New minor: ‘Great Thinkers: Leading Paradigms of Western Culture’

Are you interested in what makes Western Culture tick? Then consider applying for the UM-wide minor ‘Great Thinkers’. This interdisciplinary programme focuses on the roots of Western culture. You will dive into the world views of a range of great thinkers, such as Aristotle, Marx, Darwin, Nietzsche, and others. The minor is meant for ambitious bachelor students who are looking for an intellectually challenging programme.

The UM-wide minor ‘Great Thinkers’ is an interdisciplinary programme that focuses on the roots of Western culture. Its three courses will familiarise you with turning points in the history of Western ideas, such as the birth of rational thinking, the conceptualization of democracy, the invention of individuality, the political plea for the separation of powers, the paradigmatic change in our perception of animals, the discovery of the so-called unconscious, and the (im)possibility of ethics after the Holocaust. You will study the world views of a range of great thinkers, such as Plato, Aristotle, Augustine, Ockham, Machiavelli, Descartes, Rousseau, Kant, Nietzsche, Marx, Darwin, Freud, Arendt, and others. As such, the minor is meant for ambitious students who are looking for an intellectually challenging programme and are willing to invest in their Bildung.

The minor will enable you:

  • to gain insight into some of the fundamental characteristics of Western culture by studying the views of important thinkers within their social and historical context;
  • to train yourself in critical thinking and analytic skills;
  • to better reflect upon the underlying philosophical assumptions of the discipline(s) you are studying at your own faculty.

Alongside the minor, Studium Generale will organise a series of lectures that will be open to students of the minor ‘Great Thinkers’, free of charge. One of the speakers in this series is the famous primatologist and behavioral biologist Prof. dr. Jan van Hooff.

The complete minor programme is a unified whole, comprising a sequence of three courses (two eight-week courses plus one four-week course). However, it is also possible to sign up for the individual courses. The courses will be open for registration as from Friday 1 June.

For any questions about the programme you may send an email to Marietje Kardaun.

For an overview of all minors for FASoS students please check our website: European Studies or Arts & Culture.

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