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Summer Institute 2019

In the summer of 2012, Douglas College began a project entitled the Summer Institute for Continental Philosophy. The institute takes the form of a third-year Philosophy course, PHIL 3380, attended by members of the Philosophy Department and other scholars, and includes a lecture by a visiting guest speaker. Students from all institutions are invited to attend.  

This summer semester 2019, PHIL 3380 is entitled Interpreting Nietzsche. In addition to selected readings from Nietzsche's central texts, the course will focus on essays from Ashley Woodward's 2011 anthology, Interpreting Nietzsche, after which the course this semester is named. Woodward's book contains essays about the interpretation of Nietzsche's thought proffered by eminent philosophers such as Deleuze, Kofman, Bataille, Nehemas, Irigaray, Vattimo and Derrida.

Summer Institute 2019 is co-sponsored by the University of British Columbia.

PHIL 3380: Continental Philosophy is open to all post-secondary students with 9 credits in Philosophy (or suitable equivalents) and transfers for third-year credit to universities across British Columbia, including UBC and SFU.

Students currently enrolled in a BC post-secondary institution do NOT need to apply for admission to Douglas College in order to take this course. To enroll, simply complete the admission form, attach an e-copy of your transcript, and email this to Dr. Nicholls.

Students may apply for admission to PHIL 3380 by completing the admission form or by emailing Dr. Robert  Nicholls:

Douglas students who have met the prerequisites can enroll directly.

The course runs from May 9 - August 1, 2019 at the New Westminster Campus. See the Course Outline below.

Each summer, the institute invites a scholar with a background in a specific area of Continental Philosophy to give a public lecture followed by informal discussion. The course will be held once per week for approximately three hours Thursday evenings, and the guest lecture will constitute one of the course classes.

Visiting Speaker

This year we are very pleased to announce that Robert Pippin will be our visiting guest speaker. Robert B. Pippin is the Evelyn Stefansson Nef Distinguished Service Professor in the Committee on Social Thought, the Department of Philosophy at the University of Chicago. He is the author of several books and articles on German idealism and later German philosophy, including Kant's Theory of Form; Hegel's Idealism: The Satisfactions of Self-Consciousness; Modernism as a Philosophical Problem; and Idealism as Modernism: Hegelian Variations. In addition he has published on issues in political philosophy, theories of self-consciousness, the nature of conceptual change, and the problem of freedom. He also wrote a book about literature and philosophy: Henry James and Modern Moral Life. His work, The Persistence of Subjectivity: On the Kantian Aftermath, was published in 2005.

His second work on Nietzsche, Nietzsche, Psychology, First Philosophy appeared in 2010, and in 2012 his collection of essays, Introductions to Nietzsche was issued. In addition, Professor Pippin is the author of several articles on Nietzsche thought, including "Self-Interpreting Selves: Comments on Nehamas’ Nietzsche: Life as Literature"; "Heidegger on Nietzsche and Nihilism"; "Williams on Nietzsche on the Greeks"; "Strauss' Nietzsche"; "How to Overcome Oneself: Nietzsche on Freedom"; "Agent and Deed in Nietzsche's Genealogy"; and "Irony and Affirmation in Nietzsche's Zarathustra."

Professor Robert Pippin's talk will be held Thursday June 20th, at 6:30 PM in Lecture Theatre N2201. This is a public lecture: everyone is welcome

Participating Faculty
  Dr. Glen Baier, Philosophy, UFV  
  Dr. John Bruin, Philosophy, DC
  Dr. Wilhelm Emilsson, English, DC

  Dr. Robert Nicholls, Philosophy, DC
  Dr. Devin Shaw, Philosophy, DC
  Dr. Edrie Sobstyl, Philosophy, DC
  Dr. Steven Taubeneck, Philosophy, UBC
  Dr. Kristian Urstad, Philosophy, DC  

Douglas College Institute Directors

The Summer Institute for Continental Philosophy is directed by four Douglas College faculty, philosophers who have specialized in this area of Philosophy:

Dr. Robert Nicholls completed his PhD at the University of Waterloo in 1988 with a dissertation entitled Sense and Existence: Heidegger 1925-29. Dr. Nicholls has published essays on Nietzsche, Husserl and Heidegger, as well as in the areas of literary theory, philosophy of education and Eastern philosophy.

Dr. John Bruin received his PhD from Guelph/McMaster with a dissertation on Husserl which was subsequently published by the University of Ottawa Press in 2001 under the title Homo Interrogans. Dr. Bruin has also published articles on Heidegger.

Dr. Devin Zane Shaw completed his PhD at the University of Ottawa. He is the author of two books, Egalitarian Moments: From Descartes to Rancière (Bloomsbury, 2016) and Freedom and Nature in Schelling's Philosophy of Art (Bloomsbury, 2010). He has also published articles in the area of political philosophy. 

Dr. Mano Daniel (retired) completed his doctorate at the University of Waterloo with a dissertation on the work of Hannah Arendt. He co-edited the book Phenomenology of the Cultural Disciplines, and  has written papers in the areas of  environmental sustainability; philosophy of biography; philosophy and public policy; and the nature of apology.

Course Outline

PHIL 3380: Continental Philosophy: Interpreting Nietzsche

PREREQUISITES: 9 prior credits in Philosophy or permission of the instructor

REQUIRED TEXTS: Ashley Woodward, Interpreting Nietzsche: Reception and Influence, (NY:  Continuum, 2011)

Nietzsche, The Portable Nietzsche, ed. W. Kaufmann, (NY: Penguin Classics, 1977)

Nietzsche, The Basic Writings, ed. W. Kaufmann, (NY: Modern Library, 2000)

COURSE DESCRIPTION: This summer the course will focus upon the work of the 19th century philosopher, Friedrich Nietzsche, especially the writings completed between 1881 and 1888. In those years, Nietzsche authored seven major texts, including Thus Spoke Zarathustra, Beyond Good and Evil, The Genealogy of Morals and The Twilight of the Idols. Nietzsche's influence on the 20th century – not only on Philosophy, but on art, literature, culture – has been enormous, perhaps greater than any other thinker of his time.

In order to attempt to gage something of this influence, the course will study Woodward's collection of essays, Interpreting Nietzsche. Each essay contained in this volume reviews the interpretation of Nietzsche's thought by an important contemporary philosopher. So, e.g., there are essays on Deleuze's Nietzsche, Bataille's Nietzsche, Vattimo's Nietzsche, Derrida's Nietzsche, etc. The course will integrate selected readings from Nietzsche's texts with essays on his interpretation by such prominent thinkers. While the course does not require any prior familiarity with Nietzsche's thought, students would benefit greatly from having previously read some of Nietzsche's work.

This course represents the eighth Summer Institute for Continental Philosophy at Douglas College. The course is simultaneously a research institute as well as a third year undergraduate course in Philosophy that transfers for upper level credit to UBC, SFU and all other universities throughout the province. The course is intended primarily for Philosophy majors and minors, or for those otherwise appropriately prepared to undertake the work. In addition to comprising a welcomed component, the course includes a public lecture by an invited scholar, which will be open to the community at large, followed by a reception. 

COURSE REQUIREMENTS: 1) two essays, both worth 40% of the final grade. Essays must employ accepted scholastic format and must each be minimally 3,000 words in length (approximately 6 - 8 pages);

2) term mark: the term mark is comprised of an oral exam. There are no pre-set questions. The exam will focus upon material covered in students' essays. The term mark is worth 20% of the final grade.

There is no final exam.

Tentative Syllabus          

May 9 Introduction: Nietzsche's Thought – Robert Nicholls

May 16 Kaufmann's Nietzsche: David Rathbone – Robert Nicholls

May 23 Bataille's Nietzsche: Yue Zhou – Glen Baier

May 30 Camus' Nietzsche: Ashley Woodward, "Camus and Nihilism" – Kristian Urstad

June 6 Müller-Lauter's Nietzsche: Ciano Aydin – John Bruin

June 13 Deleuze's Nietzsche: Jon Roffe – Devin Shaw

June 20 Pippin's Nietzsche: Robert Pippin, Visiting Guest Speaker

June 27 Kofman's Nietzsche: Duncan Large – Robert Nicholls

July 4 Derrida's Nietzsche: Carolyn D'Cruz – Steven Taubeneck

July 11 Irigaray's Nietzsche: Joanne Faulkner – Edrie Sobstyl

July 18 Nehamas' Nietzsche: Mark Tomlinson – Wilhelm Emilsson

July 25 Vattimo's Nietzsche: Robert Valenti – Robert Nicholls

August 1 Klossowski's Nietzsche: Ashley Woodward – Robert Nicholls

Past Summer Institutes

2018: Existentialism and Psychology
Guest Speaker: Andrew Feldmar, Practising Existential Psychotherapist,
Vancouver, BC

2017: After Heidegger: a Survey of Continental Philosophy
Guest Speaker: Professor Alan Schrift, F. Wendell Miller Professor of Philosophy at Grinnell College, Iowa

2016: Heidegger's Nietzsche Volumes

Guest Speaker: Professor Patricia Glazebrook, Director of the School of Politics, Philosophy and Public Affairs, Washington State University.

2015: Heidegger's Essays: Basic Writings

Guest Speaker: Professor Raj Singh, Philosophy, Brock University

2014: Marcuse: One-Dimensional Man
Guest Speaker: Professor Andrew Feenberg, Canada Research Chair in Philosophy of Technology, School of Communication, Simon Fraser University

2013: Heidegger's Being and Time
Guest Speaker: Professor Jeff Mitscherling, Philosophy, University of Guelph

2012: Sartre's Being and Nothingness
Guest Speaker: Professor Bruce Baugh, Philosophy, Thompson Rivers University