May 11, 2010

The next session will take place in B29 at 6.30pm, on Wed 2 June – please note new location. We will be discussing an extract from Lefebvre’s Production of Space (AVAILABLE ON THE TEXTS PAGE) which I have taken from The City Cultures Reader, edited by Malcolm Miles and Tim Hall, with Iain Borden, 2nd edition (London: Routledge, 2004) pp. 257-265. I’ve also included the intro to the section in which the extract appears, to give some background on Lefebvre.



May 11, 2010

The Philosophy of History reading group is re-convening this term to explore theories of space. This new initiative is being run in the Birkbeck Department of History by Victoria Powell, Madisson Brown, and Neil Penlington.

There will be two more sessions this term, outlined below. As before, readings will be made available here, and all are welcome.

Future sessions:

Wed 2 June 2010: Lefebvre’s concept of space

Wed 30 June 2010: Bourdieu’s theory of social space

All sessions will be held in Room G24 at 6.30pm. This is a 100% student led initiative, so if you’d like to know more or make suggestions for the Autumn term programme, drop us an email and we’ll start to put together a schedule.

More Nietzsche

February 15, 2008

The next session of PhiloHist will be on Thursday 6th March at 5pm in SSEES room 431. We will be reading Friedrich Nietzsche, “On the uses and disadvantages of history for life” Untimely Meditations 4-10 from Daniel Breazedale (ed.) Untimely Meditations (Cambridge Univerity Press, 1997)  pp. 77-123. [Click for PDF]


January 21, 2008

In a change to the previously advertised schedule, the next PhiloHist session will be on February 7th at 5pm in SSEES (16, Taviton Street), 4th floor, room 431.

We will be reading Friedrich Nietzsche, On the Utility and Liability of History for Life in Keith Ansell Pearson & Duncan Large (eds.) The Nietzsche Reader (Oxford, Blackwell, 2006) pp. 124-141.

This is an excerpted version. For the full version, see Nietzsche, Untimely Meditations (Cambridge University Press, 1983, 1997)

For background and commentary, see David D. Roberts, Nothing But History: Reconstruction and Extremity After Metaphysics (University of California Press, 1995) pp. 58-80.

Marx & Engels

January 6, 2008

Happy new year to all!

The time and location for philosophy of history is changing! This term, we will be meeting on Thursdays at 5pm. We will still meet in SSEES (16 Taviton Street) but now in room 431 on the 4th Floor. New members always welcome!

The meetings this term will be on: 17th January, 7th February and 6th March.
For the first session (Thursday 17th January, 5pm) we will be discussing some selections from Marx & Engels The German Ideology part 1. You can download a pdf file of the relevant selections here.

Further reading suggestion:

M. C. Lemon, Philosophy of History: A Guide for Students (Routledge 2003) ch. 10. (pp. 238-278): “Marx’s philosophy of history”.

Isaiah Berlin

November 27, 2007

The next PhiloHist session will be on Friday 7th December in SSEES, room 535 (click on the ‘locations’ tab for the address and a map)

We will read an essay by Isaiah Berlin, “Historical Inevitability”. This can be found in the various editions listed below, but as far as I know they are all the same.

I. Berlin, Historical Inevitability (Oxford UP, 1959)

“Historical Inevitability” in I. Berlin, Four Essays on Liberty (Oxford UP, 1969)

“Historical Inevitability” in I. Berlin, Liberty: Incorporating ‘Four Essays on Liberty’ (Oxford UP, 2002) ed. Henry Hardy.

“Historical Inevitability” in I. Berlin, The Proper Study of Mankind: An Anthology of Essays (Chatto & Windus, 1997) eds. Henry Hardy & Roger Hausheer

UCL students can also access it online through Oxford Scholarship Online by clicking here and then typing ‘Isaiah Berlin’ in the quick search box. If my link does not work, go to the Ebooks home page, and find the link to Oxford Scholarsip Online.

In any case, I think there will be enough copies in the various editions for everyone to get it in book form.

If you have any problems finding a copy, please contact me: s.pawley@”REMOVE”

History, evidence, interpretation

November 11, 2007

The next meeting will be on Friday 23 November at 5pm in SSEES (14 Taviton Street) room 535. All welcome!

For the next session, we will read two short articles examining the nature of evidence, historical interpretation, and standards of proof. This will link with issues about the status of history raised in earlier sessions on Hayden White and Paul Ricoeur. The articles are:

Wendie Ellen Schneider, “Past Imperfect: Irving vs. Penguin books” The Yale Law Journal Vol. 110, No. 8 (Jun., 2001), pp. 1531-1545.

and Carlo Ginzburg, “Just one Witness” in Saul Friedlander (ed.) Probing the Limits of Representation: Nazism and the ‘Final Solution’ (Harvard University Press, 1992) pp. 82-96.

Thanks to Clare for the suggestion.