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Why we rule the world, and how

Language of instruction: English

About the theme: This module is not about political or military leadership. It addresses layers of normativity at a much deeper, metaphysical level. We ‘rule the world’ as we bend reality to comply with models and norms, with rules and regulations.

Why we rule the world, and how

People mould the world according to the categories and norms they impose upon it. Morality, law, science, philosophy, myth, religion, and language are just as many examples of this. Whereas these categories and norms are sometimes explicit (as in law or morality), sometimes they are hardly perceptible, if at all. In the latter case, we simply think that this is the way things are.

How reality is constructed 

Rather than teach what things are, this class will focus on some major patterns according to which ‘reality’ is constructed. It will do this by studying three fields:
1.) the mythical world order of ‘primitive’ people,
2.) the precision achievable in science and philosophy
3.) language as an over-all category of organization and norm-giving.
Interestingly, the fields of myth, science/philosophy, and language, rather than being consequent or subsequent upon each other, overlap.

Lecturer: Dr. H.W. (Rico) Sneller (1967) is assistant professor of philosophical anthropology at the Institute for Philosophy at Leiden University. He studied theology in Utrecht and Leiden and philosophy in Paris. His dissertation dealt with the problem of negative theology and the philosophy of Jacques Derrida.


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