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Philosophy of Culture


Admission requirements

No prerequisites.


The course proposes an overview of the main theories of culture. It begins by addressing the question “what is culture” by paying particular attention to the views of culture as Society (Rousseau, Locke), as Bildung and cultivation (Kant, Herder, Humboldt, Nietzsche) as Weltanschauung, as habitus (Mauss, Bourdieu) and as Episteme (Foucault). It then moves to a discussion of the anatomy of culture: how are cultures established (Rousseau, Nietzsche, Freud)? How do they transform themselves (Weber).

Course objectives

The course aims to acquaint the students with the key theories, problems and arguments of the philosophy of culture. It presents a critical overview of the canonical answers to the questions “What is a culture?” and “How a culture constitutes itself”?

Students who successfully complete the course will have a good understanding of:

  • the main definitions of cultures (including culture as cultivation, episteme, worldview and history);

  • the main arguments aout the constitution of cultures;

  • the conceptual constraints to the projects of inter/multiculturalism.

Students who successfully complete the course will be able to:

  • critically understand, comment and interconnect the major texts and theories relative to culture;

  • present a consistent view of the basic points of disagreements about culture and its constitution;

  • propose and defend both in writing and orally, basic arguments pertaining to any section of the course.


The timetable is available on the BA Wijsbegeerte website
BA Wijsbegeerte 2016-2017 (BA Plus-traject of Standaardtraject), eerste jaar.
Minor Ethiek, politiek en cultuur 2016-2017

Mode of instruction

  • Lectures

Course Load

Total course load: 5 EC x 28 hrs = 140 hours

  • Attending lectures: (13 weeks x 2 hrs): 26 hours

  • Preparation lectures: 20 hours

  • Study of compulsory literature: 44 hours

  • Preparation assignments: 44 hours

  • Time for completing the take home exams: 6 hours

Assessment method

  • Mid-term: take-home exam, made of a series of short questions (35%)

  • Final: take-home essay, dealing with the entirety of the course (one question taken from a list of three) (65%).


The final mark for the course is established by determining the weighted average of the subtests (midterm take home, final essay). A subtest can be graded as unsatisfactory.

Satisfactory completion of practical assignments is a prerequisite for taking the tests.


The resit consists of one examination, overing the entirety of the course material, consisting of a take-home essay on one imposed question taken from any section of the course. No separate resits will be offered for mid-term tests. The mark for the resit will replace all previously earned marks for subtests.

Satisfactory completion of practical assignments is a prerequisite for taking the resit.


Blackboard will be used for posting texts, general information documents (syllabus etc.), assignments and updates.

Reading list

All texts will be made available on Blackboard at the beginning of the semester, alongside the reading schedule.


Enrolment for courses and exams through uSis is mandatory.
General information about uSis is available in English and Dutch

Students are strongly advised to register in uSis through the activity number which can be found in the timetables for and exams in the column under the heading “uSis-Actnbr”.

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Registration Studeren à la carte
Registration Contractonderwijs


Dr. F. Chouraqui


Not applicable.