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Junior Sophister Single Honors Philosophy
Module Outlines
Michaelmas Term 2019

Each module usually consists of two hours of lectures or seminars per week over the semester. Students taking Single Honors Philosophy take three modules each semester (at 10 ECTS each). Students select their modules by submitting a module choice form to the philosophy office.

Part of the assessment for each module will be by means of two essays that are marked by the module lecturer. For guidance please consult the list of JS essay titles, distributed to students during the semester. Essay titles are made available by lecturers on Blackboard. Students are required to submit their essay through Blackboard. No hard copies of essays are required. Students are advised not to use the Safari browser when submitting assignments through Blackboard. Students must attach a cover sheet to all Philosophy essays.

The examination for each module takes place at the end of the semester in which the module takes place. Material already assessed in essays may not be used again in examinations. To do so is to be liable to be penalised by 10 marks for the examination question attempted.

Assessment details can be found under the modules below.

Wordcount for Essays

Essays must not exceed 2,500 words in length. The word count includes footnotes but it does not include the bibliography. Essays that go over the limit will be liable for a 5 mark deduction.

Late Submission of Essays and Extensions

There will be a 5 mark deduction for each week an essay is late.

Essay extensions, may be requested on medical or ad misericordiam grounds from your programme coordinator Professor Lilian Alweiss (Single Honors Philosophy) but only via your College Tutor. Extensions must be arranged prior to the submission date.

PIU33063/PIU33061: Metaphysics (5/10 ECTS) (Not to be offered in 2020-21)

 

Module Outline

In this module, we’ll explore contemporary issues in metaphysics, with a focus on how metaphysics is relevant to science and the everyday. Metaphysics presents itself as the study of what there is (ontology), and what reality is like at its most fundamental level. While science and other enterprises may tell us about the world, metaphysics promises to provide the most objective, systematic and comprehensive account of reality possible. We’ll survey a number of so-called ‘first-order’ metaphysical debates that attempt to answer these aims, including debates about ontology, kinds, properties, personal identity, time, and causation. Through examining how these debates are relevant to science, ethics, and our overall conception of the world, students will develop their own views about what metaphysics is, and why it matters.

Learning Outcomes

At the end of this course students will be able to:

  • Describe metaphysical accounts of ontology, kinds, properties, personal identity, time, and causation, based on primary texts and secondary reading.
  • Present and critically evaluate arguments for and against these positions.
  • Explain the relevance of metaphysical debates for science, ethics, and the everyday.
  • Express their own thoughts on the nature and purpose of metaphysics

Assessment for 5 ECTS module

Annual and Reassessment are the same:*

  • 1 ESSAY WORTH 50% OF MODULE
  • 3 DISCUSSION POSTS WORTH 10% OF MODULE
  • 1 (1 HOUR) EXAMINATION WORTH 40% OF MODULE

*If students are required to complete reassessment they are required to complete each failed component of the failed module

Assessment for 10 ECTS module

Annual and Reassessment are the same:*

  • 2 ESSAYS (WORTH 25% EACH) WORTH 50% OF MODULE
  • 6 DISCUSSION POSTS WORTH 10% OF MODULE
  • 1 (2 HOUR) EXAMINATION WORTH 40% OF MODULE

*If students are required to complete reassessment they are required to complete each failed component of the failed module

Recommended Reading List

Suggested Preliminary Reading:

  • Ney, Alyssa. 2014. Metaphysics: An Introduction. New York: Routledge. Ch. 1 (‘An Introduction to Ontology’)
  • Quine, Willard V. 1948. ‘On What There Is’. The Review of Metaphysics, 2(5): 21−38

Additional readings as advised/circulated by lecturer during the lecture series.

PIU33023/PIU33021: Moral Philosophy (5/10 ECTS)

  • Contact Hours: 22 hours of lectures
  • Lecturer: Dr Lizzy Ventham
  • ECTS: 5/10
  • Semester: 1

Module Outline

Sometimes it’s no wonder that people can’t agree on the right action to take, because there are so many things to consider. In this course students will examine some of the most pressing debates in a wide range of areas in contemporary moral philosophy. We will critically examine meta-ethical, normative and applied ethical theories.

Some of the questions we’ll look at will include:

  • What’s the source of our moral feelings? Can these feelings be reliable?
  • What’s valuable in life, and how should we bring that about for others?
  • Which actions are good actions, and which states of affairs are good states of affairs?
  • Is there a difference between harming someone and allowing someone to be harmed?
  • How demanding is morality?
  • Are certain actions always impermissible? (To kill another person, for example?)
  • To what extent are we responsible for things that we’re ignorant about?

As well as learning to analyse these questions, students will learn about the answers and arguments given to these questions from important contemporary and historical figures.

Learning Aims

  • To understand the terrain of three areas of contemporary moral philosophy: meta-ethics, normative ethics and applied ethics.
  • To understand, explain and engage with the leading arguments given by philosophers for a range of these theories.
  • To learn about ‘hot topics’ and contemporary debates in moral philosophy.
  • To develop and improve on essay-writing, argument-forming and critical engagement skills.

Learning Outcomes

Students will learn to read, evaluate and contribute to contemporary debates in moral philosophy. They will do so in more detail than in JF and SF courses.

Assessment for 5 ECTS module

Annual and Reassessment are the same:*

  • 1 ESSAY WORTH 50% OF MODULE
  • 1 (1 HOUR) EXAMINATION WORTH 50% OF MODULE

*If students are required to complete reassessment they are required to complete each failed component of the failed module

Assessment for 10 ECTS module

Annual and Reassessment are the same:*

  • 2 ESSAYS (WORTH 25% EACH) WORTH 50% OF MODULE
  • 1 (2 HOUR) EXAMINATION WORTH 50% OF MODULE

*If students are required to complete reassessment they are required to complete each failed component of the failed module

Recommended Reading List

As advised/circulated by lecturer during the lecture series.

PIU33043/PIU33041: Logic and Philosophy (5/10 ECTS)

Module Outline

Topics addressed include: Aristotelian logic and its differences with contemporary logic; modal logic—the logic of necessity, possibility, and impossibility; and set theory. Throughout, we will attempt to consider both technical and philosophical aspects of the topics covered.

Learning Outcomes

At the end of this course students will be able to:

  • distinguish technical and philosophical issues arising in logic
  • understand the syntax and semantics of various systems of logic
  • critically evaluate the extent to which logic is relevant for addressing philosophical issues

Assessment for 5 ECTS module

Annual and Reassessment are the same:*

  • 1 ESSAY WORTH 50% OF MODULE
  • 3 READING QUESTIONS/DISCUSSION POSTS WORTH 10% OF MODULE
  • 1 (1 HOUR) EXAMINATION WORTH 40% OF MODULE

*If students are required to complete reassessment they are required to complete each failed component of the failed module

Assessment for 10 ECTS module

Annual and Reassessment are the same:*

  • 2 ESSAYS (WORTH 25% EACH) WORTH 50% OF MODULE
  • 6 READING QUESTIONS/DISCUSSION POSTS WORTH 10% OF MODULE
  • 1 (2 HOUR) EXAMINATION WORTH 40% OF MODULE

*If students are required to complete reassessment they are required to complete each failed component of the failed module

Recommended Reading List

As advised/circulated by lecturer during the lecture series; all required readings will be made available online.

PIU33053/PIU33051: Topics in Modern European Philosophy (5/10 ECTS)

Module Outline

This course focuses on the nature of perception, the relation between self and world by drawing on the writings of Martin Heidegger. The aim is to show that the traditional (Cartesian) conception of the self is out of tune with the way we actually exist in the world. The course will explore the extent to which Heidegger provides a different account of the nature of self which has a bearing on how we understand our relation to the world and others.

Learning Aims

  • to encourage students to think about the role of perception in cognition and the relation between the self and world
  • to enable students to understand Heidegger’s thought in relation to contemporary philosophical problems

Learning Outcomes

At the end of this course students will be able to:

  • to give students a understanding of the core aspects Heidegger’s philosophy.
  • to provide students with an understanding of crucial but difficult primary texts in the history of philosophy
  • to demonstrate the nature of key interpretive controversies relating to Heidegger’s philosophy, such as the relation between self and world, problems of philosophical scepticism

Assessment for 5 ECTS module

Annual and Reassessment are the same:*

  • 1 ESSAY WORTH 50% OF MODULE
  • 1 (1 HOUR) EXAMINATION WORTH 50% OF MODULE

*If students are required to complete reassessment they are required to complete each failed component of the failed module

Assessment for 10 ECTS module

Annual and Reassessment are the same:*

  • 2 ESSAYS (WORTH 25% EACH) WORTH 50% OF MODULE
  • 1 (2 HOUR) EXAMINATION WORTH 50% OF MODULE

*If students are required to complete reassessment they are required to complete each failed component of the failed module

Recommended Reading List

The main text will be Martin Heidegger: Heidegger: Being and Time translated by John Macquarrie & Edward Robinson, (Oxford: Blackwell, 1962). A reading list will be circulated by lecturer during the lecture series.