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Political philosophy of Central European dissidence - AFSV00058
Anglický název: Political Philosophy of Central European Dissidence
Zajišťuje: Ústav filosofie a religionistiky (21-UFAR)
Fakulta: Filozofická fakulta
Platnost: od 2016
Semestr: letní
Body: 0
E-Kredity: 6
Způsob provedení zkoušky: letní s.:
Rozsah, examinace: letní s.:0/3 Zk [hodiny/týden]
Počet míst: neurčen / neurčen (15)
Minimální obsazenost: neomezen
Stav předmětu: nevyučován
Jazyk výuky: angličtina
Způsob výuky: prezenční
Úroveň:  
Garant: Mgr. Jakub Jirsa, Ph.D.
Třída: Exchange - 08.1 Philosophy
Exchange - 14.1 Political Sciences
Rozvrh   Nástěnka   
Soubory Komentář
stáhnout 00 - reader title.pdf list of readings
stáhnout 01_1_Kundera_TheTragedyofCentralEurope.pdf
stáhnout 01_2_Judt_TheRediscoveryofCentralEurope.pdf
stáhnout 02_1_Milosz.pdf
stáhnout 02_2_Milosz01.pdf
stáhnout 03_Patocka_TechnologicalCivilization.pdf
stáhnout 04_Cerny_OnTheQuestionOfChartism.pdf
stáhnout 04_Charter77.pdf
stáhnout 04_Patocka_WhatCharta77Is.pdf
stáhnout 05&06_Havel_PowerofPowerless.pdf
stáhnout 07 - Wierzbicki - Ticks.pdf
stáhnout 08_Michnik_Letters01.pdf
stáhnout 09_Michnik_Letters02.pdf
stáhnout 10_Haraszti_Worker.pdf
stáhnout 11_Haraszti_VelvetPrison_Art.pdf
stáhnout 12_Konrad_Antipolitics.pdf
Anotace - angličtina
Poslední úprava: Mgr. Jakub Jirsa, Ph.D. (09.02.2016)

NOTE: the course starts on 25th of February (ECES courses start a week later compared to other departments at the Faculty of Arts)

The main topic of the seminar will be political thought of dissidence and "unofficial" thinkers in Central European countries (Poland, Hungary and Czechoslovakia) during the seventies and eighties of 20th century. We will read and discuss texts written by Václav Havel, György Konrád, Adam Michnik and others. Since several of our primary texts are written in essayistic form far from strict academic standards, I will present them within the theoretical background of western political philosophy. Therefore we will analyse the differences between committed political writings (mostly) from behind of the Iron curtain on the one hand and parallel way of thoughts in the academic political philosophy of the West on the other hand.

We will discuss and analyse problems like moral responsibility, moral demands of resistance against authoritarian regimes, lie and nature of ideology. Since many authors criticise not only communist authoritarian state but "politics as such" (e.g. Havel or Konrád), we will try to find out whether these authors offer some kind of alternative to the usual conception of politics and liberal democracy.
Literatura - angličtina
Poslední úprava: Mgr. Jakub Jirsa, Ph.D. (13.02.2014)

Required Readings

 

Miklós Haraszti, A Worker in a Worker’s State, Universe Books, New York 1977, pp. 21-25, 42-52, 56-79, 147-157 and "The Trial of Miklós Haraszti" (pp. 159-175).

Miklós Haraszti, The Velvet Prison: Artists Under State Socialism, A New Republic Books, New York 1983, pp. 5-34, 129-159.

Václav Havel, "Power of powerless" in Power of Powerless, Palach Press 1985, pp. 23-96.

Tony Judt, "The Rediscovery of Central Europe", Deadalus, Winter 1990/119, 23-54.

George Konrád, Antipolitics, HBJ, New York and London 1984, pp. 11-16, 31-38, 91-98, 109-113, 216-243.

Milan Kundera, "The Tragedy of Central Europe", NYRB 31/7, April 26, 1984

Adam Michnik, Letters from Prison and Other Essays, University of California Press (1985), pp. 3-24, 41-63, 135-148.

Czeslaw Milosz, (1990): The Captive Mind, Vintage International, chap. 1 and 8, pp. 3-24, 191-222.

Jan Patočka (1996) "Is Technological Civilization Decadent, and Why?" in Heretical Essays in the History of Philosophy , Open Court Publishing, pp. 95-118.

 

The texts will be available in PDF.

Recommended Readings

 

Aron, R. (1957): The Opium of the Intellectuals, London: Secker & Warburg.

Dahrendorf, R. (2004): Reflections on the Revolution in Europe, Transaction Publishers.

Falk, B. J. (2003): The Dilemmas of Dissidence in East-Central Europe, CEU Press.

Goetz-Stankiewicz, M. (ed) (1999): Critical essays on Vaclav Havel, Hall New York.

Judt, Tony, "The Dilemmas of Dissidence: the Politics of Opposition in East-central Europe", in East European Politics and Societies 1988; 2; 185-240.

Judt, Tony (2005): Postwar: A History of Europe Since 1945, Penguin Press.

Klíma, Ivan (1994): The Spirit of Prague and Other Essays, Granta Books.

Rupnik, Jacques (1989): The Other Europe, Schocken.

Todorov, T. (2003): Hope and Memory, Atlantic Books.

Tucker, A. (2000): Philosophy and politics of Czech dissidence from Patocka to Havel, University of Pittsburgh Press.

Walzer, M., The Obligation to Disobey, Ethics, Vol. 77, No. 3 (Apr., 1967), pp. 163-175

Walzer, M. (1973). Political Action: The Problem of Dirty Hands. Philosophy and Public Affairs 2 (2):160-180.

 

Požadavky ke zkoušce - angličtina
Poslední úprava: UFRJIRSA (25.09.2011)

Assignments and Grading Policy

Grades based on letters A through F will be given. ECES does not provide courses with pass/fail grades.

- midterm reflection 10%

- presentation 30%

- participation 20%

- final essay (2000 words long) 40%

Sylabus - angličtina
Poslední úprava: Mgr. Jakub Jirsa, Ph.D. (13.02.2014)

 

Weekly Schedule

 

Week 1

Historical and geo-political introduction

 

Basic introduction to the modern history of Central Europe and into the political reality of late socialism. We will focus on the specifics and ideological usage of the term Central and Eastern Europe.

 

Required readings:

Milan Kundera, "The Tragedy of Central Europe", NYRB 31/7, April 26, 1984

 

Judt, Tony (2005): "The Coming of the Cold-War" in Postwar: A History of Europe Since 1945, Penguin Press, pp. 129-164.

 

 

Suggested readings (this reading is not demanded, but it might help in understaning the topic and shaping the discussion):

Dahrendorf, R. (2004): Reflections on the Revolution in Europe, Transaction Publishers.

 

Tony Judt, "The Rediscovery of Central Europe", Deadalus, Winter 1990/119, 23-54.

 

 

Week 2

Forerunner: Czeslaw Milosz, The Captive Mind

 

Nobel prize winner Czeslaw Milosz wrote his penetrating analysis of totalitarian thinking already in the fifties we will analyse his thoughts on the seductive aspect of ideology, characteristics of a totalitarian mind, the role of an intellectual in authoritarian regime. A comparison with Raymond Aron’s well-known The Opium of the Intellectuals can be made.

 

Required readings:

Czeslaw Milosz, (1990): The Captive Mind, Vintage International, chap. 1 and 8, pp. 3-24, 191-222.

 

Suggested readings:

 

Judt, Tony (2005): "Culture Wars" in Postwar: A History of Europe Since 1945, Penguin Press, pp. 197-225.

 

Aron, R. (1957): The Opium of the Intellectuals, London: Secker & Warburg.

 

 

Week 3

Jan Patočka, Heretical Essays in the History of Philosophy

 

Jan Patočka is an intellectual father of Czech intellectuals dissents, influenced by Heidegger and Husserl he analysis modern society and searches for the roots of the crisis of modernity. We will examine the political aspects of his thoughts.

The lesson will finish with screening Menzel’s movie Skrivánci na niti (Larks on the string).

 

Required readings:

Jan Patočka (1996) "Is Technological Civilization Decadent, and Why?" in Heretical Essays in the History of Philosophy , Open Court Publishing, pp. 95-118.

 

Suggested readings:

Hannah Arendt, (1953) "Ideology and terror: A Novel Form of Government" in F. Flagg Taylor IV (ed). The Great Lie: Classic and Recent Appraisals of Ideology and Totalitarianism, Wilmington, Del. : ISI Books, c2011, pp. 124-147.

 

Tucker, A. (2000): Philosophy and politics of Czech dissidence from Patocka to Havel, University of Pittsburgh Press, chap. 1 and 2.

 

Week 4

Charter 77

 

The text of Charter 77 declaration will help us to understand the topos of dissident’s political philosophy: the illusion of the legal order on the one hand and despotism of the regime on the other. We will discuss the broader topic of relation between the law and morality as well.

 

Required readings:

 

Charter 77 declaration in Václav Havel et al. Power of Powerless, Palach Press 1985, pp. 217-221.

 

Václav Černý, "On the Question of Chartism" in Václav Havel et al. Power of Powerless, Palach Press 1985, pp. 125-133.

 

Jan Patočka, "What Charter 77 Is and What It Is Not", in H. Gordon Skilling, Charter 77 and Human Rights in Czechoslovakia, London (Allen & Unwin) 1981, str. 217-219.

 

Suggested readings:


Václav Benda et al., "Parallel Polis, or An Independent Society in Central and Eastern Europe: An Inquiry", in Social Research 55.1-2, 214-222.

 

Tucker, A. (2000): Philosophy and politics of Czech dissidence from Patocka to Havel, University of Pittsburgh Press, chap. 5.

 

 

Week 5

Václav Havel, Power of Powerless I-XV

 

We will read the first part of Havel’s essay concentrating on the role of ideology and truth in politics. During the class we will watch a new Czech movie Pouta (Walking Too Fast) directed by Radim Špaček which reflects the times Havel writes about.

 

Required readings:

Václav Havel et. al., Power of Powerless, Palach Press, pp. 23-67.

 

Suggested readings:

Leszek Kolakowski, "Totalitarianism & the Lie" in Commentary Magazine 1983, reprinted and re-edited as "Totalitarianism and the Virtue of the Lie" in Irving Howe, Geogre Orwell, 1984 Revisited: Totalitarianism in Our Century, Harper & Row, 1983.

 

Week 6

Václav Havel, Power of Powerless XVI-XXII

 

Václav Havel opens an important theme: moral responsibility of an individual in (what he calls) post-totalitarian regime. With a help of Hannah Arendt paper we will discuss the demand of dissent and boundaries of moral responsibility.

 

Required readings:

Václav Havel et. al., Power of Powerless, Palach Press, pp. 67-96.

 

Suggested readings:

 

Hannah Arendt, "Personal Responsibility under Dictatorship" in Responsibility and Judgement, Schocken Books, New York 2003, 17-48.

 

Louis Althusser, "Ideology and Ideological State Apparatuses" in Lenin and Philosophy and other essays, Monthly Review Press, New York & London, 127-186.

 

Week 7

"Ticks"

 

The exchange between Pioter Wierzbicki and Adam Michnik will serve us as a basis for discussing the nature of political obligation and especially the obligation to disobey (in Walzer’s term). We will discuss different sources of political obligation and various motives justifying civil disobedience.

 

Required readings:

Pioter Wierzbicki, "A Treatise on Ticks" (1979) in F. Flagg Taylor IV (ed). The Great Lie: Classic and Recent Appraisals of Ideology and Totalitarianism, Wilmington, Del. : ISI Books, c2011, pp. 377-398.

 

Suggested readings:

Adam Michnik, "Ticks and Angels" (1979) in F. Flagg Taylor IV (ed). The Great Lie: Classic and Recent Appraisals of Ideology and Totalitarianism, Wilmington, Del. : ISI Books, c2011, pp. 399-407.

 

Michael Walzer, The Obligation to Disobey, Ethics, Vol. 77, No. 3 (Apr., 1967), pp. 163-175

 

 

 

Week 8

Adam Michnik, On Resistance, Why You Are Not Emigrating

 

Adam Michnik belongs to main representatives of the Solidarity movement; this meeting we will discuss his thoughts on political resistance and civil (dis)obedience. In order to better understand the dilemmas faced by Polish dissidence (and ordinary people) we will watch Andrzej Wajda’s movie Czlowiek z zelaza (Man of Iron).

 

Required readings:

Adam Michnik (1985): Letters from Prison and Other Essays, University of California Press, pp. 16-24, 41-63.

 

Suggested readings:

Falk, B. J. (2003): The Dilemmas of Dissidence in East-Central Europe, CEU Press, chap. 5.

 

Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsyn, "Our Muzzled Freedom" (1975), in F. Flagg Taylor IV (ed). The Great Lie: Classic and Recent Appraisals of Ideology and Totalitarianism, Wilmington, Del. : ISI Books, c2011, pp. 148-155.

 

Week 9

Adam Michnik, A New Evolutionism, Why You Are Not Singing

 

Adam Michnik’s most important essay "A New Evolutionism" will be discussed with a special focus on one question: is the dissident movement solely anti-communist, or is it essentially anti-political as well?

 

Required readings:

Adam Michnik (1985): Letters from Prison and Other Essays, University of California Press, pp. 3-15, 135-148.

 

Suggested readings:

Isaiah Berlin, "Two Concepts of Liberty" in Liberty (revised and expanded edition of Four Essays On Liberty), Oxford University Press, 2002.

 

Renwick, A., "Anti-Political or Just Anti-Communist?", in East European Politics and Societies, 2006 20: 286-318.

 

 

Week 10

Miklós Haraszti on worker’s unfreedom

 

Haraszti’s sociological analysis is written as if it were a prose; however it uncovers deeper problems persisting in socialistic regimes: dissolution of any community, problems of cooperation, communication etc. Haraszti faced trial for writing the book, the minutes from the trial will be discussed as well. We will watch German movie Das Leben der Anderen (The Lives of the Others) directed by Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck.

 

Required readings:

Miklós Haraszti, A Worker in a Worker’s State, Universe Books, New York 1977, 21-25, 42-52, 56-79, 147-157 and "The Trial of Miklós Haraszti" (159-175).

 

Suggested readings:

G. A. Cohen, "The Structure of Proletarian Unfreedom" in Philosophy and Public Affairs, Vol. 12, No. 1. (Witnter 1983), pp. 3-33.

 

John Gray (1988). "Against Cohen On Proletarian Unfreedom" in Social Philosophy and Policy 6 (01).

 

 

 

Week 11

Miklós Haraszti on censorship and freedom of art

 

Haraszti’s highly ironical book concerns art and censorship in communist countries, it is not only amusing to read but it offers deep insights into the mind of "state artists" and "state intellectuals" as well. The main general topic of our meeting will be freedom of speech.

 

Required readings:

Miklós Haraszti, The Velvet Prison: Artists Under State Socialism, A New Republic Books, New York 1983, 5-34, 129-159.

 

Suggested readings:

Thomas Scanlon, "A Theory of Freedom of Expression" in: Philosophy and Public Affairs, Vol. 1, No. 2 (Winter, 1972), pp. 204-226

 

 

 

Week 12

György Konrád, Antipolitics

 

Konrád’s essay introduces two main themes: the monistic character of any ideological thinking and the critical role of an intellectual in the authoritarian regime. The text will be discussed and analysed in the contexts of Berlin’s writing on pluralism and Walzer’s analysis of relation between morality and politics.

 

Required readings:

George Konrád, Antipolitics, HBJ, New York and London 1984, pp. 11-16, 31-38, 91-98, 109-113, 216-243.

 

Suggested readings:

Michael Walzer (1973). Political Action: The Problem of Dirty Hands. Philosophy and Public Affairs 2 (2):160-180.

 

Isaiah Berlin, "The Pursuit of the Ideal" in The Crooked Timber of Humanity, Princeton University Press 1959 (1990 reprint), pp. 1-19.

 

Week 13

Closing discussion, paper presentations

 

During the last meeting we will try to discuss and assess the main theoretical problems that arose during our readings and discussions so far. Students will have opportunity to present and discuss their final essays.

 
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