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Leesgroepen // Reading Groups

Political Philosophy with PHD student Lode Cossaer

Selected readings from the history of political philosophy. No more than 30 pages per session. Subject to change based on participants input. I have two suggestions. (I am willing to do boh, if there is demand for it.) You don’t need to be a philosophy student to sign up.

Suggestion 1: History of Ideas: Primary Sources

We could either do a selected reading from the list below. (Other suggestions such as Karl Marx, Immanual Kant, etc. possible, if there is demand for it.)

John Locke (Two Treatises on Government)
Hobbes (Leviathan)
Rousseau (Social Contract)
David Hume (Concerning the Principles of Morals)
Adam Smith (Theory of Moral Sentiments)
Sidgewick (Methods of Ethics)
J.S. Mill (Utilitarianism or On Liberty)
Benjamin Constant: On the Principles of Politics applicable to all governments)

Suggestion 2: History of Ideas: Secondary Source

Or read John Rawls’ ‘Lectures on History of Political Philosophy’. (Table of contents:…) (A pdf can be made available. :))

Dates: Weekly/biweekly ; Probably Monday or Tuesday, but possibility to change if large demand. (When you subscribe: give some options for when would work for you.)
Location will be chosen together.
Language: The reading group will be in English.
Description: We will read together some of the history of ideas in political philsophy, to gain a greater understanding of what’s political philosophy about.

Interested? Then sign up here!

Giambattista Vico with professor Andrea Robiglio

1. Isaiah Berlin – Giambattista Vico: Man of Genius – The Reputation of Vico – The Workings of Providence
2. Giambattista Vico – New Science

Description: Under the guidance of professor Andrea Robiglio, this reading groups centers around the main work of the Italian philosopher Giambattista Vico, New Science (Scienza Nuova), written in the 18th century. New Science’s main theme is the philosophy of history, but it covers a broad range of topics which have left their mark on many of the main currents in contemporary philosophical thought. First we’ll read an introduction on Vico by Isaiah Berlin, after which we’ll move on to Vico’s New Science.

Dates: Monthly, starting Monday evening, the 22th of February
Location will be chosen together.
Language: The reading group will be in English.

Interested? Then sign up here!


Benjamin and Adorno with Stéphane Symons

Description: The first weeks of the semester, professor Symons will help read us through some texts of Walter Benjamin and Theodore Adorno. The rest of the semester we can of course continue to read those texts on our own.

Number of participants: minimum 10.
 To be decided.
Language: English.

Interested? Then sign up here!

Conservatism, the philosophy of values

Text: We continue to read several authors we did not cover last semester (e.g. Roger Scruton, Paul Cliteur, Edmund Burke, Herman de Dijn & Arnold Burms, …) and will try to invite some (emeritus) professors to join our sessions.
Time: Weekly, on a day to be decided, until we’re too near to the exams.
Size of the group: The core group of last semester consists of around 5 persons. Everyone is free to join, though we’d like to be able to have always have interactive conversations.
Location: Gainsbourgh café.
Language: The reading group will be in English when international people are present.

Description: Conservative authors and thought are again popular in intellectual circles and even seem to influence the political debate.  Paradoxically enough conservatism is not easily defined and many conservative thinkers disagree on fundamental issues. This reading group aims to understand the core principles of social, cultural and political conservatism and to appreciate the variety of contemporary conservative thought.

Interested? Contact

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