- Theory and Philosophy of Communication
- Political Science
- International Relations
- European Cultural Studies
- Modern History
Theory and Philosophy of Communication
A wider scientific base of the field
1. Ancient philosophy
Pre-Socratic: The Milesians, the Pythagoreans, Heraclitus, the Eleatics, Empedocles, Anaxagoras, the Atomists. Classical Greek philosophy: Socrates, Plato, Aristotle. Hellenistic schools of thought: stoicism, epicureanism, scepticism. Philosophy of late antiquity: neo-Platonism, patristics (Augustine).
2. Medieval and Renaissance philosophy
Early, high, and late scholasticism: Anselm of Canterbury (proofs of God’s existence and their history), Abelard (the conflict between realism and nominalism and its history), Albert the Great, Thomas Aquinas, Scotus, Ockham. Renaissance philosophy: humanism, Platonism (Cusanus, Ficino, Mirandola), Aristotelism (Pomponazzi), natural philosophy (Telesio, Bruno, Campanella).
3. Modern philosophy and classical German philosophy
Modern philosophy: Rationalism (Descartes, Spinoza, Leibniz), empiricism (Bacon, Locke, Berkeley, Hume). The Enlightenment: La Mettrie, Diderot, Voltaire, Helvétius, Rousseau. Classical German philosophy. Kant, Fichte, Schelling, Hegel.
4. Positivism, Marxism, irrationalism, existentialism
Positivism: Comte, Spencer, Mill. Marxism: Feuerbach, Marx, Engels. Irrationalism: Schopenhauer, Nietzsche, Kierkegaard, Bergson. Existentialism: Jaspers, Heidegger; Sartre Camus, Marcel.
5. Phenomenology and hermeneutics
Phenomenology and phenomenological analysis: E. Husserl, Fink, Patočka. The concept of art in phenomenology (Ingarden) and hermeneutics (Gadamer). Gadamer and the development of hermeneutics. Habermas and the theory of communicative action.
6. Neo-Thomism, modernism in current religious philosophy, neo-Freudianism, and neo-Marxism
Neo-Thomism: Maritain, Gilson, Bochenski. Modernism in current religious philosophy: Teilhard de Chardin, Buber, Scheler. Neo-Freudianism, and neo-Marxism: Fromm, Marcuse, Bloch.
7. Structuralism, post-structuralism, postmodernism
Structuralism and post-structuralism: Lévi-Strauss, Foucault, Derrida, Deleuze. Postmodernism: Lyotard, Welsch, Sloterdijk, Baudrillard. Postmodernism and language.
8. Logical empiricism of the Vienna Circle, philosophy as logical analysis
History, the Circle Manifesto, physicalism, protocol sentences, anti-metaphysics, the status of psychology, sociology. Philosophy as a logical analysis of language. Carnap, the logical syntax of language, analytic and synthetic sentences, verification, the criterion of meaning, Ingarden criticism.
9. Deductive building of scientific theories; the issue of comparing theories
Universal and singular statements, deduction, induction, the issue of induction, verification and falsification, empiric theories and Popper’s demarcation criterion. The issue of comparing theories. The notion of verisimilitude, the question of the incomparability of scientific theories.
10. The issue of the empirical basis of scientific theories; verification and corroboration of scientific theories
The status of basic empirical statements, their dependence or independence on theories, psychologism. The issue of justifying basic empirical statements. Verification and corroboration of scientific theories. Verification of hypotheses, corroboration of scientific theories, inductive and probabilistic logic. Testability of scientific theories.
11. The issue of body and mind
The issue of the body and mind relation: history and present, identity theory, behaviourism and functionalism, elimination theory, instrumentalism, dualism. The theme of consciousness: the issue of phenomenal consciousness, the issue of experience quality, perspectivism. The theme of intentionality: the issue of propositional attitudes, the issue of the “language of thought”. K. Popper and the three worlds theory.
12. Linguistic relativity and syntactic structures
Linguistic relativity: E. Sapir and B. L. Whorf. Syntactic structures: Generative grammar, transformational grammar, semantics – N. Chomsky, G. Lakoff and others.
13. Gottlob Frege – the linguistic turn, the formation of mathematical logic
The linguistic turn: Gottlob Frege. Sense and reference, concept and object, function and concept, thought. The formation of mathematical logic: Gottlob Frege. The fundamental ideas of “Begriffsschrift” and their development from language criticism.
14. B. Russell and G. E. Moore – two views of language; the issue of proper names
B. Russell: perfect language, logical atomism, definite description, denotation. G. E. Moore: colloquial language and its foundation. The issue of proper names: Mill, Frege, Wittgenstein, Kripke (and possible worlds), Burge.
15. L. Wittgenstein – Tractatus; L. Wittgenstein – late philosophy of language
L. Wittgenstein – Tractatus: Structural and functional relation between facts, thoughts, and language; the utterable and unutterable; the depictable and undepictable. Late philosophy of language: Philosophical exploration, Dictates, linguistic games.
16. W. v. O. Quine, Donald Davidson, Wilfrid Sellars
Radical translation, the vagueness of translation, the criticism of the analytic–synthetic distinction, holism, the two dogmas of empiricism. Sellars: the myth of the given.
17. The turn to natural language – J. L. Austin, Paul Grice. John Searle and speech acts
Performative utterances, speech acts. Intentional semantics, conversational implicatures (the theory of meaning, logic, and conversation). John Searle and speech acts: The development of John Searle’s theory of speech acts and intentional semantics.
Language and semiotics
18. Language and speech as the object of linguistics; language as an organised system
Language and speech as the object of linguistics: the universality and specificity of language, the act of naming, language ontogenesis, language perception, natural languages, “artificial” and formal languages. Language as an organised system: the internal order and language structure. The linguistic levels, monemes and tagmemes, level description: phonology (a phone and a phoneme), morphology (a morph and a morpheme), syntax (a syntagmeme).
19. The introduction to contemporary linguistic theory
The introduction to contemporary linguistic theory. “Internal” linguistics. Linguistic disciplines; terminology (subject, methods, means; literature). Linguistics and other sciences. Linguistic methodology. Diachrony and synchrony. “External” linguistics. The “boundaries” of linguistics.
20. The issue of communication
Language and communication. The verbal communication model and function of language. Speech acts and the theory of speech activity, social communication. Text coherence and cohesion, context and discourse (text linguistics, texteme, text composition). Non-verbal communication. Positive and negative cues. Practical and therapeutical significance.
21. Linguistics and semiotics
Linguistics and semiotics. The sign nature of language (the theory of a linguistic sign), the semiotic triangle. Language as a system (langue, competence) and speech as implementation of the system (parole, performance, text). Paradigm and syntagm.
22. The development of linguistics
The development of linguistics (antiquity, the Middle Ages, Indo-European studies and comparatists, neogrammarians, the Geneva School, and Ferdinand de Saussure). Structuralism, the Prague School and its view of language structure and function, its international influence (Jakobson, Hjelmslev, and others). The American structuralism and anthropological trends. Generative linguistics. Modern linguistic movements (borderline disciplines). The pragmatic turn and cognitive approaches.
23. Semiotics: a field or a method. Didactic and triadic semiotics. The ostensive theory.
Semiotics: a field or a method. The possibilities and boundaries of semiotics. Didactic and triadic semiotics: Two basic concepts of denotation. The historical development of both branches. Theoretical and practical implications. The ostensive theory: ostensive definition. Augustine’s De Magistro. J. A. Komenský, J. Swift. The theory of games. I. Osolsobě, U. Eco.
24. The symbol’s alternative. Words in action. Persuasive communication.
The alternative of a symbol, the big conceptions of the 20th century. Words in action (the so-called semantic utopia: A. Korzybski, S. Chase, S. I. Hayakawa). The conscience of words. The “political correctness” of the 90s and the Czech environment. Persuasive communication: a branch of communication or its aspect? The significance of imagination. Persuasion and manipulation. Advertisement. Magic.
25. Notation: possibilities and boundaries. Content analysis. Artifact as an interface.
Notation: possibilities and boundaries, N. Goodman and the three basic notation areas, their specifics, significance, and meaning. Content analysis: How and why it appeared. What it is based on. Its possible uses or misuses. Artifact as an interface. H. Simon, J. Mukařovský, artifact and values, what is (or can be) an artifact. “The nice side of technology.”
Information systems and communication
26. Information systems
Information systems: history, division, meaning. The distribution of data sources, central and distributed systems: principles, technical platforms, evaluation. The client-server architecture: characteristics, advantages and disadvantages in comparison with central systems. Typical examples of application servers and a description of their function: filing, printing, mailing, timing, naming.
27. Information systems security
Information systems security: software protection, legal protection. Computer network security – means and types of attacks, protection from data misuse, encryption. Computer network security: transactions, data protection, symmetric and asymmetric encryption, user verification, electronic signature, certificates. Defence against a computer attack.
28. Database systems
Database systems: database management systems, definition of data within a database, the possibilities of saving large texts and images or sound. The SQL query language as the standard database interface: the basic language construction, creating queries in the design interface. Data protection in database systems. The means of obtaining information from textual databases: the boolean and vector model.
29. Documentographic information systems
Documentographic information systems: saving textual information, the issue of text pre-processing and understanding, indexing. The prediction and maximum criteria: precision and completeness, thesaurus, a frequency dictionary. Digital libraries: history, development, possible uses. Documentographic systems and the Web: semantic Web – the reality.
30. Computer network classification
The division of computer networks, transfer methods. Network application services, protocols used for remote access, file transfer, decentralised access to documents. Local computer networks. Link level simple transfer protocols: errors and the defence against them. The transfer channel capacity, coding and modulation.
31. The Internet
The Internet: the basic protocols of lower levels, addresses and addressing on the Internet, the address transfer principle. The means of Internet access: cable modems, ISDN, ADSL, wireless networks, analog modems and their features.
32. The effects of media communication, theory development
The effects of media (mass) communication, theory development. Media in the social context. Media structures and institutions. Media communication and mass culture. Media product.
33. Development stages of social communication
The development stages of social communication, information society, trends. The legal and ethical aspects of media communication.
34. The means of communication
Book printing: its spreading and impacts on communication, book as a means of communication in the era of mass communication. Periodical press: its development and status among current media. Film as a form of audio-visual communication: its development and current status. Broadcast and television: an important means of today’s social communication, its origin and development.
Base of the field
The examination from the base of the field tests the candidate’s basic orientation in the sub-disciplines of political science, i.e. general and comparative political science, political geography, and political thought. Every candidate shall take the exam.
Base of the field examination topics
- political science as a discipline of social science
- political systems
- parties and party systems
- elections and electoral systems
- political geography
- nationalism and the construction of national identity
- political aspects of public administration and municipal politics
- contemporary democratic regimes – Western Europe and the Anglo-Saxon world
- political system of the Czech Republic
- undemocratic regimes in the 20th century
Base of the field
The examination from the base of the field tests the candidate’s basic orientation in the sub-disciplines of international relations, i.e. international relations theory, political geography, international organisations, international security, conflict resolution, etc. Every candidate shall take the exam.
Base of the field examination topics
- theory and methodology of international relations
- political geography, geopolitics, geostrategy
- international organisations and regimes
- history of international relations
- conflict resolution in international relations
- contemporary international system, statehood and types of states, the state and integration processes
- international security and security studies
- United Nations: history, significance, structure, functioning, reform
- European integration process and theories of European integration
- development studies, analysis of the concept of development
European Cultural Studies
A wider scientific base of the field
1) Transition from mythos to logos, the formation of preconditions for the constitution of the concept of science in the pre-Socratic period of Greek philosophy. Aristotle: logic, concept of science and methods of scientific research, natural philosophy.
2) The fate of ancient scientific programmes in the Middle Ages. Medieval conceptions of nature and man.
3) Crossing horizons. Geographical discoveries and their consequences, microscope, telescope, measurements. Natural history collections and their naming. Clinical teaching; the human body and its structure as a cultural phenomenon.
4) Scientific and cultural institutions and their leaders in the 16th and 17th centuries, main differences (Renaissance, Baroque). The problem of the politization of science and its relation to religion, natural science and Puritan morality, the Council of Trent.
5) Mechanisation and mathematisation of the image of the world and man. Cartesian tendencies in medicine, the concept of man as a machine, disputes between mechanistic and chemical interpretations of life processes.
6) Responses to Descartes’ challenge: Hobbes’ and Spinoza’s inclination towards materialism, occasionalism, empiricism, atomism. Attempt to apply the “new science” in the humanities (Vico). Pascal’s spirit of geometry and finesse.
7) Rationalism and empiricism in modern philosophy and its reflection in science and art. Critique of rationalism, Berkeley’s “esse est percipi”, the road to critical philosophy (Hume and Kant).
8) Utopian projects in philosophy, politics, and science. Attempts at social engineering; pansophical endeavours, encyclopedism. Historical optimism and pessimism (Condorcet, Malthus), Enlightenment illusions and their critique (Rousseau).
9) Cosmological aspects of the development of modern thought. Centre of the world, fixed spheres, systems of orbits of heavenly bodies and their shape. Observation and speculation, Newton’s methodology of science. Finitude and infinity.
10) Development of natural and social sciences in the 19th century theory (mathematics, physics, biology, linguistics, sociology, psychology). Science and positivism of Comte, Spencer, Mill. Empirio-criticim of R. Avenario and E. Mach.
11) Neo-Kantian conception of science (Coher, Natorp, Cassirer). Phenomenology and science (Husserl, Scheler). The development of science and epistemology in the 20th century. Mathematics and logic. Physics. Biology. Humanities and social sciences in the 20th century (linguistics, psychology, sociology) and their image in phenomenology, existentialism, and hermeneutics.
12) Critical rationalism of K. R. Popper. The structure of T. S. Kuhn’s scientific revolutions. Methodology of research programmes of I. Lakatos. The anarchist epistemology of P. Feyerabend.
The Christian Roots of Europe
13) The earliest sources of research on the historical Jesus and their nature. The “Synoptic Question”. The origin and canonisation of New Testament texts. The earliest non-Christian sources mentioning Jesus.
14) The Christianisation of the Roman Empire. Interpretatio Romana and the concequences of the separation of Christianity from Judaism. The role of Apostle Paul. From persecution to state religion. Emperor Constantine and the Edict of Milan.
15) The Christianisation of the so-called barbarians. The Arian controversy and its reflection in the process of Christianisation. The Council of Nicaea and the Niceno-Constantinopolitan Council.
16) The birth of Christian Europe – the basis of European identity. The formation of ecclesiastical organisation and the period of the general councils. Lifestyle changes – Christianised life framework. Transition from paganism and ancient heritage to Christianity. The emergence and importance of universities.
17) Causes of the ecclesiastical schism in 1054. Christian empires in the East and West. Divergent theological thinking. Attempts at reconciliation (Councils of Ferrara and Florence 1438 - 1439). The collapse of the Eastern Roman Empire and its consequences. Orthodoxy.
18) Catholicism and Protestantism. What is the main Protestant principle? The Counter-Reformation. Consequences of religious conflicts. The changes in the relation of Christianity to Judaism and Islam.
19) The position of Christianity under the conditions of absolutism and the rise of the Enlightenment and Romanticism. The relationship of Christian churches to the state and political movements (liberalism, conservatism, anarchism).
20) Christian churches in the conditions of world wars. European Christianity during the Cold War. The relationship of Christian churches to secularisation. The First and Second Vatican Councils, subsequent trends in Catholicism, interreligious dialogue. Protestant theology in the 20th century.
History of European Culture
21) Definition of culture and cultural history; overview of basic concepts, authors and schools of cultural historical research and thought.
22) Basic concepts of European civilisation; myths about the birth of Europe; geographical, cultural-political, and ethno-racial delineation of Europe. Giambattista Vico, Oswald Spengler, Arnold Toynbee, Karl Jaspers, Emmanuel Todd, and their conceptions of European history.
23) European culture in the Palaeolithic and Mesolithic and its study and interpretation. European prehistory and its reflection in the work of Marija Gimbutas; Mircea Eliade and visions of archaic European society. Georges Dumézil and the Indo-European identity of the West.
24) Cretan and Mycenaean civilisation, culture, and social structure. Old Greek dialects and the arrival of the Greeks, mythological, archaeological, and philological perspectives; the collapse of the High Bronze Age civilisations; the importance of Greece in the Western political and spiritual imagination; archaic Greece; Homer.
25) Classical Greece from the Greco-Persian Wars to the campaigns of Alexander of Macedon; Periclean Athens; the phenomenon of Hellenism.
26) The rise of Rome; the influence of the Etruscans on the formation of Roman civilisation; the rise and fall of the Roman Republic; Roman Mediterranean hegemony and the process of Romanisation; the Roman Empire and its crisis; the spread and triumph of Christianity; the crisis and fall of the Roman Empire.
27) The early Middle Ages during the “Migration of Peoples”; civilisation and culture of the early medieval states; expansion of Islam; Anglo-Saxon culture, the Irish missions, and the Carolingian Renaissance.
28) The beginning of the cultural and economic development of the West in the 10th to 13th centuries; the Crusades; the rise of papacy; Romanesque and Gothic civilisation; so-called theocratic internationalism.
29) Autumn of the Middle Ages; crisis of European culture; ethnic and national particularism; Renaissance and humanist culture in southern Europe; Ottoman challenge; Reformation in northern Europe.
30) Early modern European civilisation and its global expansion; literature, philosophy, and art of the 16th and 17th centuries; centralisation, absolutism, and the great monarchical courts (Louis XIV’s Versailles); the birth of modern science.
31) Secularisation and the Enlightenment; revolt against the Ancien Régime in France and the Industrial Revolution in the British Isles; Romanticism, revolution, nationalism, and the emergence of the modern state.
32) Major cultural, political, and social challenges of the 19th and early 20th centuries; social Darwinism; fin de siècle; the rise of modern ideologies and their reflection in contemporary cultural life; modernism.
History of European Art
33) European Palaeolithic and Neolithic in terms of the emergence of painting and sculpture and the earliest manifestations of megalithic architecture.
34) Classical sources of European architecture – Greece and Rome, early Christian architecture, Byzantine architecture. Returns throughout history.
35) Canons and nature of Greek sculpture of the Archaic, Classical, and Hellenistic period.
36) The Middle Ages: Romanesque and Gothic architecture. The monastery as a typological type. The medieval city. The importance and role of Charles IV and Peter Parler for the artistic development of the Czech lands in the European cultural context.
37) Architecture of the Modern Age: Renaissance and Baroque spatial concept. Architectural and urban realisations. Specificity of the so-called Czech Baroque (in specific works of Czech architects, sculptors, and painters) in comparison with the nature of Baroque art in other European countries.
38) The 19th and 20th centuries in architecture: social utopia, industrial age. Avant-garde. Ideologies. New urban units. International style and postmodern reaction. Architecture in the information society. Technology and the environment.
39) Establishing the theme of developmental styles in the visual arts (Vasari, Winckelmann, Hegel). The theme of developmental styles in the 19th and 20th centuries (Wölfflin, Riegl, Worringer, Focillon).
40) Avant-garde: characteristic features. The 20th century at home and in the world. Czech specifics. Surrealism and realism. Genesis. Connections/differences. Personalities.
41) The beginnings of cinema and silent film period (Cinematograph, the Lumière brothers, characteristics of early films, Meliés and the cinematic fantasy, surrealist avant-garde, German film expressionism, Cinema-truth in the USSR).
42) Interwar sound film. (Change of film aesthetics with the advent of sound. Confrontation of “European film” with the American film industry and Soviet film in the service of ideology.).
43) New conceptions of film after World War II up to the 1960s (Italian neorealism, French New Wave, British free cinema, “new” German film).
44) Characteristics of the work of some of the major figures of modern European cinema of the second half of the 20th century (Fellini, Antonioni, Visconti, Bergman, Buñuel, Wajda, Tarkovsky, Saura…).
45) The work of art as an “uncovering of being” (Heidegger, Merleau-Ponty, Patočka). Modern and postmodern art (Lyotard, Welsch).
European Institutions, Governance, and Law
46) The idea of European unification – the forerunners and pioneers of the idea of a united Europe after the Second World War, models for dealing with the European situation, the various federalist initiatives, and the economic incentives for integration.
47) The origins of European integration: the common market in coal and steel (establishment, institutional structure, and negotiating mechanisms in the ECSC), the European Defence Community, the Western European Union.
48) European communities: the Treaties of Rome, EURATOM, EEC, EFTA (successes, failures, member states).
49) Crisis of the community: the “empty seats” policy and the Luxembourg Compromise, consequences of the crisis. First, second, and third enlargements – reforms and the “British problem”.
50) Efforts to deepen the integration in the 1980s: the Internal Market White Paper, the Schengen Agreement, and the Single European Act (negotiations and adoption of the SEA).
51) Treaty on European Union: content of the treaty, Maastricht temple, institutional reforms. Changes contained in the Treaty of Amsterdam and the Treaty of Nice – reasons for and goals of these changes.
52) The European Council: its functions, current structure, and mechanism for deliberations within the European Council. The Council of the European Union: its functions, current structure, mechanisms for deliberations and decision-making procedures within the Council of the European Union.
53) Structure of the European Commission: composition, offices of Commissioners, administrative apparatus; functions, tasks, and powers of the European Commission.
54) European Parliament: evolution of the powers of the European Parliament in the SEA, in the EU Treaty, and the Treaty of Amsterdam; structure of the European Parliament: electoral system, Members of the European Parliament, political groups, Bureau of the Parliament and Parliamentary Committees. The basic consultative bodies of the European Union, their functions and composition.
55) The Single Market: the origins of the common market, obstacles to the common market, stagnation of the building of the common market, efforts to revitalise the common market, and its current status.
56) The Common Agricultural Policy: the reasons for its establishment, its principles and instruments, reform efforts, financing, and the current shape of the CAP.
57) Economic and Monetary Union: the three stages of economic and monetary union.
58) The Common Foreign and Security Policy: its establishment, implementation and fucntioning, the impact of the Treaty of Amsterdam on the CFSP and the subsequent development and strengthening of the CFSP, the evolution of the European Security and Defence Policy.
59) Cooperation in the field of home affairs, justice, and police: the origins of cooperation in the field of home affairs, justice, and police, the Schengen system and the reforms brought about by the Treaty of Amsterdam and other treaties.
60) Policy financing and budget: budget structure (revenue and expenditure) and budget control.
Base of the field
The examination from the base of the field verifies the candidate’s basic orientation in modern world and Czech (Czechoslovak) history, i.e. in the 19th and 20th centuries. Every candidate shall take the exam.
Topics for the base of the field examination:
Consequences of the Great French Revolution, changes in the international system after 1815
The pre-March period and the revolutionary years 1848-1849
The period 1871-1890
The period 1890-1914, World War I
Colonialism as a 19th century phenomenon
Europe (Czechoslovakia) and the world 1918-1939
World War II
Cold War, great powers rivalry
The phenomenon of decolonisation
The collapse of the Soviet bloc, the “end of history”