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   Course Title    History of Modern Philosophy
Lecturer    Serob Khachatryan
Institution    Yerevan State University
Country    Armenia


The course will try to accomplish the following aims:

The presentation of the main trends of modern philosophy in the context of the whole history of philosophy,

The ability of understanding philosophical problems in their connection with social trends.

The course will have the following main objectives:

To develop a comparative way of thinking,

To understand the role of philosophy and philosophical thinking in the modern world.



The course is the last part of the 4 year course of the History of Philosophy. Therefore, we will try to sum up the philosophical thought using and systemizing the materials of previous courses.



During the course interactive, critical thinking, problem teaching methods will be used. These methods are important for the Modern philosophy course, because they are the results of modern philosophy. Students’ presentations on the assigned readings will be one of the main methods of the course.



First Week


Main Trends of Modern Society.

Reading: Jaspers, K., Spiritual Situation of Time, p. 288-306, Moscow, 1991.


The Essence of Phenomenology.

Husserl against Naturalism and Psychologism. The concepts of "intentionality" and "reduction". The problem of consciousness in Phenomenology.

Reading: Edmund Husserl, The Crisis of European Science and Transcendental Phenomenology, p.545-565, Moscow, 2000.

Second Week


The problem of epistemology and the theory of Husserl. Comparative analysis. Student presentation.


Philosophical Hermeneutics.

Hermeneutical philosophy before Gadamer. The essence of "hermeneutical circle". The role of prejudice and tradition in philosophy. Gadamer about the Enlightenment. Language in the process of creating a sphere. Truth and method.

Reading: Gadamer, H-G.,Truth and Method, p. 36-58, Moscow, 1988.

Third Week


Phenomenological hermeneutics of Paul Ricoeur.

The problem of structure, word and event. The philosophy of psychoanalyze as a result of the crisis of consciousness. The relationship of phenomenology and hermeneutics. The time and narrative.

Reading: Ricoeur, P. The Conflict of Interpretations. p.3-29, Moscow, 1995.


The evaluation of synthesis of phenomenology with hermeneutics.

Student presentation.

Fourth Week


The philosophy of Existentialism.

Main concepts of Existentialism. The phenomenological existentialism of Sartre. The concepts of "Being" and "Nothingness" in Sartre’s philosophy.

Reading: Sartre, J-P. Existentialism is a Humanism, Moscow, 1990.


Irrationalistic philosophy of Camus.

The problem of suicide in Camus philosophy.

Reading: Camus, A. The Revolting Man, p. 127-135, Moscow, 1990.

Fifth Week


The relationship of "existence" and "transcendence" in Jaspers’s philosophy.

Social philosophy of Jaspers. The concept of philosophical faith. The problems of the hisrory of philosophy.

Reading: Jaspers, K. Philosophical Faith, p. 420-431, Moscow, 1991.


The philosophy of existentialism in the context of 20th century culture.

Student presentation.

Sixth Week


Heidegger as a founder of fundamental ontology.

The concept of "Dasein". Heidegger about metaphysics.

Reading: Heidegger, M. An Introduction to Metaphysics. p. 16-27, Moscow, 1993.


The philosophy of NeoThomism.

Theory of NeoThomism about the role of science, philosophy and theology. Critical realism of Maritain. The theory of "critical realism".

Seventh Week


The philosophy of Personalism.

E.Mounier as a main representative of Personalism. The meaning of Personalism. Principles of personalistic activity. The main structures of personalistic society.


Anthropological philosophy.

M.Scheler’s anthropological philosophy. Phenomenology of Scheler. The relationship of spiritual and corporeal worlds. Dialogical philosophy of M. Buber. Buber’s point of view about action and reflection.

Eighth Week


The man and human condition.

Student presentation.

Midterm Exam.

Ninth Week


The Analitical Philosophy.

The philosophy of logical analysis. B.Russel’s logical atomism and absolute pluralism. Russel about facts, types and classes. The concept of truth. The problem of Induction. G.Frege’s semantical philosophy. The concept of propositional function. L. Wittgenstein’s philosophical therapy. The subject of philosophy for Wittgenstein. Wittgenstein about the truth. John Searl about the Mind-Body problem. Reductionism.

Reading: Russel, B. The Problems of Philosophy, p. 35-48, Moscow, 2000.

Tenth Week


The subject of philosophy. The point of view of Analytical philosophy.

Student presentation.


The Philosophy of Karl Popper.

The problem of induction. The commonsense theory of knowledge. Popper’s theory of the Third World. The concept of open society. Has history any meaning.

Reading: Karl Popper, The Logic of Scientific Discovery, p. 36-48, Moscow, 1984

Eleventh Week


The problem of induction. Comparartive analysis of Hume’s, Popper’s and Russel’s standpoint.

Student presentation.


Paul Feyerabend’s methodological anarchism.

The confrontation of historical relativism and scientific rationalism.

Reading: Paul Feyerabend, Against Method, p. 9-20, Moscow, 1984,

Twelfth Week


The philosophy of the Frankfurt School.

Negativistic philosophy of T.Adorno and M.Horkheimer. The concept of "Cultural industry". J.Habermas and the problem of discourse. Habermas about modernity and postmodernity. Social philosophy of H.Marcuse and E.Fromm.

Reading: Theodor Adorno, Max Horkheimer, Dialectic of Enlightenment, Moscow, p. 120-145, 1997.

Twelfth Week


The comparative analysis of Adorno&Horkheimer’s and Habermas’s theories.

Student presentation.


The philosophy of Structuralism.

The philosophy of structuralism. The philosophy of J. Lacan, C.Levi-Strausse and M.Foucault.

Reading: Michel Foucault, The Words and the Things, p. 363-392, Saint-Petersburg, 1994.

Thirteenth Week



The philosophy of J.Derrida, J.Lyotard, G. Deleuze.

Reading: Lyotard, J.F. The Postmodern Condition, p. 42-51, Moscow, 1998.


Contemporary American philosophy. The philosophy of Goodmann, Rorty, Putnam, Davidson.

Fourteenth Week


What is Postmodernism?

Student presentation.


The evaluation of modern philosophy in the history of philosophy.

Student presentation.

Fifteenth Week

Final Exam.

Course Evaluation:

Midterm exam - 20

Student presentation – 30

Final exam – 50.




Anthology of Philosophy, Moscow, 1997.

Feyerabend, P. Against Method, Moscow, 1984.

Gadamer, H-G.,Truth and Method, 1988.

Husserl, E. The Crisis of European Science and Transcendental Phenomenology, Moscow, 2000.

Lyotard, J.F. The Postmodern Condition, Moscow, 1998.

Popper, K. The Logic of Scientific Discovery, Moscow, 1984.

Ricoeur, P. The Conflict of Interpretations. Moscow, 1995.

Russel, B. The Problems of Philosophy. Moscow, 2000.

Sartre, J-P. Existentialism is a Humanism, Moscow, 1990.


Adorno, Th., Horkheimer, M. Dialectic of Enlightenment, Moscow, 1997.

Camus, A. The Revolting Man, Moscow, 1990.

Derrida, J. Writing and Difference, Moscow, 2000.

Foucault, M. The Words and Things, Saint-Petersburg, 1994.

Foucault, M. Madness and Civilization, New York, 1988.

Habermas, A Critical Reader. Edited by Peter Dews. UI.S.A., 1999.

Heidegger, M. An Introduction to Metaphysics. Moscow, 1993.

Jaspers, K. Jaspers, K. Philosophical Faith, Moscow, 1991.

Marcuse, H. One-Dimensional Man, London, 1999.

Mounier, E. The Manifest of Personalism, Moscow, 1999.

Popper, K. The Open Society and its Enemies, V. 2, London, 1996.

Popper, K. Objective Knowledge, New York, 1979.

Ricoeur, P. The Time and Narrative. Saint-Petersburg, 2000.

Usher, R and Edwards, R. Postmodernism and Education, London and New York, 1996.

Wittgenstein, L. Lectures on Ethics, Moscow, 1991

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