Current Debates in Continental Philosophy (PHIL*4130) | College of Arts

Current Debates in Continental Philosophy (PHIL*4130)

Code and section: PHIL*4130*01

Term: Winter 2021

Instructor: John Russon


This course is cross-listed with PHIL*6140

This class will be a study of two great works of 20th Century European Philosophy: Jean-Paul Sartre’s Being and Nothingness (1943) and Jacques Derrida’s Memoirs of the Blind (1990).  Each of these works is a study of the nature of our experience and of the specific ways in which our experience is meaningful.  Both works reveal that careful reflection on the nature of meaning calls for a significant re-evaluation of the ways we typically understand ourselves and our world.  With Sartre, we will focus on such themes as the body, language, and other people.  With Derrida, we will especially focus on the nature of expression—writing, drawing, and so on.  Our study will take us through some of the richest and most exciting dimensions of human life.

The course will be delivered through recorded lectures (asynchronous) supplemented by discussions (synchronous).


The University of Guelph resides on the land of the Between the Lakes Treaty No. 3, the territory of the Mississaugas of the Credit. This land is part of the Dish with One Spoon, a covenant between Indigenous nations to live peaceably on the territories of the Great Lakes region. We recognize that today this gathering place is home to many First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples and acknowledging them reminds us of our collective responsibility to the land where we learn, live and work.