Continental perspectives on truth: Nietzsche, Bergson and Deleuze

Key facts

  • Cost: £160
  • Credits: 10

Summary

“The pure present is an ungraspable advance of the past devouring the future. In truth, all sensation is already memory.” Henri Bergson 

With the ongoing discovery of the mechanisms driving human perception, many philosophical figures have grappled with the problem of how humans find truth and what it is. This course introduces students to the work of three significant figures in the continental tradition of philosophy - Friedrich Nietzsche, Henri Bergson and Gilles Deleuze – and explores their perspectives on philosophical truth. In particular, this course compares the way they challenge our pursuit of truth by questioning its sources, shifting our attention away from abstract models towards embodied, intuitive and expressive modes of thinking.  

More broadly, the course invites students to appreciate this form of philosophy as a beneficial discursive practice which enhances the agency of inquirers. In keeping with continental tradition, it will also examine ways to apply these perspectives to contemporary situations such as post-truth politics and conspiracy theories. 

Over a series of talks and selected readings, our expert tutor will explain: 

  • key figures Nietzsche, Bergson and Deleuze  
  • their main ideas and arguments in pursuit of the truth 
  • the nature of consciousness and self-knowledge 
  • the meaning of authenticity  
  • the context their ideas emerged from and how they can be applied today 

You will also have the chance to discuss and reflect on what you learn with other students and the tutor in seminars 

Choose this course if you want to learn: 

  • The basic philosophical problems and arguments concerning the pursuit of truth in the work of these key figures in the Western Philosophical tradition. 
  • How to share your thinking in discussion and learn from others 

Who is this course for?

Anyone curious about finding deeper meaning in life and working out new ways to think, including those with an interest in Nietzsche, Sartre and existentialism. 

Qualifications/credits

If taken for assessment, 10 credits 

Assessment

500 word / 5 mins presentation or written commentary (25%). 

1,500 word essay (75%)

Mode of study

This 10-week course will be delivered online via 2-hour seminars led by a tutor over Zoom. 

Course materials will be provided online 

Prospects

  • Start or develop your journey as a philosopher 
  • Can begin your study of philosophy at university level  
  • contribute towards a Certificate or Diploma in Higher Education 
  • can inform your personal reading list and introduce you to some informative ideas to make sense of life  

Find out more

The University holds open days throughout the year where you can meet with staff to discuss our short course provision. Find out more about University of Glasgow open days