Themes in Philosophical Anthropology


Available soon

General characterization





Responsible teacher

Mário Jorge Pereira de Almeida Carvalho


Weekly - 4

Total - 168

Teaching language



Available soon


The Cambridge Edition of the Works of Jonathan Swift, ed. Claude Rawson, Cambridge
16: Gulliver’s Travels, ed. D. Womersley, 2012
1. A Tale of a Tub and Other Works, ed. D. Walsh, 2010
2. Parodies, Hoaxes, Mock Treatises Polite Conversation, Directions to Servants and Other works, ed. V. Rumbold, 2013
17. Personal and Miscellaneous Writings, Fragments and Marginalia, 2012
Gulliver’s Travels, ed. A. J. Rivero, Norton Critical Edition, NewYork, Norton, 2002
Gulliver’s Travels: The Text of the First Edition, ed. H. Williams, London, First Edition Club, 1926
Prose Writings, ed. H. H.Davis,16 vols., Oxford, Blackwell, 1939-74
The Correspondence of Jonathan Swift, D.D.. 1. Letters 1690 - 1714, nos. 1 - 300
in Four Volumes, ed. D. Woolley, Frankfurt a. M., Lang, 2014
The Correspondence of Jonathan Swift, ed. H. Williams, 5 vols., Oxford,Clarendon Press,1963-65.
The Works of Jonathan Swift, Containing Additional Letters, Tracts and Poems, London, Bickers, 1883

Teaching method

This curricular unit has a theoretical-practical character.
The teaching methodology combines:
a) the theoretical analysis of philosophical problems and concepts
b) a thorough interpretation of the philosophical texts in question (with special emphasis both on their connection with the problems and concepts under discussion, and on interpretive issues, etc.)
c) the discussion of alternative views, objections, counterexamples, etc.
This curricular unit is designed to give participants the experience of working, as it were, in the “laboratory” of philosophical thought. Particular emphasis is also put on the discussion of questions, objections, related issues, etc. during office hours.

Evaluation method

Evaluation Methodologies - Each student will have to present a written work on an approved topic and discuss it with the lecturer(33%), Obligatory written exam(67%)

Subject matter

A Philosophical Approach to Gulliver’s Travels.

Gulliver’s Travels is a many-sided work, and among other things an overlooked anthropological treatise (a real treasure trove of philosophical insights and challenges) in the guise of satire. We can apply to Swift’s masterpiece what Goethe once said of Lichtenberg’s writings: it can be used as the most wonderful dowsing rod, for wherever Swift jests, a philosophical problem lies hidden.
Swift’s philosophical journey stages a series of mental experiments concerning individual and collective identification of Self and Other – its complex nature, its inner structure and fundamental mechanisms. In Gulliver’s four travels individual and collective identification undergo thorough stress tests, thereby revealing both how it works and its weak points and shortcomings Our task is to provide a detailed and comprehensive philosophical analysis of the four travels, of their connection with each other and of the book’s overarching argument.


Programs where the course is taught: