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Senior Fresh Year Single Honors Philosophy
Module Outlines
Michaelmas Term 2019

PIU22021 Logic and PIU22022 Philosophy of Science are made up of one module component with 22 lectures (over eleven weeks) and History of Philosophy II (PIU22011/PIU22012) are each made up of two module components with 11 lectures (over five and a half weeks) in each term. There are two lectures per week. Each module component covers a single coherent theme or topic (e.g. Formal Logic or Kant’s Epistemology and Metaphysics) and is usually taught by the same lecturer. For each of the above modules, students also meet for weekly tutorials with departmental teaching assistants. PIU22061 and PIU22062 (Texts I and II) are made up of four module components between them and consist of two hours of lectures per week. There are no tutorials for PIU22061 and PIU22062 (Texts I and II).

Part of the assessment for each module will be by means of essays/logic tests. Essays are marked by the module teaching assistants. For guidance please consult the list of SF essay titles, distributed to students during the term. 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. The examination paper will contain questions that reflect each of the components that make up the module. 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.

Wordcount for Essays

Essays must not exceed 1,500 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.

Tutorial Attendance

It is mandatory for Fresher students to attend tutorials for Philosophy. If a student misses six or more tutorials in a term, then they are penalised by ten marks being deducted from one of their essays for the modules covered by that tutorial in that term.

PIU22011: History of Western Philosophy II A

Module Outline

Component 1: Kant (Professor Lilian Alweiss)

This unit will consider Kantʼs Copernican revolution in epistemology and metaphysics and his distinctive form of idealism. In particularly we shall be focusing on his account of space and time; his account of the relation between a priori and empirical knowledge and his response to scepticism.

Learning Outcomes

  • At the end of this component students will be able to critically evaluate central features of Kant’s tanscendental idealism.

Recommended Reading List

The set-text for this unit is: Immanuel Kant:The Critique of Pure Reason, translated by Kemp Smith, Macmillan.

As advised/circulated by lecturer during the lecture series.

Component 2: Nietzsche (Professor Vasilis Politis)

The aim of these lectures is to study and critically discuss one of Friedrich Nietzsche’s last works, and perhaps his greatest work: Beyond Good and Evil (1886). We will also be making some reference to the work he wrote soon after, On the Genealogy of Morals (1887), which he wrote to complement and clarify Beyond Good and Evil. We shall combine a careful reading of Beyond Good and Evil, based on selected passages, with a thematic approach based on exegetical and critical questions. We shall also read one or two pieces of secondary literature, drawing on the excellent collection of papers in: Simon May (ed.), Nietzsche’s On the Genealogy of Morality, Cambridge, 2011.

TOPICS AND QUESTIONS

We shall concentrate on the following themes and questions:

  • What is the target of Nietzsche’s ‘battle’ in Beyond Good and Evil? Is the battle against Platonism and Christianity as important as Nietzsche thinks?
  • What positive gains does Nietzsche hope to achieve through the battle with Platonism and Christianity?
  • What does Nietzsche mean by ‘beyond good and evil’?
  • How can something be beyond good and evil and at the same time be good, even supremely good?
  • How does he argue that we should go beyond good and evil?
  • How does Nietzsche think about love? Why is love so important to him?
  • Why does he think that love is beyond good and evil?
  • How, and in what different and diverse ways, does Nietzsche characterize the distinction between the noble disposition and the slavish disposition?
  • Why does he think this distinction is ‘basic’ and that these two types of dispositions are ‘basic’?
  • What does he mean by the claim that the distinction between good and bad takes on a different meaning depending on whether it is made from the perspective of the noble disposition or it is made from the perspective of the slavish disposition?
  • What does he mean by the claim that the noble disposition is ‘creative of value’ (‘werteschaffend’)?
  • What are the key elements in Nietzsche’s method in philosophy?
  • To what extent, and in what sense, is his method in philosophy naturalist?
  • To what extent, and in what sense, is his method in philosophy anti-dogmatic and sceptical?
  • Why does he think the philosopher is a creator of value?

Learning Outcomes

  • At the end of this component students will be able to critically discuss one of Friedrich Nietzsche’s last works.

Recommended Reading List

As advised/circulated by lecturer during the lecture series.

Assessment for PIU22011 History of Western Philosophy II A (5 ECTS)

Annual and Reassessment are the same:*

  • Coursework: 1 essay from EITHER Component 1 OR Component 2 - 50%
  • Examination: 1 examination question (1 hour) for the component for which an essay was not submitted - 50%

Important Note: For this module, students must not attempt to answer an examination question for the same component as that for which they have submitted an essay. To do so is to be liable to be penalised by 10 marks for the examination question attempted.

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

PIU22021 : Logic

  • Contact Hours: 22 hours of lectures and 4 hours of tutorials
  • Lecturer: Ms Zuzanna Gnatek
  • ECTS: 10
  • Semester: 1

Module Outline

Logic (Ms Zuzanna Gnatek)

This course is an introduction to logic aimed at philosophy students. We will make use of formal methods to make the notion of ‘validity’ precise in two systems of logic: propositional logic and predicate logic. We will first learn how to identify the logical form of arguments and then learn how to check their validity. In the case of propositional logic we will make use of truth tables and a tree method. In the case of predicate logic we will make use of some basic model theory and an expanded tree method.
Time permitting we will also look at some basic concepts in meta-logic – properties about the logical systems themselves. Furthermore, we may briefly introduce some other systems, such as set theory or modal logic.
In the final part of the course we turn our attention to some issues in philosophical logic, where we employ formal methods to serve philosophical ends. We will look at how logic can aid us in coming to grip with philosophical puzzles, such as, e.g., vagueness, indeterminacy or identity and existence.

Learning Outcomes

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

  • Translate sentences and arguments from English into the languages of propositional and predicate logic.
  • Assign truth conditions to formulas, using truth tables as a semantics for propositional logic and model theory as a semantics for predicate logic.
  • Check the validity of argument forms in propositional and predicate logic using a tree method.
  • Use formal methods in the service of some philosophical ends.

Recommended Reading List

As advised/circulated by lecturer during the lecture series.

Assessment for PIU22021 Logic (10 ECTS)

Annual and Reassessment are the same:*

  • Coursework: 2 Logic Tests - 50%
  • Examination: 2 examination questions (2 hours) - 50%

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

PIU22061: Texts I

Module Outline

Component 1: A Theory of Justice (Revised Edition) – John Rawls (Dr Brian Carey)

In this course we will be reading key sections from John Rawls’s A Theory of Justice (1979, Revised Edition 1999). One of – if not the most – influential works of political philosophy in the 20th century, A Theory of Justice sets out a liberal egalitarian view of justice in democratic societies. Intended to challenge the utilitarian orthodoxy of the time, Rawls’ theory would go on to attract critics from across the political spectrum, ranging from the libertarian right to the socialist left. Despite this, it remains the single most important work of political philosophy in the modern liberal egalitarian tradition.
We will begin by examining Rawls’ view in some detail, focusing on those sections of the book that set out the core aspects of his theory. In the latter part of the course we will also consider a number of significant criticisms that emerged following the publication of A Theory of Justice, and see how Rawls responded to these critiques in his later work.

Learning Aims

  • To familiarise students with a key text in contemporary political philosophy.
  • To provide students with the skills needed to engage in close textual analysis and critique of philosophical arguments.

Learning Outcomes

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

  • Critically analyse and interpret Rawls’ A Theory of Justice.
  • Understand the major criticisms that emerged in response to Rawls’ early view, and the attempts made by Rawls and his followers to respond to these criticisms.
  • Present their views on these subjects in the form of philosophical arguments that are clear, coherent, and compelling.

Recommended Reading List

As advised/circulated by lecturer during the lecture series.

Component 2: Berkeley’s Principles (Dr Kenneth Pearce)

In this component, we will be reading George Berkeley’s first presentation of his immaterialism (idealism), A Treatise concerning the Principles of Human Knowledge (1710). Special attention will be paid to the historical context of Berkeley’s thought, to the arguments for immaterialism, and to the content of Berkeley’s own metaphysical system. In addition to deeper understanding of Berkeley’s philosophy, students will hone their skills in close reading of texts and in rigorous philosophical reconstruction and analysis of arguments.

Learning Aims

  • To expand student skills in the interpretation and philosophical evaluation of historical texts through the study of George Berkeley’s Treatise concerning the Principles of Human Knowledge.

Learning Outcomes

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

  • Explain Berkeley’s immaterialism.
  • Explain the main arguments for this thesis in the Principles.
  • Engage in close reading of philosophical texts in their historical context.
  • Reconstruct philosophical arguments found in historical texts.
  • Critically analyse philosophical arguments found in historical texts.

Recommended Reading List

  • George Berkeley, A Treatise concerning the Principles of Human Knowledge (1710)
  • Recommended readings from the secondary literature to be distributed with essay titles.

Assessment for PIU22061 Texts I (10 ECTS)

Annual and Reassessment are the same:*

  • Coursework: 2 essays (one for each component) - 50%
  • Examination: 2 examination questions (one for each component) (2 hours total) - 50%

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