Online Course: Introduction to Western Philosophy

Only some places still available. Deadline to register: December 10, 2019.

Always wanted to learn more about philosophy, but didn’t know where to start? Join this online intensive course to jump into what is one of the most interesting things to learn about… philosophy.

Ready for an adventure into the development of thought?

About the Course

How to approach something as vast as the thousands of years of history of Western philosophy? In this course we will try to do the impossible: with an historical overview, tracking the major shifts in thinking by taking in the main figures from Western philosophy, starting with Plato, through Kant, Spinoza, Nietzsche, Heidegger, Sartre and to end with Foucault, to name but a few. Of course you won’t be able to know everything, but getting an idea and a feeling for this progress is definitely possible.

Although it will require some commitment from you as a student. Thinking is not a passive job. Each class you will get homework, which is optional but will help you get a feeling for the different types of writing and thinking throughout the history of philosophy, and during the online meetings we will devote quite some time to your questions about the texts. During the online classes we will be reading parts together, framing understanding in a historical and philosophical frame. And get an introduction to frame the new reading that will be homework for the next class.

The reading we will do will come from the major works of the philosophers themselves. English translations will be provided, along with the text in the original language (mostly German and French) when possible.

Time investment

The course will span four weeks over the Christmas holidays. Two classes of two hours per week. And about four hours reading material to prepare for the class. For those who want to devote even more time, optional reading will also be provided.

Practical Information

Location: Skype (if Skype turns out not to work well, we might try Zoom or Jitsi)
Times (Finnish time): 19:00 – 21:00 PM
Monday & Thursday (except for Christmas day)
300 euro per student for the whole course
Limit of 5 students

Dates: December 19, 23, 27, 30 & January 2, 6, 9, 13

Join this Facebook group to get in tocuh with other (potential) students:

Interested? Please contact me to secure a spot by writing me an email at nicole.nobyeni [at]

When the phallic enters – reflection on the NSU feminist philosophy seminar

Reflection on the effect of attacking questions in a feminist philosophy seminar where the aim is to create a space for thinking together.

Some weeks ago I attended a feminist philosophy seminar. A whole week, organised by the Nordic Summer University, in which in total nine different weekly seminars are held simultaneously. One of which I have been attending now for three years: the feminist philosophy circle led by three courageous women. It is an interdisciplinary group, without hierarchies, where bachelor students and emiritus professors get equal space and attention, and increasingly intersectional. It is a week I long for, look forward to, every year. I am not sure what to do without it anymore. And why? Because somehow during their seminars this group manages to create a space where thinking can happen together.

This summer was no exception. And one particular session taught me once again, how delicate that balance is that is needed to achieve this special type of space. And how easily it can be destroyed – and with it, destroy some of the people involved.

Continue reading “When the phallic enters – reflection on the NSU feminist philosophy seminar”

Nordic Summer University 2018: Philosophy during the Holidays

What better way to spend your holidays than to do what you love? Being, thinking, reading, being-together.

Holidays, what are those? Ah, that time of the year that I travel to the Nordic Summer University, to attend one of the interdisciplinary circles and enjoy the company of interesting, passionate and intelligent people.

Continue reading “Nordic Summer University 2018: Philosophy during the Holidays”

Boek! Waarom filosofen gek zijn #filosofie #ikschrijf #nuverkrijgbaar

Een boek uitgeven is een lange termijn plan. Het schrijven is maar een klein onderdeel er van, het vinden van een uitgever, het herschrijven en redigeren een des te grotere onderneming. Maar dat maakt het resultaat ook iets waar ik erg trots op ben: ‘Diagnose van de Moderne Filosoof – Waarom filosofen gek zijn’ nu in de winkel!

Diagnose van de moderne filosoof: Waarom filosofen gek zijn. Damon, 2018.

Vanaf 19 maart 2018 ligt het in de winkel: het boek waar ik een hele tijd hard aan heb gewerkt en dat nu eindelijk tastbaar wordt… Mijn eerste boek, geschreven voor een algemeen publiek in een wat de uitgever een jonge, frisse en uitnodigende toon noemde. Over een onderwerp dat mij niet alleen na aan het hart ligt, maar ook belangrijk is. Vind ik dan.  Continue reading “Boek! Waarom filosofen gek zijn #filosofie #ikschrijf #nuverkrijgbaar”

Cursus: Filosofie voor de kunstenaar

Cursus praktische filosofie als een hulpmiddel richting autonoom kunstenaarschap.

Filosofie is een methode die onmisbare handvatten geeft aan autonome kunstenaars (in opleiding). Het is meer dan een theoretische benadering uitgedacht op een stoffige zolderkamer. In deze cursus filosofie voor de kunstenaar zullen we deze praktische, filosofische handvatten gaan bekijken en vooral ook: ervaren en toepassen.

Deze cursus is geen cursus beeldende kunst, maar ook geen theoretische cursus kunstfilosofie. In deze cursus gaan we expliciet niet op zoek naar een begrip of een verklaring voor kunst of naar antwoorden op de vraag ‘wat is kunst’. In plaats daarvan wordt filosofie in deze cursus ingezet als een methode, die de kunstzinnige houding van de autonome kunstenaar en de beeldend therapeut verdiept en versterkt.

Ook voor filosofen (amateur en professioneel) biedt deze cursus iets unieks: het begrijpen en ervaren van filosofische concepten op een beeldende manier. Je hoeft geen ervaring met kunst maken te hebben. Levenskunstenaar te zijn is al voldoende. Enig kunstzinnig materiaal dien je wel mee te brengen, is eventueel te koop in winkeltje op locatie. Papier wordt verzorgd.

Continue reading “Cursus: Filosofie voor de kunstenaar”

Words&Statistics – "Fact" and post-truths

What happened in 1965? After that date, the word ‘fact’ has decreasingly been used in books. But how come? Did the ‘post-truth’ world start not with social media, but maybe with the rise of relativism and existentialism?

A reflection by Nicole des Bouvrie.
Philosophers deal with words, often in etymological sense, in that they try to understand the meaning of a concept by looking at the history of a word, how it was used, what roots it has. But there is another way in which words are interesting, also for a philosopher: quantitatively. Continue reading “Words&Statistics – "Fact" and post-truths”

Affirmative action & the continuation of sexual difference

One of the fundamental errors in this method is that is continues the definition of members of the disadvantaged group based on them not-belonging to the norm.

One of the ways to overcome the inequality between men and women (and also regarding other minorities, but I will focus on gender here), is the idea of affirmative action – a type of discrimination that favors members of a disadvantaged group. The idea is that this would lead to a reality in which there will be more women in higher positions, in order to stop men from being promoted instead of women.
There are quite some problems with this approach. And one of the fundamental errors in this method is that is continues the definition of members of the disadvantaged group based on them not-belonging to the norm.  Continue reading “Affirmative action & the continuation of sexual difference”

Do we actually want ‘freedom of speech’? Or: reading Spinoza

Watching the news, reading social media contributions, I more and more come to the conclusion that it might be time to end our persistent liking of this concept, the ideal of freedom of speech. In a world where opinions create problems, perhaps it is time to stop having opinions altogether.

Especially when having an opinion is seen as ‘doing something’, as ‘contributing something’ to society. Thus, the main problem I have with the ‘freedom of opinion’ is that is seems to warrant a liberty through which people feel entitled to say whatever they want, even if it hurts, even if it confirms prejudice and ignorance.

When we take into account that we are mostly limited in our thinking by the world in which we find ourselves, then we must conclude that our opinions can only be a confirmation of who we already are, of what we already know.


Continue reading “Do we actually want ‘freedom of speech’? Or: reading Spinoza”

Prologue to publishing the dissertation

It is because of the inner calling to reach for a new that is unrelated to the present, for that which lies beyond the realm of the possible, that I started out on this path and will continue to do so, in order to search for some form of truth while facing evidence that truth does not exist, to search for meaning in a meaningless world, to search for change in a world that is nothing more than eternal repetition.

At some point you’re ready to start working on it. The publication of what you’ve worked at for so many years. But rereading the prologue, I feel I’m finally ready to part with it. It has taken some time, some distance, it has taken writing another book in the meantime. But I’m ready to look into the long and arduous road of publishing The necessity of the impossible…

Here the prologue for your consideration: (And publishers are welcome, of course!)

“By choosing to write about the desire to reach the impossible and the closely related illusion of change, I have chosen to fail. To fail in life. And synonymously to fail in thinking.
Continue reading “Prologue to publishing the dissertation”

Vrouwelijke filosofe

Als vrouwelijke filosofe behoor ik tot meerdere minderheden. Dat merkte ik al op de filosofische faculteit die vol met testosteron de meningen die het hardst over de tafel vliegen toch altijd weer hogere cijfers geven. Dat ik op een keer een 10 kreeg bij een vak politieke filosofie leek mij een foute zaak, waarom kreeg die jongen die altijd overal bij was en de grootste mond had niet zoals altijd het hoogste cijfer? Tsja, er was zowaar een vrouwelijke docent die de antwoorden en mijn zoektocht naar de waarheid en het goede wel op waarde kon schatten. Misschien had ik toen iets door moeten hebben. Continue reading “Vrouwelijke filosofe”