Fall/Winter Timetable

POL2037Y1Y L0101

Undergraduate Course Code: POL475Y1Y L0101

Post-Modern and Contemporary Thought


This course concerns the development of postmodern thought and its passage into the posthuman. The course begins with a brief discussion of a number of themes in Western philosophy that underlie postmodernism, in particular, Georges Bataille’s understanding of social exchange. This is extended into Jean Baudrillard's reworking of symbolic exchange. A complement to this analysis is Paul Virilio's understanding of the effects of the technology of speed on the social. Next, we look at a discussion of capitalism and 'virtual' systems in the work of Deleuze and Guattari. Following Deleuze we will study Alain Baidou who rejects Deleuze’s philosophy opting for a philosophy based on an ontology of truth. This underlies Baidou’s commitment to communism. Coupled with the ‘rhizomatic’ concept of Guattari and Delouse we enter a discussion of the posthuman through Catherine Hayles’ reflection on the media’s relation to thought. The course will also examine an alternate view of science, myth and philosophy in the work of Michel Serres. Moving from cybernetics of the manifesto by Donna Haraway to her extension of relations to the world of others including our companion species. This view will be discussed with Agamben’s view of life between the human and the animal.


May include Bataille's The Accursed Share, Baudrillard's Symbolic Exchange and Death, Derrida's Given Time, Heidegger’s Fundamental Concept of Metaphysics, selections from Deleuze and Guattari and from the Foucault Reader.

Format and Requirements

One two-hour seminar per week. Course requirements TBA.


POL200Y1 / POLC70H3 and POLC71H3