From Marx to Critical Theory - PHI00060M

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  • Department: Philosophy
  • Module co-ordinator: Dr. Paul McFadden
  • Credit value: 20 credits
  • Credit level: M
  • Academic year of delivery: 2019-20
    • See module specification for other years: 2018-19

Module summary

This module aims to introduce students to key debates, positions and arguments in what has become known as "Western Marxism" and "Critical Theory".

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching cycle
A Autumn Term 2019-20

Module aims

This module aims to: 1) introduce students to key debates, positions, and arguments in what has come to be known as “Western Marxism” and “Critical Theory”; 2) to give a
historical overview of the development of these debates, positions, and arguments; 3) to enable students to develop their skills in critical analysis, argument, and communication.

Module learning outcomes

By the end of this module, students should have an in-depth and systematic understanding of some of the key debates, historical sources, and arguments in the development of ‘Western Marxism’.

They should also be able to:

• analyse complex areas of knowledge, displaying critical awareness

• synthesize information and ideas from a variety of sources, both historical and at the forefront of the discipline

• evaluate research critically

• show originality in the discussion and evaluation of ideas from the philosophical literature in

developing their own arguments

Students should show the ability to work autonomously and self-critically on an extended essay that goes beyond the core framework that is provided in lectures and seminars.

Module content

This module will introduce students to key debates, positions, and arguments in what has come to be known as “Western Marxism” and “Critical Theory” as well as give a historical overview of the development of these debates, positions, and arguments. Topics consider will include all or some of the following; commodity fetishism; reification; immanent critique; dialectics; post-Kantian influences on these concepts; “critical” as opposed to “traditional” theory.

Assessment

Task Length % of module mark
Essay/coursework
4000 word essay
N/A 100

Special assessment rules

None

Additional assessment information

  • The formative Topic Proposal and Reading List are due on Monday, Week 7 of Autumn Term.
  • The formative Essay Plan is due on Monday, Week 10 of Autumn Term.
  • The summative Essay is due by 12 noon on Monday, Week 2 of Spring Term.

Reassessment

Task Length % of module mark
Essay/coursework
4000 word essay
N/A 100

Module feedback

  • Oral feedback on the Topic Proposal will be given within 2 weeks of submission.
  • Oral feedback on the Essay Plan will be given within 1 week of submission.
  • Students will receive written feedback on their summative work within 4 weeks of submission.

Indicative reading

The following list is indicative:

Marx, K. Capital: Volume One.

Lukacs, G Reification and Class Consciousness

Sohn-Rethel, A. Intellectual and Manual Labour

Horkheimer, M & Theodor Adorno Dialectic of Enlightenment

Adorno, T Negative Dialectics



The information on this page is indicative of the module that is currently on offer. The University is constantly exploring ways to enhance and improve its degree programmes and therefore reserves the right to make variations to the content and method of delivery of modules, and to discontinue modules, if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Where appropriate, the University will notify and consult with affected students in advance about any changes that are required in line with the University's policy on the Approval of Modifications to Existing Taught Programmes of Study.