OUDCE Summer Schools

Come and stay in beautiful Oxford for a week and study at one of OUDCE’s summer schools

Rewley House Bedroom

Rewley House Bedroom

Rewley House is not just a place of learning. It is also a place of comfortable study bedrooms. The participants at our summer schools will usually stay will eat, drink and sleep their philosophy during the week they are here. They will have tutorials, writes essays and participate in classes. There is plenty of time for socialising and for visiting the sites of beautiful Oxford.

These are our summer schools for 2018

Explore the ethical issues arising from an unequal world with borders. Information, goods and people are travelling further, faster and in larger quantities than ever before. Taking account of economic theories and factors, this course considers ethical arguments about hotly contested topics. These will include international trade, aid and taxation, where we consider whether the international economic system is fair. Borders also raise questions of territory, migration, assimilation and multiculturalism, where the question is how states should deal with immigrants. Investigate how differing ethical and economic theories generate different responses to these crucial issues.

Political Thinking 8th July to 14th July (Tutor: Dr. James Panton)

The 20th Century gave rise to a huge diversity of political ideas – some radical and revolutionary, others conservative and reactionary. This course aims to provide a series of snapshots of some of the key ideas, the people who expounded them, and the key turning points, in the development of western society and politics in the 20th century.

A Stoic Week Sat 14th July to 21st July (Tutor; Dr. Peter Wyss)

Stoics are cold-hearted, apathic, unimaginative, and excessively rational control freaks. Right? Not quite. Rectifying this misconception, we will explore the Stoic system of philosophy, which is actually a way of life: to the extent that we understand ourselves and the world that we inhabit, we can flourish or be happy. By discussing a range of sources from different periods and contexts, we study, and reflect on, the Stoics’ views on ethics and physics. We cover topics such as value, the good, virtue, the passions, fate, and cosmic cycles. Beginners in philosophy are most welcome: Stoicism is for everyone.

Philosophy of Humour 14th July to 21st July (Tutor: Dr. Martin Ovens)

What is humour? Why do we laugh? What are the relations between comedy and philosophy? Beginning with the problem of defining humour, we explore and discuss some philosophical theories about the nature of humour. Our subsequent concerns will be the science of laughter and non-western philosophy of humour. From the ancient Greeks to Shakespeare, we also consider the philosophical significance of historical forms of comedy. Eventually we discuss comedic genres, devices, methods and styles in a variety of contexts and media, from TV, radio and film to stand-up and surreal comedy.

Ideas of Freedom Sun 15 Jul 2018 to 21 Jul 2018 (Tutor: Dr. James Panton)

The Meaning of Life Sun 22 Jul 2018 to 28 Jul 2018 (Tutor: Dr. Andrea Lechler)

Philosophy of Art 28th July to 4th August (Tutor: Dr. Andrea Lechler)

People often disagree on whether a particular object or performance deserves the label ‘art’ and if so whether it is good art. What are we to make of such disagreements? Is it all just a matter of personal opinion or are there more objective standards for what constitutes (good) art? We will explore different features that have been proposed as defining characteristics of art or as reasons for valuing it, such as its beauty, its expressiveness, its originality, or the fact that we can learn from it. We will discuss a wide variety of examples from visual art, literature, film and music, including art on display in Oxford.