Subject and Sensorium

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Course TypeCourse CodeNo. Of Credits
Foundation CoreSCC2FS2024

Semester and Year Offered: Monsoon

Course Coordinator and Team: Dr Rajan Krishnan

Email of course coordinator: rajan[at]aud[dot]ac[dot]in

No pre-requisites.

Course Objectives/Description:

The explores few key philosophical texts that connect the notions of subject and sensorium in significant ways. It prepares students to understand the complex location of contemporary subject formation in relationship to the sensorium.This is a heavily lecture based course that revolves around three pairs of philosophical texts. The first pair is the texts of Heidegger and Benjamin; the second is that of Sextus Empiricus and Descartes; the third is that of Hegel and Deleuze. Through these texts the students are prompted to think of the relationship of subjectivity to sensorium. The course hopes to stimulate all students to a thorough going reflexion on how in creative and social process the subject formation varies according to its relationship to the mobilization of sensory input.

Course Outcomes:

  • Gaining a deeper understanding of the relationship between sensory inputs and subject formation in creative and social processes, allows for reflective thinking.
  • A critical approach to the temporal dimensions of philosophy through a comprehensive study of texts from various schools of thought over time and space, enhancing student capacities for critical thinking and analytical reasoning.
  • Self-directed learning through an understanding of positionality and subject formation in the context of the liberal arts university space, in connection to the sensorium.

Brief description of modules/ Main modules:

Module I: “Age of the World Picture” Martin Heidegger and “Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction” by Walter Benjamin. Both these were written in 1936; hence the students are prompted to think of the concept of age and how these two essays characterize the age.

Module II: Selections from the writings of Sextus Empiricus on scepticism and selections from the first Meditations of Descartes.

Module III: Selected passages from Hegel’s “Phenemenology of Spirit” and Gilles Deleuze’s “Logic of Sense”.

Assessment Details with weights:

  • Class Participation 30%
  • Module-End Paper 30%
  • Term End Paper 40%

Reading List:

  • Walter Benjamin, “Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction” in Illuminations, trans. Harry Zorn. London: Pimlico, 1990, pp. 211 - 245.
  • Gilles Deleuze. The Logic of Sense, trans. Mark Lester with Charles Stivale. New York: Columbia University Press, 1993.
  • GWF Hegel. The Phenomenology of Spirit, trans. Terry Pinkard. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2018.
  • Rene Descartes. Meditations on First Philosophy: With Selections from the Objections and Replies, ed. John Cottingham. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996 (1986).
  • Martin Heidegger. “The Age of the World Picture” in The Question Concerning Technology and Other Essays, trans. W Lovitt. New York: Harper & Row, 1977, pp. 115–136.