From Hermeneutics to Derrida

Subject PHIL30024 (2010)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2010.

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 3 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2010:

Semester 1, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period not applicable
Assessment Period End not applicable
Last date to Self-Enrol not applicable
Census Date not applicable
Last date to Withdraw without fail not applicable


Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: Thirty-two contact hours per semester: two 1-hour lectures per week for the first 11 weeks and a 1-hour tutorial per week beginning the third week of semester.
Total Time Commitment: An average of 8.5 hours each week
Prerequisites: At least one single-semester philosophy or European studies subject or permission from the subject coordinator.
Corequisites: None.
Recommended Background Knowledge: As per prerequisites.
Non Allowed Subjects: This subject was previously offered at level 2 with the code 161-021. Students who have completed 161-021 are not eligible to enrol in this subject.
Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering requests for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Students Experiencing Academic Disadvantage Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Description, Subject Objectives, Generic Skills and Assessment Requirements of this entry.

The University is dedicated to provide support to those with special requirements. Further details on the disability support scheme can be found at the Disability Liaison Unit website :


Dr Francois Schroeter


Dr Francois Schroeter

Subject Overview:

This subject studies the theories of meaning and interpretation developed in contemporary European thought. It examines questions such as: What is it to interpret a text? How does an interpretation differ from a deconstruction? Is the meaning of a text a function of the author"s intentions? Can conflicting interpretations both be true? Major authors discussed will be chosen from Freud, Heidegger, Ricoeur, Gadamer, Derrida, Barthes and Foucault. On completion of this subject students should have a broad grasp of a variety of competing theories and understand what would be involved in applying them to a critical reading of texts.


Students who successfully complete this subject will

  • have a general knowledge of some central themes in contemporary European philosophy.
  • understand how those themes arose from and critically relate to earlier philosophical theories.
  • be able to apply the methods and theses advanced in contemporary European philosophical texts to current issues and problems.
  • be able to clearly explicate and explain the central themes and theses discussed in the subject.
  • demonstrate an ability to critically examine philosophical arguments and theses.
  • acquire an ability to uncover the presuppositions at work in a text.
  • acquire an appreciation of the factors which govern interpretations of a text.
Assessment: A written assignment of 2000 words 50% (due mid-semester), a 2-hour closed-book written examination 47% (due at the end of the semester) and tutorial participation 3%.
Prescribed Texts:

A subject reader will be available from the bookshop at the start of semester.

Breadth Options:

This subject potentially can be taken as a breadth subject component for the following courses:

You should visit learn more about breadth subjects and read the breadth requirements for your degree, and should discuss your choice with your student adviser, before deciding on your subjects.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:

Students who successfully complete this subject will

  • develop skills in critical thinking and analysis.
  • have improved their ability to think creatively.
  • develop skills in written communication.
Links to further information:
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Anthropology and Social Theory
European Studies
European Studies Major
Philosophy Major
Philosophy and Social Theory
Social Theory

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