Hermeneutics in the History of Political Thought

The Dutch Research School of Philosophy (OZSW) and Leiden University invite PhD candidates and ReMa students to register for the course Hermeneutics in the History of Political Thought to take place in 26-27 September, 2024.

Organizing university

Leiden University


26-27 September, 2024



Type of activity


Primary target group

PhD candidates, ReMa students

If places available, also open to


Application/registration deadline


About the topic

The question of hermeneutics in politics covers four important and interrelated lines. The first has to do with the question of the relations between power (on the side of politics) and force (on the side of nature): should cash out this distinction in terms of the distinction of meaning and objectivity and what are the consequences? The second has to do with the question of pluralism and cohesion in politics: if politics is determined as a realm of meaning (and not of truth), should we say that this offers resources to evade polarisation and ground pluralism and toleration? The third has to do with the question of political agency: is the political art something like an art of reading and writing, and if so, what are the implications? Finally, it has to do with the relations between morality and politics: if politics is best defined as a field of interpretations, does it make it independent from (some forms of) moral systems? The course will address some of the foundational moments and debates around these questions from throughout the history of philosophy.

Aim / objective

The course is meant to be of interest to historians of any period of political thought. You will gain insight on the history of the role of discourse (both linguistic and non-linguistic) in politics, with emphasis on its relations with the question of force, and the role of truth and moral truth in the constitution of the political imaginary.





Key note speakers

Jacques Bos (UvA), Eric Schliesser (UvA) and Monika Kirloskar-Steinbach (VU)

Required preparations

The preparations will consist of readings, assignments, participation and papers.

Last updated on February 20, 2023

Certificate / credit points

For this course participants can earn a certificate after successful completion. Please note, however, that the OZSW is not accredited to reward students with credits/ECTS directly. The study load is mentioned on the certificate, which can usually be exchanged for ‘real’ credits (ECTS) at your home university. For more info please see https://www.ozsw.nl/request-certificate/. The study load for this activity is:

1. Attending the course and writing a short paper (3,000 words, excluding bibliography) after the course (submission deadline: TBA): 2,5 EC. Papers are not graded but assessed by the OZSW section committee History of Philosophy as follows: sufficient or insufficient.
2. Active participation, including preparation by reading the assigned literature and participation in the discussions: 1 EC.

How to apply / register

A registration link will be made available here once registration opens. Currently, the registration date is TBA.

If registration has been closed because the maximum amount of participants has been reached, you can submit your name to the waiting list by sending an email to secretariaat@ozsw.nl. Please also indicate whether you are a ReMa student or PhD candidate and whether you are a member of the OZSW or not.

Cancellation and registration policy


Frank Chouraqui, Leiden University, f.chouraqui@phil.leidenuniv.nl