Contemporary French Philosophy
This intensive seminar will serve as a crash course in contemporary French theory in order to provide students with a rigorous overview of its key movements, figures and concepts. Beginning with the immediate postwar rise of Existentialism, while tracing out its important connections to Marxism, we will then look at the emerging critiques formulated by the “structuralists” and their gradual turn away from Marxism. Finally, we will compare and contrast two rival movements that emerged on the heels of structuralism and continue today: the “post-structuralists,” who sought to radicalize the structuralist turn, and a disparate group of thinkers—from Castoriadis to Badiou—who saw in both structuralism and post-structuralism an intensified embrace of postwar ideology and advocated for a resuscitation of anti-capitalist philosophy.
Facilitator: Gabriel Rockhill, Ph.D. is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Villanova University and Director of the Critical Theory Workshop in Paris. His main areas of research are modern and contemporary thought, social and political theory, continental philosophy, aesthetics, and historiography. Gabriel is the author of Radical History & the Politics of Art; Interventions in Contemporary Thought: History, Politics, Aesthetics; Logique de l’histoire: Pour une analytique des pratiques philosophiques; Contre-histoire du temps présent: Interrogations intempestives sur la mondialisation, la technologie, la démocratie, as well as numerous articles, book chapters, reviews, and edited books.
Date: Saturday, April 14, 10am-3pm.