Themes on European Thought
Cod: 52033
Department: DH
ECTS: 7.5
Scientific area: Humanities
Total working hours: 195
Total contact time: 41

The curricular unit aims at promoting a critical view of European thought throughout the times, by focussing on the discussion and debate of fundamental issues in the Western worldview, from a perspective that brings to the fore its main aspects, outlining its various stages, from the very beginning to the idea of a common Europe.

Western thought and culture


This course unit aims to provide students with competences of analytical and discursive reflection on past and present European thought, of ideological contextualization of European tendencies throughout the times, of critical approach to the pressures and tensions of the European present.

The contents of the course are outlined with a view to promoting the development of themes pertaining to European thought, from its origins to the construction of a common Europe, through the analysis of its conquests and defeats, its glory and its vicissitudes, its convulsions and mutations, in the light of a present-day cultural and epistemological approach. The following themes shall be broached:

  • In search of the origin of things (Pre-Socratic philosophy)
  • The complex question of reliable knowledge (Plato)
  • Peace as a divine order (St. Augustine)
  • The rational construction of the World (René Descartes)
  • "Sapere aude!" Dare to know! (Immanuel Kant)
  • Faith and knowledge in a post-secular age (Jürgen Habermas)

The required reading texts are available throughout the curricular unit.

Supplementary bibliography:

  • Breckman, Warren; Gordon, Peter (Eds.) (2019), The Cambridge History of Modern European Thought. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Burns, Edward McNall (1977), História da Civilização Ocidental: O Drama da Raça Humana. Porto Alegre: Globo.
  • Cordón, Juan Manuel Navarro e Tomás Calvo Martinez (2014), História da Filosofia: dos Pré-Socráticos à Filosofia Contemporânea. Lisboa: Edições 70.
  • Delius, Christoph et al. (2001), História da Filosofia: Da Antiguidade aos Dias de Hoje. Colónia: Könemann.
  • Grayling, A.C. (2020), Uma História da Filosofia. Lisboa: Edições 70.
  • Kenny, Anthony (2012), A New History of Western Philosophy. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Russ, Jaqueline (1998), A Aventura do Pensamento Europeu. Lisboa: Terramar.
  • Russell, Bertrand (1961), A History of Western Philosophy. New York: Simon and Schuster; London: George Allen and Unwin.

E-Learning (fully online).

Evaluation is made on individual basis and it involves the coexistence of two modes: continuous assessment (active participation during the course) and final evaluation (final work). Further information is detailed in the Learning Agreement of the course unit.

Knowledge of English language (reading).