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Uniwersytet Wrocławski

Instytut Filozofii

Znajdujesz się w: Strona główna > Erasmus+ > Courses in philosophy in Spring 2023

Dear Students,

in the ongoing Spring semester we offer you the following courses (see the schedule and descriptions of the courses below):

  1. Main Questions of Epistemology and Philosophy of Mind

Lecturer: Dr Elżbieta Walerich

Type of Class: Seminar, 30 hours

ECTS credits: 6

WEDNESDAY 14.00-15.30, ROOM 104

During this course will be discussed the basic questions which appear in the contemporary theory of knowledge and philosophy of mind such as :

The problem of knowledge of the external world

The mind-body problem

The problem of conscious subjective experience

The problem of free will

The difference between human mind and artificial intelligence

The question of mental causation

The knowledge by acquaintance and knowledge by description


Nagel Thomas, What is it like to be a bat? , "Philosophical Review", 83 (4), 1974, p. 435-450.

Putnam Hilary, Brains in a vat, [in:] Reason, Truth and History, Cambridge University Press, New York 1981, p. 1-21.

Russell Bertrand, The Problems of Philosophy, Oxford University Press 2001.

Ryle Gilbert, The Concept of Mind, Taylor&Francis e-Library, 2009.

Searle John R., Mind : a Brief Introduction, Oxford University Press, New York 2004.

Searle John R., Minds, brains and programs, "The Behavioral and Brain Sciences", 3 (3), 1980, p. 417-424.

  1. The Power of Images. Imaginarium of the Political Sphere

Lecturer: Dr Karol Morawski

Type of Class: Seminar, 30 hours

ECTS credits: 6

TUESDAY 14.00-15.30, ROOM 104

Image and power are the two central concepts that will organize the theoretical field of the proposed classes. Images manifest their presence and power in various discourses and policies. If power, at a particular level, is "the ability to govern others" and involves the ability to "effectively influence their behavior" (B. Hiddens), then our fundamental questions are as follows: how do images govern political actors? Why do the authorities surround themselves with images? Why is the desire for domination in social reality connected with the desire for domination in the sphere of imagination? Why does political praxeology refer to symbolic and mythical resources?

These and other questions related to the political power of images will be discussed in relation to selected philosophical concepts, as well as historical examples. We will therefore be interested in Plato's political thought; the "mask regime" initiated by Machiavelli (S. Filipowicz); the visual impact of images during revolutionary celebrations, images of the ruined ancien régime and those related to the building of a new society (the French Revolution); images accompanying the revolutions in the years 1989 – 1991 in Central and Eastern Europe and later years; as well as contemporary forms of iconoclasm and iconoclash (e.g. the attack on the WTC as an icon of globalized capitalism).

Referring to these motifs, we will show that images – as well as other elements of the "imaginarium of the political sphere" (J. J. Wunenburger), i.e. myths and symbols – can legitimize the prevailing power, petrify political agreements, identify a political enemy, form social experiences, shape emancipatory or utopian aspirations, strengthen community ties, intensify the affective polarization of society, or induce irrational behaviours of human collectives.

Analyses of the above topics will be preceded by a reflection on the heterogeneous family of images (e.g. perceptual, memory, anticipatory, unconscious, linguistic, material images). Above all, it will be emphasized that the concept of an image cannot be closed or exhausted within the framework of a single philosophical interpretation. If, therefore, "the image exists only in the set" (J. J. Wunenburger), then this diversity entails the choice of a specific research perspective. "The subject of the study can be: a specific image, a group of images and a totality of images – only these three types are conceivable" – writes L. Wiesing. Therefore, during the proposed classes we will be interested in a certain "group of images" – that is, images that function in the field of politics and significantly affect them. These will be mythical, verbal images, mental images (ideas, social images, images of memory), material images (sculptures, monuments, artifacts).

Proposed literature:

Bonnell V. E., Iconography of Power, University California Press, 1988.

Bottici Ch., Imaginal Politics, “Thesis Eleven” 106, 2011, nr 1.  

Bottici Ch., Towards a Philosophy of Political Myth, “Iris”, 3, 2011

Brisson L., Plato. The Mythmaker, University of Chicago Press, Chicago 1999.

Calland B., European Identity and External Others in History Texbooks (1950 – 2005), [in:] “Journal of Educational Media, Memory, and Society”, Volume 1, Issue 2, 2009.

Castoriadis C. , The Imaginary Institution of Society, Polity Press, Cambridge 1987.

Hunt L., Politics, Culture, and Class in the French Revolution, University of California Press, Oakland 2004.

Krasicki J., Błocian I., Philosophical Significance of Image and Imagination – Introduction, [in:] Imagination – Art, Science and Social World, Peter Lang, 2020.

Mitchell W. J. T, Iconology: Image, Text, Ideology, Chicago-London, 1986.

Mitchell W. J. T., Clonning Terror: War Images, 9/11 to the Present, Chicago, 2011.

Mitchell W.J. T., Picture Theory. Essays on Verbal and Visual Representation, Chicago, 1985.

Morawski K., The Political Power of the Images: Revolutionary Imaginarium, [in:] Imagination – Art, Science and Social World, Peter Lang, 2020.

What is an Image?, ed. Elkins J., Neaf M., The Pennsylvania University Press, 2011. Landes J. B., Visualizing the Nation: Gender, Representation, and Revolution in Eighteenth-century France, Cornell University Press, 2001.

Wingo A. J., Weil Politics in Liberal Democratic States, Cambridge – New York, 2003

Wunenburger J. J., Mytho-logies of Politics, History and Current Events, [in:] Imagination – Art, Science and Social World, Peter Lang, 2020.


  1. The Situated Epistemologies

Lecturer: Dr Cezary Rudnicki

Type of Class: Seminar, 30 hours

ECTS credits: 6

MONDAY 16.00-17.30, ROOM 104

 In recent decades, the universalistic claims of traditional epistemology have faced fierce critique from representatives of various theoretical currents – mainly feminist ones. Those critiques didn’t limit themselves to demonstrate that the supposedly neutral and objective subject of cognition – assumed by this epistemology – is in fact the subject whose cognitive perspective is limited by the occupied point of view: of privileged, white, heterosexual and usually male Western citizen. A large number of theoreticians have gone a step further by arguing that the major position (i.e. the position related to social domination) breeds more prejudices than reliable knowledge, while a minor and marginal position gives a better chances of obtaining the objective knowledge about human being and the world.

The proposed seminar will consist of two parts. In the first one, participants will have the opportunity to learn the basics of post-constructivism and the feminist concept of situated knowledges. The theoretical base prepared in this way will be used, in the second part, to analyze the writings of selected contemporary anthropologists. The lecturer, together with the participants, will try to extract from the above-mentioned texts the specificity of the theoretical perspective from which these anthropologists study stateless societies, economic phenomena incompatible with dominant narratives about the rationality of the market or finally their comments on the latest archeological discoveries.


  1. The Epistemological Obstacle

- G. Bachelard, The Formation of the Scientific Mind, chapter one

  1. Situated Knowledges

- D. Haraway, Simians, Cyborgs, and Women, chapter nine

  1. The Specificity of the Knowing Subject

- L. Code, Taking Subjectivity into Account

  1. Cognition and the Way of Existence

- G. Deleuze, Nietzsche and Philosophy, fragments

- G. Deleuze, Spinoza. Practical Philosophy, fragments

- G. Deleuze, Ontology-Ethics (Cours Vincennes 21/12/1980)

  1. Standpoint of Marginalized Groups

- S. Harding, Rethinking Standpoint Epistemology: “What Is Strong Objectivity?”

  1. Feminism vs. Marxism [???]

- Bat-Ami Bar On, Marginality and Epistemic Privilege

  1. The Epistemological Obstacle in Archeology (I)

- J. C. Scott, Against the Grain, introduction, chapters one and two

  1. The Epistemological Obstacle in Archeology (II)

- D. Graeber, D. Wengrow, How to change the course of human history (https://www.eurozine.com/change-course-human-history/)

- D. Graeber, D. Wengrow, The Dawn of Everything, fragments [???]

  1. Standpoint of Stateless Society (I)

- J. C. Scott, The Art of Not Being Governed, fragments

  1. Standpoint of Stateless Society (II)

- J. C. Scott, Weapons of the Weak, chapters two and five?

  1. The Epistemological Obstacle in Economy (I)

- D. Graeber, Bullshit Jobs: A Theory, preface, chapters one and six/seven?

  1. The Epistemological Obstacle in Economy (II)

- D. Graeber, Debt: The First 5000 Years, fragments

  1. Unlearning Imperialism

- A. A. Azoulay, Potential History. Unlearning Imperialism, chapter one

  1. Entangled Thinking

- A. L. Tsing, The Mushroom at the End of the World, part I + fragments

  1. Beyond the Social Sciences

- D. Graeber, What’s the Point If We Can’t Have Fun? (https://thebaffler.com/salvos/whats-the-point-if-we-cant-have-fun)