Philosophy in Paris

Paris Louvre

Philosophy in Paris

Walk in the footsteps of some of the most notable philosophers of the mid 20th century. Study their writing and explore philosophical arguments while living in the place where these ideas were formed, Paris.
Location: Paris, France
Language of Instruction: English
Term: Summer
Academic Disciplines: All MajorsPhilosophyHistory
Program Type: Faculty-led
Open to non-KU Students: No
Fulfills KU Core 4.2: No
Fulfills KU Core 5: No

  • Spend 17 days of summer in Paris!
  • Study the work of philosophers such as Simone de Beauvoir and Jean-Paul Sartre in the city and spaces in which their work was penned. 
  • Explore the Louvre, Versailles, and other cultural icons of France.

The Philosophy in Paris Study Abroad Program is designed for students who have an interest in French philosophy, history, politics, or culture. Knowledge of the French language is not necessary for enrolling in this program. However, students studying French will have the opportunity to practice their French language skills while there. This course will give students the opportunity to explore the seminal philosophical works of major French philosophers, along with ideas that are of high concern for us today. We will do so by actually exploring Parisian libraries that were frequented by the philosophers that we are going to read; by discussing the work of these philosophers while walking through Paris following their steps; by taking themed guided tours of Paris; and by visiting culturally relevant museums and sites in Paris.

Paris, France Paris is a major cultural metropolis. The philosophical, cultural and political events that happened in Paris after WWII created a shift in the way we think of oneself and of human relationships in general. The philosophical and cultural events taking place in mid-century Paris made possible the current understanding of what it is to be a human being and what are the fundamental moral requirements for human relationships. That is what this course aims at exploring.

All participants will choose to enroll in one of the following credits:

PHIL 500 (3 credits)

HIST 450 (3 credits)

The course will be comprised of 17 days in Paris according to a pre-established study- and activity-schedule. Within a month after the return to the U.S., students will submit a research paper on the subjects studied in Paris.

This course is a philosophical exploration of the moral justification of political and social violence. The historical and cultural context is France between the end of WWII and the civil unrest of May 68. Mid-century French philosophical arguments on the justification of violence are compared with recent arguments on the same topic, in the context of similar political and social phenomena, plus the newer phenomenon of terrorism. We read authors like Jean-Paul Sartre, Franz Fanon, Jacque Derrida, and also contemporary ones like Cornell West and Judith Butler, arguing for the power of non-violence. The students learn about cultural differences on the topic of the justification of violence both between historical positions, as well as contemporary positions. Students gain knowledge of and reflect upon the differences between their own attitudes on the moral justification of violence, and their readiness to act in situations of social injustice, and the attitudes and readiness to act of their mid-century French peers. Being taught in Paris, this course facilitates cultural exploration and reflection beyond its topic.

During the program, students will stay in Paris. Housing will be double or triple occupancy in either a shared apartment, hotel, or student residence.

SAGE is dedicated to creating international engagement opportunities that meet the needs of all our students and providing resources to support you through the process of studying abroad. Study abroad is achievable for students of all identities including our BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ students, students with disabilities, and students with religious/non-religious viewpoints. Before selecting a program, consider how your identities may impact your experience abroad in unique ways and talk with your Program Coordinator about any program-specific concerns. Students with documented disabilities should discuss any accommodation needs with their Program Coordinator early in the planning process.

Check our Identity Abroad page and resources listed below for information specific to you and other students who may be on your program.

    Sexual and Gender Diversity

    Students of Color Abroad

    Visible and Invisible Disabilities

    Religious, Spiritual, and Non-Religious Students

    Adult Learners and Non-Traditional Students

    First Generation Students

    Students with Children

    Students with Financial Need

    Veterans, Active Duty, and ROTC

Open to undergraduate and graduate students, second-semester freshmen and above, from any accredited US college or university who have a minimum 2.5 GPA.

Program Cost for Philosophy in Paris

Irina Symons


3073 Wescoe

University of Kansas

1445 Jayhawk Blvd.

Lawrence, KS 66045