition of his rich and vitalizing ideas and the brilliant skill with which they have been presented" [11]. French philosophy in the 20th century saw the rise of many schools of thought. Her research interests include Jewish women in early modern France, gender and folklore in medieval romances and diasporic identities in francophone literature.

Her teaching interests include French language, early modern French literature, francophone and French literature and culture, and humanities. Leahy and Perez enjoy organizing many events and activities which enrich the classroom experience of their students, such as film festivals, French Tables, and performance opportunities. These offer the students additional exposure to French culture and language and create a sense of community for French students on campus.

Economics and politics raise both deep philosophical questions about society and subjectivity —for example: Who gets what? Who rules whom? Who, or what, decides?

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In this module we will investigate avariety of methods that attempt to address these questions, and what answers might be possible. In sum, theaim is to examine methods and assumptions across central movements in the social sciences, politics andeconomics, from a philosophical perspective — to see the troubles and possibilities in each. This module considers philosophical issues that arise in connection with the sciences.

We will consider what scientific method is, how science relates to the rest of knowledge, whether it provides an ideal model for rational inquiry in general, and whether we should think of science as describing reality. In the first few weeks we will consider traditional accounts of scientific method and theory-testing, and then examine philosophical challenges to the status of science as a rational form of enquiry.

We give particular consideration to three of the most important twentieth-century philosophers of science: Popper, Kuhn, and Feyerabend. Next we will consider whether and in what sense we should be confident that our best current scientific theories are accurate descriptions of reality. We do not assume that you have an extensive knowledge of science: the relevant scientific concepts will be presented in a simple and accessible way, and there will be no maths. This module is a non-credit bearing module.

If you are a major student going abroad in your second or third year you are enrolled on it during the year prior to your departure, and timetabled to attend the events. These include: introduction to the Year Abroad and choice of activities; British Council English Language Assistantships and how to apply; introduction to partner universities and how they function; working in companies abroad; finance during the Year Abroad; research skills and questionnaire design; teaching abroad; curriculum writing and employability skills; welfare and wellbeing; Year Abroad Preparation Week in the Summer Term.

What is world literature? How have writers engaged with the concept? How have they explored their role as a writer in the 20th century? This module explores a range of texts written in a range of languages and genres, examining the engagement of writers with their role in different social, political and historical contexts. Lectures aim to provide an introduction to the genre being studied and address the question of the role of the writer in the context of world literatures.

Workshops will focus on a range of set and optional texts of global importance, which will be considered as examples of the literary genre and in relation to material covered in the lecture. The module is usually divided into five sections, each focusing on a specific genre. Each section will usually comprise three texts, two of which are optional. All texts explore the role of the writer in different social, political and historical contexts of the 20th century, and the ways their writing engages with these contexts.

This module explores how post-war economic change has affected European societies, and how socio-political factors in turn have influenced the patterns and outcomes of economic development, over the second half of the twentieth and the beginning of the twenty first century. The module is structured on the basis of three country-specific modules France, Germany and Spain , examining how these countries have confronted key moments of economic change, and what the longer-term consequences of that change have been.

While the module emphasis is on broad national developments, discussion also covers examples relating to particular industries and major companies. In lectures, workshops and seminars we will explore the context of reconstruction after World War II and the pattern of subsequent economic development; the relationship between social and economic policies; the development of the three country's economies; the changes of the s and their impact on subsequent years; and the consequences of specific momentous events, such as the re-unification of Germany and how the financial crisis of affected, and still affects, France, Germany and Spain.

This module will introduce you to the role that the language used by institutions plays in shaping individual perceptions of identity. It aims to provide you with a basic theoretical framework that allows them to understand the relationship between language and power as reflected in current language policies at regional, national, and supranational levels. It will give you the opportunity to recognise forms of prestige and stigma associated with varieties of the three main languages under study. We aim for this module to raise critical awareness of the portrayal and representation of linguistic variations in the media and in the sphere of literature.

This module seeks to support you to apply your linguistic and cultural understanding in a specific professional context. This module gives you the opportunity to spend time on a work-based placement in the UK or abroad. You will be given the opportunity to develop, reflect on and articulate both the range of competences and the linguistic and cross-cultural skills that enhance employability by working in language-related professional contexts and reflecting on key issues in relation to their placement organisation.

There is the opportunity to join a local work placement developed by the department, or for you to source your own placements subject to departmental approval. Workshops before and during the placement will provide preparation and guidance on sourcing, confirming and then reflecting on academic work. Students will share their experiences and learning with each other by means of end-of-module presentations. How do films deal with topics like terrorism, immigration, resistance and city life? Do they entertain viewers, instruct them, or both?

This module explores European and Latin American films in their social and historical contexts. The main aim is to make connections between the films and such contexts not only on the level of narrative, characterisation and dialogue, but also on that of form and technique. To these ends, there will be introductory lectures on cinema and society and on film aesthetics and content in the first week of the module. The connections mentioned will be the focus of seminars and presentations within the four core topic areas: terrorism, migration, the city and resistance.

Each strand will be introduced with a lecture and followed by seminars on the set films. Students will give a presentation on a short sequence within their allocated film. This module aims to give you a background to and insight into the diversity of twentieth and twenty-first century thought and contemporary definitions of culture.

Some key questions explored on the module include: What is 'culture' and how does it work? How do 'art' and 'culture' relate to each other? What do we mean when we talk about the production and consumption of culture? Why does popular culture arouse conflicting responses? What role does the body play in our understanding of culture?

How does culture define who we are? Can a work of culture be an act of resistance?

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With these questions in mind, this module focuses on texts which raise questions about class, race, gender, and subcultures. As part of The International Placement Year you will spend at least eight months abroad in your third year. You will have the opportunity to:. The module also aims to enhance and develop your language skills, with all assessments being written in the target language. If you have started a language as a beginner in year one you will spend a minimum of four months in a country where that language is spoken.


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If you are a joint honors student, studying two languages, you may choose to spend the year in either of the two countries concerned or, if appropriate arrangements can be made, you can spend a semester in each country. Lancaster University will make reasonable endeavours to place students at an approved overseas partner. Students conduct either a study placement at a partner University, a teaching assistantship placement with The British council or an appropriate working placement with a vetted employer abroad or a combination of placements please note that there are some restrictions on British Council placements which usually last for the whole of the academic year.

Lancaster University cannot accept responsibility for any financial aspects your International Placement Year. The aim of this module is to provide you with a through grounding in some of the central issues in philosophical aesthetics within the continental European tradition. The module introduces these issues by looking at the work of some of the most important philosophers who have written in this tradition.

These philosophers are not only important in their own right and because of the influence that they have had and continue to have, but also because their work provides a way in to key debates and issues in aesthetics, as well as to enrich experience of and critical engagement with contemporary art in all its forms. The aim is to give you an understanding of their main ideas and help you develop your own critical perspective on them.

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. These include questions about how best to understand the theory of evolution, and questions about what evolution implies for our view of the world, and in particular of ourselves. The module breaks down into three broad areas:. Is evolution, as some would have us believe, all about genes? Is natural selection the only important factor in evolution?

Is there one right way to classify living things? Does the fact that we have evolved affect how we should see human nature? Why are evolutionary theories of human nature so controversial? Does Darwinism have any implications formoral questions? This module provides an opportunity for you to choose a topic related to some aspect of Politics and International Relations, Philosophy and Religious Studies which particularly interests you, and to pursue it in depth.

The topic may be related to work that is being done on a formally taught module, or it may be less directly linked to course work.

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The intention is that you will develop your research skills and ability to work at length under your own direction. You write a dissertation which is typically 9,, words, which you begin to think about towards the end of your second year and submit in your final year. To help you prepare for work on the dissertation, there will be an introductory talk on topics relating to doing one's own research and planning and writing a dissertation, as well as handbooks detailing full requirements and supervision arrangements.

The aim of this module is to allow you to pursue independent in-depth studies on a topic of your choice, within the scope of your scheme of study. The topic will be formulated in dialogue with one or more external collaborator s and may be related to work that is being done on a formally taught module, or it may be less directly linked to course work. This module will give you the opportunity to develop your employability and research skills, and your ability to work independently at length under your own direction with input from external collaborators and an academic supervisor.