Upper Intermediate Philosophy: Post-Liberalism - Anglo-American and Continental Approaches

Mary Ward Centre
Course summary
12 weeks
103 GBP excl. VAT
Online courses
Professional Training

Course description

Upper Intermediate Philosophy: Post-Liberalism - Anglo-American and Continental Approaches

'Liberalism', arguably the dominant political tradition of the modern era, is currently undergoing a series of crises. Its commitments to particular values, such as freedom (in the form of markets, expression, individual rights), limited government, secularism and democracy, is have been challenged from multiple directions. The Enlightenment commitment to reason, universalism and the contract theory of Hobbes, Locke and Rousseau have been under siege from alternative visions of humanity (whether they be religious, nationalist, populist, communitarian etc.). Economic crises routinely call the foundations of capitalism into question. The populations of modern liberal states often suffer from alienation, atomisation, depression and a sense of purposelessness. The concept of human nature that underpins liberalism is open to serious revision: have we been irreparably altered by transformations in technology, for example? What is the best way to organise our social and political existence in the wake of globalisation? Are we fundamentally individualist or cooperative beings? What does freedom mean today?

Suitability - Who should attend?

This course is at Upper Intermediate level and so would not be suitable for people who are New to studying philosophy. It would be an ideal continuation course for students who have previously studied on our Intermediate level courses and who now want a course that will look at the work of a particular philosopher in some depth. It may also be suitable for people who have had some previous grounding in Philosophy and who now want to study in more depth.

Although you should have some previous experience of studying philosophy it is not expected that you need to have a great deal of familiarity with the specific thinkers mentioned in the course description, as this is what the course will aim to provide.

Outcome / Qualification etc.

By the end of the course, students will be able to discuss multiple contemporary issues in politics and philosophy more broadly.

Training Course Content

We will examine the work of, amongst others, Alisdair MacIntyre, Patrick Deneen, John Gray, Michael Sandal, John Millbank, Larry Siedentop, James Burnham, Rob Dreher, René Girard, Ivan Illich, Alain Badiou, Michael Foucault, Slavoj Zizek, Jacques Rancière and Ernesto Laclau & Chantal Mouffe. We will cover, amongst other themes: community, pessimism, freedom, flourishing, justice, religion, communism, agonism, human nature, democracy and various technological and technocratic developments in modernity, and their impact on political thought and organisation.


  • Full fee: £103
  • Concessionary fee: £36

Continuing Studies

Other Advanced level Philosophy courses at the Mary Ward Centre or other similar establishments. Other courses in the Humanities and Social Sciences with a strong emphasis on theory and the study of the mind and human behaviour(e.g., Psychology, Economics, Sociology, Anthropology, History

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Mary Ward Centre

The first thing you will notice about the Mary Ward Centre is the stunning Georgian building, in the peaceful surroundings of Queen Square. An adult education centre with a difference, whatever you want to learn, you’ll find it here. From...

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Mary Ward Centre

42 Queens Square
WC1N 3AQ London

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