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The University of Southampton

PHIL2036 Continental Philosophy

Module Overview

In the twentieth century, a gap opened up between the Analytic School of philosophy that dominated the English-speaking countries of the UK, the USA, Australia and New Zealand, and the Continental School that was predominant in France, Germany and many other European countries. This course is designed to bridge that gap by giving students the opportunity to study one or more of the dominant schools of Continental Philosophy.

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

To provide an introduction to the Continental School of philosophy through an examination of one or more of the dominant schools of Continental Philosophy, which may include structuralism and post-structuralism, phenomenology, Marxism, existentialism, or psychoanalysis. Selected seminal texts from these traditions will be studied.

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

Having successfully completed this module, you will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

  • the views put forward in the texts studied
  • the arguments for and against these views
  • how these works have come to define a tradition or traditions of philosophy regarded by many as a competing alternative to the Anglo-American tradition of Analytic Philosophy.
Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • undertake independent work, including identifying and using appropriate resources.
  • work effectively to deadlines.
  • take notes from talks and written materials.
  • contribute to discussion in a critical but dispassionate way.
  • express views clearly and concisely.
  • identify and evaluate the reasons for and against your own views and those of others.
Cognitive Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • analyse views and their implications.
  • identify and evaluate arguments critically and sympathetically.
  • present and debate ideas, both orally and in writing, in an open minded and rigorous fashion.
  • articulate and defend your own views regarding the issues the module concerns.


The content of this module may vary from year to year. Topics might include: - Frege and Husserl on the philosophy of arithmetic - Husserl and phenomenology - Derrida and deconstruction

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Teaching methods include - Lectures - In-class discussion - One-on-one consultation with module co-ordinator Learning activities include - Attending lectures - Contributing to class discussion - Doing independent research for and writing assessed essays and exams

Completion of assessment task22
Follow-up work24
Preparation for scheduled sessions24
Wider reading or practice24
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

T W Adorno (2005). Minima Moralia: Reflections from Damaged Life. 

T. W. Adorno and M. Horkheimer (2010). The Dialectics of Englightenment. 

T. W. Adorno, W. Benjamin, E. Bloch, B. Brecht, and G. Lukács (2007). Aesthetics and Politics. 

E Bronner (2011). Critical Theory: A Very Short Introduction. 

G Rose (2014). The Melancholy Science: An Introduction to the Thought of Theodor W. Adorno. 





MethodPercentage contribution
Essay  (1500 words) 50%
Examination  (90 minutes) 50%


MethodPercentage contribution
Examination  (120 minutes) 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External


Costs associated with this module

Students are responsible for meeting the cost of essential textbooks, and of producing such essays, assignments, laboratory reports and dissertations as are required to fulfil the academic requirements for each programme of study.

In addition to this, students registered for this module typically also have to pay for:

Books and Stationery equipment

Students will be expected to have access to the two required texts (estimated max cost of £30). Copies of the texts will be placed in the library’s course collection.

Please also ensure you read the section on additional costs in the University’s Fees, Charges and Expenses Regulations in the University Calendar available at

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