CPT-92803 Philosophy of Culture (from the perspective of christian philosophy)


Studiepunten 3.00

Course coordinator(s)prof. dr. ir. H Jochemsen
Lecturer(s)prof. dr. ir. H Jochemsen
Examiner(s)prof. dr. ir. H Jochemsen

Language of instruction:



Our culture is going through a number of global crises that sometimes are briefly indicated with the three F's: Finance (economic crises), Fuel (energy and climate crises) and Food (issue of food security). These crises are a manifestation of underlying characteristics and tensions of our (post )modern) culture. In development cooperation these issues come together and have a strong impact.
Philosophy of culture tries to identify and understand basic characteristics of particular cultures, in this case primarily of our (postmodern) European culture that is in some way spreading all over the globe (globalization). An interesting approach to the basic characteristics is analyzing the major tensions and problems that are experienced in a culture. These issues will not be dealt with in technical detail but it will be tried to identify deeper ideological, spiritual and moral motives that form the background of these problems. Subsequently we will relate this analysis to the sector of development cooperation and the debate that is taking place on the impact of development aid and the sense and nonsense of this aid. Identifying the deeper motives of our culture in general and of development work in particular can be the beginning of a new liberating view. For this we will draw on insights from Christian, reformational philosophy.

Learning outcomes:

After following and passing the exam of this course, the students:
- have a basic knowledge of some major problems/crises of our time;
- understand that they root in certain spiritual and moral motives that characterize our culture;
- can identify some of those major motives;
- and are able to argue about the way those motives manifest themselves in the problems and tensions in today's world, in particular in development cooperation;
- know and understand how those motives are evaluated from a Christian (reformational) philosophical point of view;
- can argue about the consequences of this alternative view for the practice of development cooperation.


During contact hours lectures will be given on the subjects, supported with power point presentations (which will be put on MyPortal), and other audiovisual support. There will be time for discussion.


Students can get the credits for this course by passing an exam in one of the following ways:
- oral exam on the contents of the lectures, including the hand outs and prescribed literature;
- writing an ethical essay on one of the issues that will be discussed, This essay should at least contain 1200 words and explicitly draw on the contents of the course (more detailed instructions on written exams will be provided).


B. Goudzwaard, M. van derVenn en, D. van Heemst. Hope in troubled times. A new vision for confronting global crises. Grand Rapids (MI): Baker Academic 2007.