Philosophy of a Specific Discipline: Philosophy of Humanities, 2011-2012

With effect from September 2012 the name of this master’s programme will be
MA Philosophy (120 EC): Philosophy of Humanities. description

Philosophy of Humanities is a specialisation of the MA programme in Philosophy of a Specific Discipline. For information about the objectives and general structure of the programme, the MA thesis and the requirements for graduation, please see MA in Philosophy of Specific Discipline . For a brief description of this specialisation click on ‘Meer info/More Info’ below.

Structure of the programme

The programme consists of five components:

  • 40 EC / MA courses in the chosen discipline outside philosophy (Humanities)
  • 20 EC / 2 Specialist MA courses in Philosophy of Humanities
  • 30 EC / 3 MA courses in Philosophy (to be chosen from the selected courses listed below)
  • 10 EC / Supervised literature study in the area of the master’s thesis
  • 20 EC / Master’s thesis

The structure of the two-year programme is presented below. The subjects of the philosophy seminars are varying yearly. Please note that the sequence of the various components of individual programmes may deviate from the structure proposed due to the availability of courses in a particular semester, or to the extent to which the non-philosophical part of the programme has already been completed. However, the two specialist courses are compulsory, and students must take one specialist course each year. The master’s thesis will be the final part of the programme. Students are requested to discuss their programme with their tutor before the start of their first semester.

First Year

  • 30 EC / Courses in the chosen discipline outside philosophy (Humanities)
  • 10 EC / Specialist MA course in Philosophy of Humanities
  • 20 EC / 2 MA courses in Philosophy

Second Year

  • 10 EC / MA courses in chosen discipline outside philosophy (Humanities)
  • 10 EC / Specialist MA course in Philosophy of Humanities
  • 10 EC / MA course in Philosophy
  • 10 EC / Supervised literature study in the area of the MA thesis
  • 20 EC / MA thesis

First/Second Year

In 2011-2012 the following philosophy courses are on offer for the specialisation Philosophy of Humanities. (For courses on offer in the chosen discipline please see the programmes of the discipline concerned.)

Meer info


The specialisation Philosophy of Humanities offers students the opportunity to further studies on the interface between scholarship in the humanities and philosophy. A particular focus is the relation between philosophical thought and European culture, and the programme also covers questions about the relationship between language and thought, and between philosophy, literature and art.

The specialisation Philosophy of Humanities has three fields of particular interest. The first focus is on the philosophical historical reflection on what Nietzsche called European nihilism. If scholarship is no longer guided by a philosophical, artistic and spiritual reflection, his diagnosis was, it will revert to the economy.

The second field of interest is the relation between philosophy and language. Just as poetry, philosophy shows that languages are not interchangeable, that language is more than a sheer instrument. What is the relation between philosophical thought and the language in which it has been expressed? How is philosophical thought related to the historical context? What are the circumstances in terms of which these ideas should be understood?

The third field of interest is the philosophical reflection on art, especially on the transition from traditional art to modern art. What is the impact of this transition? What does it mean? What are its motives? Are both art and philosophy searching for new ways to come to terms with life in a constantly expanding reality? The study of art will benefit from the critique of metaphysics in Nietzsche, as well as from the history of philosophical aesthetics from Kant to Heidegger and modern French philosophers. The destruction of the traditional aesthetic concept of art, accomplished by these philosophers, reflects the way in which art itself has changed.

Specialisation co-ordinator

Dr. G.T.M. (Gerard) Visser