Philosophical Anthropology
Course infoSchedule
Course moduleFTR-FIRM-AN-02
Credits (ECTS)10
Language of instructionEnglish
Offered byRadboud University; Faculty of Philosophy, Theology and Religious Studies; Opleiding Filosofie;
prof. dr. P.I.M.M. van Haute
Other course modules lecturer
prof. dr. P.I.M.M. van Haute
Other course modules lecturer
Contactperson for the course
prof. dr. P.I.M.M. van Haute
Other course modules lecturer
Academic year2018
PER3-PER4  (04/02/2019 to 09/06/2019)
Starting block
Course mode
Registration using OSIRISYes
Course open to students from other facultiesNo
Waiting listNo
Placement procedure-
At the end of this course, you will:
  • be familiar with some of the key concepts of trauma in present-day continental philosophy;
  • be familiar with the importance of trauma for psychoanalytic theory;
  • be able to write a paper in which a particular question is raised concerning the notion of trauma;
  • be able to present and interpret some of the primary sources in which the notion of trauma is debated
Trauma plays a crucial role in contemporary continental philosophy. We will first discuss some of the origins of the concept of (psychic, subjective) trauma and study some of the consequences of its introduction for the ways in which we experience the world and ourselves. Indeed, before being a philosophical concept, trauma is concept that structures our experience of ourself and of the world we live in. The work of Ian Hacking (historical epistemology) will be our guide for the elaboration of this problematic. We will then discuss the role and the place of trauma in Freudian theory (and psychoanalytic theory in general: especially the work of Jean Laplanche). We will study Freud’s early work on trauma first and then we will pay special attention to the first edition of Freuds seminal text on Three Essays on the Theory of Sexuality and the Fragment of the Analysis of a Case of Hysteria (‘Dora’). We will question in detail the traditional claim that Freud abandoned his original (traumatic) theory of the neuroses in 1897 and replaced this theory by an oedipal one.

But the concept of trauma has also been discussed outside of psychoanalysis. Time will be too short to discuss all authors for whom trauma is a central category. We will limit ourselves to the work of Levinas, Derrid and Malabou and compare their thinking on trauma to Freud’s.
This seminar includes two or three masterclasses that still have to be determined and organised. You will be informed about these masterclasses at the beginning of the course.
Test information
Presentations, a paper proposal (500 words), and a research paper (ca. 5000 words).

Recommended materials
To be announced
To be announced at the beginning of the course. The main focus will be on the primary sources.

Instructional modes
Attendance MandatoryYes

Test weight1
Test typeEssay
OpportunitiesBlock TENT4, Block TENT5