Reading Groups

Aesthetics Reading Group

Faculty Sponsor: Professor Lydia Goehr

The Columbia University Faculty-Student Aesthetics Group meets once a week (more or less) to discuss papers, chapters, themes, and topics pertaining to aesthetics, social theory, and the arts. All approaches and methods are discussed in an open and critical environment. Faculty, graduate students and visitors passing through town are welcome, though membership and attendance should be approved by Professor Lydia Goehr ([email protected]).

 

Critical Theory Reading Group

Faculty Sponsor: Professor Axel Honneth

The Critical Theory Reading Group explores the tradition of critical theory as it appears in the Frankfurt School and its predecessors as well as in alternative and contemporary approaches. The group is based on reading texts that trace historical and/or thematic trajectories, with an eye to the contemporary relevance of what we’re reading. To do this, we draw on relevant work from a variety of disciplines. The group meets weekly and is open to current grad students, former grad students, and faculty. If you’re interested, please contact Jared Jones ([email protected]) or Louis Finegan ([email protected])!

 

Formal Philosophy Reading Group

Faculty Sponsor: Professor Haim Gaifman

The Formal Philosophy Group (FPG) at Columbia University is a faculty-student group dedicated to the study of the relation between formal methods and general philosophical investigation. FPG holds regular meetings throughout the academic year which cover a variety of topics in mathematical/philosophical logic, foundations of probability, rational choice. A schedule of meetings can be found at FPG.

 

German Idealism Reading Group

Faculty Sponsor: Professor Axel Honneth

The German Idealism Reading Group focuses on texts from the period in the history of philosophy known as German Idealism. The group is based on reading texts from major authors of the period, with an eye to reconstructing the views defended, historical context, and the problems and advantages of each text’s approach. We’ve traditionally focused on Hegel, but the group is open to studying other authors, such as Kant, Fichte, Schelling, or their contemporaries. The group meets weekly and is open to current grad students, former grad students, and faculty. If you’re interested, please contact Jared Jones ([email protected])!

 

Non-western Philosophy Reading Group

Faculty Sponsor: Professor Katja Vogt

The Non-Western Philosophy Reading Group meets every semester to read and discuss a single philosophical text from a non-western tradition. For Spring 2024, the group will focus on Zhuangzi and will meet every other Tuesday from 5-6pm in 302 Philosophy Hall, starting Jan. 22nd. In previous semesters, the group has read Vasubandhu's Vimsatika-Karika (Twenty Verses on Consciousness-Only), Vasubandhu's Abhidharmakosa, Nāgārjuna’s Vigrahavyāvartanī (The Dispeller of Disputes), Jñānaśrīmitra’s Apohaprakaraṇa (Monograph on Exclusion), Wang Yangming's Instructions for Practical Living (《传习录》), Chapter Two of the Zhuangzi (the “Equalizing Assessments of Things” 《齐物论》), and the Daodejing. All faculty, graduate, and undergraduate students are welcome. If interested, please direct emails to Helen Han Wei Luo ([email protected]) to be added to the listserv.

 

Philosophy of Language Reading Group

Faculty Sponsor: Professor Karen Lewis

The Philosophy of Language Reading Group meets (roughly) weekly to discuss a variety of issues in philosophy of language. All faculty and students are welcome. For more information, please contact Devin Morse, dsm[email protected].

 

Spinoza Reading Group

Faculty Sponsor: Professor John Morrison

The Spinoza reading group will work its way through Spinoza’s Ethics, parts of the Theological-Political Treatise, and the Political Treatise. The focus throughout will be on the meaning and logic of Spinoza’s own arguments and their significance for German Idealism and certain variants of Marxism. We meet weekly on Tuesdays. All graduate students and faculty are welcome. If you are interested, please contact Sara Wexler ([email protected]).