Courses at Conway Hall

We aim to provide a wide range of philosophy courses for people interested in the subject. No previous study of the subject is required to enrol. The fees for standard ten week courses are £135 or £95 concessions unless otherwise stated.  For more information see enrolment.

Outline 2019-2020 timetable (pdf)

Autumn Term (September – December 2019)

Spring Term (January – March 2020)

Summer Term (April – July 2020

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Plato and Aristotle

Autumn Term 2019, Mondays, 11:00 – 13:00, ten weeks starting 30th September

Course Tutor: Mark Fielding

This introductory course considers the extraordinary contribution to human thought of these philosophers. In the questions they posed and the answers they proposed, many of our general ideas were developed. We cover the core elements of each thinker in turn, so giving a general grounding in the beginning of thought about knowledge, reality, morality, and beauty.

To enrol, please e-mail Mark (mark[at]londonschoolofphilosophy.org).

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The Problematic Self: Identity, Embodiment, Sex and Sincerity

Autumn Term 2019, Mondays, 13:00 – 15:00, ten weeks starting 30th September

Course Tutor: Jane O’Grady.

This course will deal with the following topics: the history and geography of the self; the embodied self; sincerity and the self; the social self; the biological self: sex, gender and transgender. See the attached Word document for more details and a reading list.

To enrol, please e-mail Jane (jane[at]londonschoolofphilosophy.org).

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German Idealism Reading Group

Autumn Term 2019, Mondays, 15:00 – 17:00, ten weeks starting 30th September

Course Tutor: Meade McCloughan.

In the first term the group will read two texts by Schelling, the ‘Presentation of My System of Philosophy’ (1801) and the ‘Further Presentations from the System of Philosophy’ (1802), along with extracts from the Fichte / Schelling correspondence, 1800-1802 (all texts included in The Philosophical Rupture Between Fichte and Schelling).

To enrol, please e-mail Meade (meade[at]londonschoolofphilosophy.org).

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Introduction to Philosophy

Autumn Term 2019, Mondays, 17:00 – 19:00, ten weeks starting 30th September

Course Tutors: Mark Fielding and Jane O’Grady.

This is a general Introduction to Philosophy based on the individual course of the same name which is part of the University of London International Programme in Philosophy. The programme of study is tailored to the subject-centred approach based around this this text.

The programme is split into two stand alone courses, running this term and next. The first deals with Mind, Knowledge and World; the second deals with Meaning, Morality, and Art.

Should students wish to prepare for the University of London examination, each tutor is able to offer additional support covering the processes of writing essays. This is available at additional cost. Please contact Jane or Mark for more information.

To enrol, please either e-mail Mark (mark[at]londonschoolofphilosophy.org) or e-mail Jane (jane[at]londonschoolofphilosophy.org.

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Hegel’s Political Philosophy

Autumn Term 2019, Mondays, 19:00 – 21:00, ten weeks starting 30th September

Course Tutor: Meade McCloughan.

Apologist for the Prussian state? Proto-totalitarian? Or liberal? This course will cut through the misconceptions and present Hegel’s political philosophy in its full complexity and subtlety, by means of a close reading of his Philosophy of Right (1821). In the process, we will be able to decide whether and to what extent we agree with Hegel’s famous claim that “what is rational is actual; what is actual is rational”.

To enrol, please e-mail Meade (meade[at]londonschoolofphilosophy.org).

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Lacan with Levinas and Sartre

Autumn Term 2019, Mondays, 19:00 – 21:00, ten weeks starting 30th September

Course Tutor: Keith Barrett.

To enrol, please e-mail Keith (keith[at]londonschoolofphilosophy.org).

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Visions of a Better World

Autumn Term 2019, Tuesdays, 09:30 – 11:00, ten weeks starting 1st October

Course Tutor: John Holroyd

How could human life be improved? We will discuss many utopian schemes that have been devised throughout history and examine the relations between utopianism and dystopianism. Other non-utopian visions of a better world will also be considered, including liberalism, secularism, Islam, socialism, environmentalism, feminism and multiculturalism. The course seeks to bring together critical analysis and positive thinking. Full Cost: £100; concessions £85

To enrol, please e-mail John (johnholroyd100[at]gmail.com).

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French Thought from the Middle Ages to the Present

Autumn Term 2019, Tuesdays, 11:00 – 13:00, ten weeks starting 1st October

Course Tutor: Anja Steinbauer.

To enrol, please e-mail Anja (anja[at]philosophynow.org).

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Kant Reading Group

Autumn Term 2019, Tuesdays, 13:30 – 15:00, ten weeks starting 1st October

Course Tutor: Anja Steinbauer.

An interactive reading group. This year we will study Immanuel Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason. The term-fee is only £20, reflecting the shortness of the meetings.

To enrol, please e-mail Anja (anja[at]philosophynow.org).

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Models of History

Autumn Term 2019, Tuesdays, 15:00 – 17:00, ten weeks starting 1st October

Course Tutor: Anja Steinbauer.

To enrol, please e-mail Anja (anja[at]philosophynow.org).

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Introduction to Philosophy

Autumn Term 2019, Tuesdays, 17:00 – 19:00, ten weeks starting 1st October

Course Tutors: Mark Fielding and Jane O’Grady.

This is a general Introduction to Philosophy based on the individual course of the same name which is part of the University of London International Programme in Philosophy. The programme of study is tailored to the subject-centred approach based around this this text.

The programme is split into two stand alone courses, running this term and next. The first deals with Mind, Knowledge and World; the second deals with Meaning, Morality, and Art.

Should students wish to prepare for the University of London examination, each tutor is able to offer additional support covering the processes of writing essays. This is available at additional cost. Please contact Jane or Mark for more information.

To enrol, please either e-mail Mark (mark[at]londonschoolofphilosophy.org) or e-mail Jane (jane[at]londonschoolofphilosophy.org.

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Wittgenstein

Autumn Term 2019, Tuesdays, 19:00 – 21:00, ten weeks starting 1st October

Course Tutor: Mark Fielding

Ludwig Wittgenstein is one of a very select number of philosophers who transformed the subject in the twentieth century. The course follows the development from his work in the foundations of mathematics which led to the Tractatus and continues through the middle period in which he largely rejected the view of language it contains. The remainder of the course focuses on the final stages of his thought contained in Philosophical Investigations and in On Certainty.

To enrol, please e-mail Mark (mark[at]londonschoolofphilosophy.org).

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History of Philosophy 1

Autumn Term 2019, Tuesdays, 19:00 – 21:00, ten weeks starting 1st October

Course Tutor: Jane O’Grady.

‘What’s it all about then, guv?’ a taxi driver asked Bertrand Russell. This course gives a chronological survey of some the great Western philosophers who have formulated, and tried to solve, enduring puzzles – what reality is, who we are, how we should live. It traces the ongoing argument, and invites your contributions to it. Part 1 runs from the ancient Greeks to John Locke; Part 2 (in the Spring term) runs from Berkeley to Mill; Part 3 (in the Summer term) runs from Nietzsche to now. You can join any or all of these courses. See course-outline 1 (Word doc) for more information.

To enrol, please e-mail Jane (jane[at]londonschoolofphilosophy.org).

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Ethics in Politics Now

Spring Term 2020, Mondays, 09:30 – 11:00, ten weeks starting 20th January

Course Tutor: John Holroyd

This course will reflect on philosophical issues that underlie political debate today, such as the nature of democracy, the different kinds of freedom (following Isaiah Berlin), the importance of truth in politics and the role of propaganda. We will consider what should be the norms of the public square and political debate (following Jürgen Habermas). Beyond what is said, we shall discuss what is done, and engage with the ethics of protest and revolution. Full Cost: £100; concessions £85.

To enrol, please e-mail John (johnholroyd100[at]gmail.com).

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Late 20th Century Philosophy of Language

Spring Term 2020, Mondays, 11:00 – 13:00, ten weeks starting 20th January

Course Tutor: Mark Fielding

To enrol, please e-mail Mark (mark[at]londonschoolofphilosophy.org).

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Problems in Philosophy

Spring Term 2020, Mondays, 13:00 – 15:00, ten weeks starting 20th January

Course Tutor: Jane O’Grady.

Would you save five people by letting one person die? How can you so successfully assume that you understand what someone else means by saying she’s angry? Why does it make sense to regret what you’ve done? We’ll debate these and other philosophical puzzles and thought experiments.

To enrol, please e-mail Jane (jane[at]londonschoolofphilosophy.org).

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German Idealism Reading Group

Spring Term 2020, Mondays, 15:00 – 17:00, ten weeks starting 20th January

Course Tutor: Meade McCloughan.

In the second term, the group will read Hegel’s first philosophical publication, The Difference between Fichte’s and Schelling’s System of Philosophy (1801).

To enrol, please e-mail Meade (meade[at]londonschoolofphilosophy.org).

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Introduction to Philosophy

Spring Term 2020, Mondays, 17:00 – 19:00, ten weeks starting 20th January

Course Tutors: Mark Fielding and Jane O’Grady.

This is a general Introduction to Philosophy based on the individual course of the same name which is part of the University of London International Programme in Philosophy. The programme of study is tailored to the subject-centred approach based around this this text.

The programme is split into two stand alone courses, this term covering Meaning, Morality, and Art.

Should students wish to prepare for the University of London examination, each tutor is able to offer additional support covering the processes of writing essays. This is available at additional cost. Please contact Jane or Mark for more information.

To enrol, please either e-mail Mark (mark[at]londonschoolofphilosophy.org) or e-mail Jane (jane[at]londonschoolofphilosophy.org.

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Marx and the Young Hegelians [COURSE NOW FULL]

Spring Term 2020, Mondays, 19:00 – 21:00, ten weeks starting 20th January

Course Tutor: Meade McCloughan.

Marx’s philosophical views were forged in the intellectual ferment created by the Young Hegelian movement. The young radicals involved developed – or transformed – Hegel’s philosophy into a series of progressive, humanist, republican, atheistical, socialist and ultimately communist positions. We will consider Ludwig Feuerbach’s materialist humanism, Bruno Bauer’s republican atheism, Moses Hess’s ethical communism and Max Stirner’s anarchistic individualism – as well as Marx’s complex reactions to all these. See course outline for more information.

To enrol, please e-mail Meade (meade[at]londonschoolofphilosophy.org).

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Feminist Philosophy: de Beauvoir, Irigaray, Kristeva, Butler

Spring Term 2020, Mondays, 19:00 – 21:00, ten weeks starting 20th January

Course Tutor: Keith Barrett.

The course will begin by examining Simone de Beauvoir’s classic text The Second Sex, then explore the radical philosophy of sexual difference developed by Luce Irigaray in Speculum of the Other Woman. We will then consider Julia Kristeva’s post-Lacanian theorizing on the nature of woman (in ‘Women’s Time’ and ‘Stabat Mater’) and will conclude by examining Judith Butler’s radical new approach to the whole question of human sexuality (first set out in Gender Trouble and developed further in her later works).

To enrol, please e-mail Keith (keith[at]londonschoolofphilosophy.org).

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French Thought from the Middle Ages to the Present

Spring Term 2020, Tuesdays, 11:00 – 13:00, ten weeks starting 21st January

Course Tutor: Anja Steinbauer.

To enrol, please e-mail Anja (anja[at]philosophynow.org).

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Kant Reading Group

Spring Term 2020, Tuesdays, 13:30 – 15:00, ten weeks starting 21st January

Course Tutor: Anja Steinbauer.

An interactive reading group. This year we will study Immanuel Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason. The term-fee is only £20, reflecting the shortness of the meetings.

To enrol, please e-mail Anja (anja[at]philosophynow.org).

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Models of Society

Spring Term 2020, Tuesdays, 15:00 – 17:00, ten weeks starting 21st January

Course Tutor: Anja Steinbauer.

To enrol, please e-mail Anja (anja[at]philosophynow.org).

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Introduction to Philosophy

Spring Term 2020, Tuesdays, 17:00 – 19:00, ten weeks starting 21st January

Course Tutors: Mark Fielding and Jane O’Grady.

This is a general Introduction to Philosophy based on the individual course of the same name which is part of the University of London International Programme in Philosophy. The programme of study is tailored to the subject-centred approach based around this this text.

The programme is split into two stand alone courses, this term covering Meaning, Morality, and Art.

Should students wish to prepare for the University of London examination, each tutor is able to offer additional support covering the processes of writing essays. This is available at additional cost. Please contact Jane or Mark for more information.

To enrol, please either e-mail Mark (mark[at]londonschoolofphilosophy.org) or e-mail Jane (jane[at]londonschoolofphilosophy.org.

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History of Philosophy 2

Spring Term 2020, Tuesdays, 19:00 – 21:00, ten weeks starting 21st January

Course Tutor: Jane O’Grady.

From the Enlightenment to 1900. ‘Daring to know’ and the rule of reason, liberation from priests and kings – to the overruling of reason, rise of naturalism, and death of God. Berkeley, Hume, Rousseau, Kant, Hegel, Romanticism, and Schopenhauer. See course-outline 2 (Word doc) for more information.

To enrol, please e-mail Jane (jane[at]londonschoolofphilosophy.org).

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Heidegger

Spring Term 2020, Tuesdays, 19:00 – 21:00, ten weeks starting 21st January

Course Tutor: Mark Fielding

Martin Heidegger is amongst the most influential and important thinkers of the 20th Century. The first part of the course covers his magnum opus, Being and Time (1927). We then move on to consider his later writings on technology, art, and language.

To enrol, please e-mail Mark (mark[at]londonschoolofphilosophy.org).

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Philosophy and Utopia

Summer Term 2020, Mondays, 11:00 – 13:00, ten weeks starting 20th April

Course Tutor: Mark Fielding

To enrol, please e-mail Mark (mark[at]londonschoolofphilosophy.org).

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Philosophy of Science

Summer Term 2020, Mondays, 15:00 – 17:00, ten weeks starting 20th April

Course Tutor: Filiz Peach

This course will explore and critically evaluate scientific ideas and their impact on humanity. Can science offer universally valid truths? To what extent did pre-Socratic science influence modern science? What are the limitations of science? Can scientific methods be fallible? We shall examine whether science can explain everything about reality. How we perceive space, time and eternity will also be discussed. No prior knowledge is necessary for this course.

To enrol, please e-mail Filiz (fpeach[at]hotmail.com).

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Female Philosophers On Freedom

Summer Term 2020, Mondays, 17:30 – 19:00, ten weeks starting 20th April

Course Tutor: Rachel Paine.

This course will look what often neglected female philosophers have had to say on freedom, including: Princess Elisabeth, whose correspondence with Descartes led to his producing his final treatise, The Passions of the Soul; Gabrielle Suchon, who anticipates existentialism; Emilie Du Chatelet, whose essay “On Happiness” is insightful and radical; Mary Wollstonecraft, who provides a colourful critique of the constricting effects of social norms and Simone de Beauvoir’s account of a “situated ethics”. Hannah Arendt’s understanding of our nature as fundamentally free and how we can resist totalitarianism will also be explored.

To enrol, please e-mail Rachel (rachel.paine[at]gmx.com).

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History of Philosophy 3: From Nietzsche — to Now

Summer Term 2019, Mondays, 19:00 – 21:00, ten weeks starting 20th April

Course Tutor: Jane O’Grady.

If God is dead, as Nietzsche claimed, what happens to truth and morality? We shall consider the re-making of values, humanity and truth — in Nietzsche’s ‘aristocratic radicalism’, John Stuart Mill’s utilitarianism and feminism, William James’s pragmatism and Freud’s unconscious; in Heidegger, Sartre, Wittgenstein, Ayer, and in the current tortured debate on the mind-body problem. See course outline 3 (Word doc) for more information.

To enrol, please e-mail Jane (jane[at]londonschoolofphilosophy.org).

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Nietzsche, Freud and Heidegger on Violence

Summer Term 2020, Mondays, 19:00 – 21:00, 10 weeks starting 20th April

Course Tutor: Keith Barrett.

There is an alternative history (yet to be written) of Western philosophy as a response to the problem of violence. We will study the problem of violence as it emerges as a theme – or remains beneath the surface – in the work of three great theorists of the human condition; Nietzsche, Freud and Heidegger. The course will be informed by contemporary philosophical perspectives on violence – especially those of Foucault, Girard and Žižek – and we will begin from Hannah Arendt’s work The Human Condition.

To enrol, please e-mail Keith (keith[at]londonschoolofphilosophy.org).

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French Thought from the Middle Ages to the Present

Summer Term 2020, Tuesdays, 11:00 – 13:00, ten weeks starting 21st April

Course Tutor: Anja Steinbauer.

To enrol, please e-mail Anja (anja[at]philosophynow.org).

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Kant Reading Group

Summer Term 2020, Tuesdays, 13:30 – 15:00, ten weeks starting 21st April

Course Tutor: Anja Steinbauer.

An interactive reading group. This year we will study Immanuel Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason. The term-fee is only £20, reflecting the shortness of the meetings.

To enrol, please e-mail Anja (anja[at]philosophynow.org).

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Models of Communication

Summer Term 2020, Tuesdays, 15:00 – 17:00, ten weeks starting 21st April

Course Tutor: Anja Steinbauer.

To enrol, please e-mail Anja (anja[at]philosophynow.org).

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Philosophy of the Enlightenment

Summer Term 2020, Tuesdays, 17:00 – 19:00, ten weeks starting 21st April

Course Tutor: Jane O’Grady.

The Enlightenment – a period of intense flowering in philosophy, science and the arts – began in Europe in the mid-17th century and lasted for almost 150 years. It was once acclaimed by the left for liberating us from political and religious oppression, and loathed by the right, but recently those positions have reversed. We’ll ask why, while looking at some of the philosophers of the Enlightenment, from Descartes to Kant.

See reading list (Word document) for more information.

To enrol, please e-mail Jane (jane[at]londonschoolofphilosophy.org).

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Moral Philosophy and Applied Ethics

Summer Term 2020, Tuesdays, 18:00 – 20:00, ten weeks starting 28th April

Course Tutor: Shahrar Ali.

Are we genuinely capable of non-egoistic, altruistic action? What are our responsibilities to future generations? What claim do starving populations have on us? When, if at all, is torture justified? Is free speech an unconditional right? Is whistleblowing an act of greater corporate loyalty? Is lying worse than other forms of intentional deception? Should euthanasia be legalised in the UK? When is it legitimate, or required, to challenge authority? We will address these and other questions within a moral philosophical framework and test our intuitions about equality, obligation and rights.

To enrol, please e-mail Shahrar (shahrar[at]londonschoolofphilosophy.org).

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Philosophy and Film

Summer Term 2020, Tuesdays, 19:00 – 21:00, ten weeks starting 21st April

Course Tutor: Mark Fielding

To enrol, please e-mail Mark (mark[at]londonschoolofphilosophy.org).

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