Formation of the Concepts


Comparative Studies of Ideas and Cultures (3rd level)

The Transformation of Modern Thought – Philosophy, psychoanalysis, culture

Course code: 48

Year of study: Not specified

Course principals:
Assist. Prof. Aleš Bunta, Ph. D.
Assist. Prof. Tadej Troha, Ph. D.


Workload: lectures 60 hours, seminar 30 hours

Course type: general elective 

Languages: Slovene 

Learning and teaching methods: lectures, seminars, discussion classes 


Course syllabus

Content (Syllabus outline)

1. Concept in philosophy

  • a comparative examination of various conceptions of fundamental philosophical categories
  • the form and content of concepts: the problem of thinking and its externality
  • the rise of the category of concept in classical German philosophy
  • the explanation of the genesis and the structure of selected concepts in contemporary philosophy
  • the “shadowy side” of thought: error, illusion, transcendental appearance, “folly”, stupidity


2. Concept in psychoanalysis

  • the genealogy and history of fundamental psychoanalytical concepts
  • the relation between psychoanalytical technique and metapsychology
  • the question of transferring psychoanalytical concepts to the field of analysing social phenomena


3. Philosophy outside philosophy

  • the question of essentially philosophical findings developed in the field of art: aesthetics, inaesthetics (Badiou) and beyond
  • philosophical concepts “at work” in art
  • philosophy in a critical dialogue with contemporary sciences (neuroscience, physics, law)



  • Aristotel 2004. Fizika. Ljubljana: Slovenska matica.
  • Badiou A. 1988. L’étre et l’événement. Pariz: Seuil.
  • 2007. Pogoji. Ljubljana: Založba ZRC.
  • Deleuze, G. 2011. Razlika in ponavljanje. Ljubljana: Založba ZRC.
  • Descartes, R. 2004. Meditacije. Ljubljana: Slovenska matica.
  • Erazem Rotterdamski 2012. Hvalnica Norosti. Ljubljana: Studia humanitatis.
  • Freud, S. 2012. Metapsihološki spisi. Ljubljana: Studia humanitatis.
  • 2005. Spisi o psihoanalitični tehniki. Ljubljana: Analecta.
  • 2005. Pet analiz. Ljubljana: Analecta in Studia humanitatis.
  • Hegel, G.W.F. 2001. Znanost logike. Ljubljana: Analecta.
  • Heidegger, M. 1997. Bit in čas. Ljubljana: Slovenska matica.
  • Kant, I. 2010. Predkritični spisi. Ljubljana: Založba ZRC.
  • Lacan, J. 1994. Štirje temeljni koncepti psihoanalize. Ljubljana: Analecta.
  • Nietzsche, F. 1988. Onstran dobrega in zla. Ljubljana: Slovenska matica.
  • Platon 2009. Zbrana dela. Celje: Mohorjeva družba.
  • Zupančič Žerdin, A. 2011. Seksualno in ontologija. Ljubljana: Analecta.
  • Žižek, S. 1999. TheTicklish Subject. London – New York: Verso.


Objectives and competences

The aim of the course is a comprehensive explanation of one of the fundamental building blocks of thought which is closely connected to philosophy – concept. We will be interested both in the general laws and characteristics of conceptual thought and in the genesis of a broad selection of philosophical and psychoanalytical concepts (for example, the concepts of “paradox”, “event”, “absolute”, “nothing”, “subject”, “object” and “analysis” as such). We will proceed from the standpoint that the most effective way of explaining concepts as rigorous, but essentially dynamic, “live” mental structures capable of constant modification is their concretisation, that is, the explication of a concept in the moment of its application to a concrete content. This means that we will explain the meaning and the formal structure of concepts in the context of their historical creation and follow the often unexpected directions of their historical topological shifts. The main feature of our approach is that we will also examine concepts in view of how they can be used here and now to thematise the problems of contemporary society, contemporary science and contemporary art, and how in certain cases they can be transformed into the means of artistic, scientific and, first and foremost, philosophical invention.


The described approach, which brings together elements of the history of philosophy and psychoanalysis and a tendency to contemporise the discussed concepts, is conceived to meet the challenges of contemporary postgraduate studies whose goal is no longer reducible to a mere accumulation of knowledge, but now primarily aims at developing the capability of autonomous problem-oriented thinking. The lectures that will provide cycles of focused discussions on particular philosophical and psychoanalytical concepts will present various levels of the complexity and the universal reach of conceptual thought to the students. Furthermore, both the lectures and the exams will be conceived by foregrounding the ability to transfer the gained knowledge to the fields of topics that the students ordinarily deal with. One of the evident consequences of such an approach is the list of the discussed contents remaining at least partially open.


Intended learning outcomes

Students use the knowledge acquired in the course to write a piece of academic writing that can serve as a draft of a dissertation chapter or a research article.


Learning and teaching methods

Types of learning/teaching:

  • Frontal teaching
  • Independent students work
  • e-learning


Teaching methods:

  • Explanation
  • Conversation/discussion/debate
  • Work with texts



  • Long written assignments (80 %),
  • final examination (written/oral) (20 %).


Contemporary philosophy and modernist literature

Assist. Prof. Rok Benčin, Ph.D.,


Critical Aesthetics and Twentieth-Century Art

Prof. Aleš Erjavec, Ph. D. ,

Prof. Lev Kreft, Ph. D. ,


Formation of the Concepts

Assist. Prof. Aleš Bunta, Ph. D. ,

Assist. Prof. Tadej Troha, Ph. D. ,


German idealism and its consequences

Assoc. Prof. Frank Ruda, Ph. D. ,


Ideology and Philosophy

Assoc. Prof. Jan Völker, Ph. D. ,


Philosophy and Psychoanalysis

Prof. Jelica Šumič Riha, Ph. D.,


Philosophy and scientific revolution

Assoc. Prof. Matjaž Vesel, Ph.D.,


Psychoanalysis and the social bond

Prof. Alenka Zupančič, Ph.D.,

Assoc. Prof. Peter Klepec, Ph. D.,