2023-2024 / PHIL0010-1

History of contemporary philosophy


45h Th

Number of credits

 Bachelor in philosophy5 crédits 


Arnaud Dewalque

Language(s) of instruction

French language

Organisation and examination

Teaching in the first semester, review in January


Schedule online

Units courses prerequisite and corequisite

Prerequisite or corequisite units are presented within each program

Learning unit contents

How do you know that there are other people in the world? More pointedly, how can you understand others and attribute to them mental states that resemble yours, such as joy, fear or anger? Philosophers who have tackled this question (or this bunch of questions) called it the problem of other minds. The course reconstructs the historical development of the problem and presents the main solutions offered since the mid nineteenth century. In so doing, it gives a comparative overview of various authors and traditions which have had a deep influence on contemporary philosophy (positivism, phenomenological philosophy, hermeneutical philosophy, analytic philosophy).

Learning outcomes of the learning unit

By the end of the course, listeners are supposed to:

  • master a series of historical informations about the nineteen-century Austrian-German philosophy.
  • be able to look in a critical manner to the historiography of this period as it is available in classical manuals of the history of Western philosophy.
  • be aware of a small number of controversial problems which have had a crucial role to play in the birth of contemporary philosophy.

Prerequisite knowledge and skills

At least one Philosophy course.

Planned learning activities and teaching methods

The course involve a series of lectures, in most cases with powerpoint presentation. There is no syllabus available. The course schedule is available in the "portable version" of the teaching commitment (see the "course plan" downloadable below or under the "course support" tab).

Mode of delivery (face to face, distance learning, hybrid learning)

Face-to-face course

Additional information:

Duration: 45 hours, 1st term. Face-to-face is the default teaching mode but some sessions might be taught online.

Recommended or required readings

Mandatory reading:

Franz Brentano, Psychologie descriptive, trad. fr. A. Dewalque, Paris, Vrin, 2017.

The preface (pp. 7-57) is part of the course content. Participants are also requested to be able to comment a passage of the book during the oral exam.

Exam(s) in session

Any session

- In-person

oral exam

Continuous assessment

Additional information:

In accordance with study regulations, attendance is compulsory to pass the course.

The exam takes the form of a short oral interview in which the student must demonstrate his/her knowledge of the material covered in the course. The main aim is to present the position of an author studied, or the meaning of a concept examined during the year, in a clear and structured manner.

The examination will consist of three questions drawn at random:

Question 1: explain the position of an author (8 points out of 20 = 40% of the final mark)
Question 2: explain a concept (4 points out of 20 = 20% of the final mark)
Question 3: comment on an passage from the assigned reading (4 out of 20 points = 20% of the final mark)
Skills: clarity, structure and comprehension (4 out of 20 points = 20% of the final mark)

Work placement(s)

Organisational remarks and main changes to the course

All students enrolled in History and Romance Languages and Literature wishing to follow this course as an option are welcome.


Prof. Arnaud Dewalque Philosophy Department 7, Place du 20-août, Building A1/2nd floor B-4000 Liège Phone 0032 (4) 366 55 93 E-mail a.dewalque@uliege.be

Association of one or more MOOCs

Items online

Syllabus (description, schedule, assessment modalities)
Syllabus (description, schedule, assessment modalities)