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Unit information: Introduction to Philosophy A in 2019/20

Please note: It is possible that the information shown for future academic years may change due to developments in the relevant academic field. Optional unit availability varies depending on both staffing and student choice.

Unit name Introduction to Philosophy A
Unit code PHIL10005
Credit points 20
Level of study C/4
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 1 (weeks 1 - 12)
Unit director Professor. Ladyman
Open unit status Not open
Pre-requisites

None

Co-requisites

None

School/department Department of Philosophy
Faculty Faculty of Arts

Description

An introductory unit for all taking Philosophy as beginners, this unit leads students into some central problems of epistemology and metaphysics. It consists of two strands, one text-based and one topic-based. The text-based strand consists of six lectures each on Descartes' Meditations and Hume's first Enquiry. The topic-based strand consists of lectures on knowledge, truth, and the distinction between realty and appearance.

Intended learning outcomes

On completion of this course, students will:

(1) have a thorough knowledge of the key historical texts covered.

(2) be familiar with some key secondary literature on these texts, and be able to engage critically with it.

(3) be able to engage critically with the authors’ positions and arguments.

(4) have a thorough knowledge of the key issues in metaphysics and epistemology covered.

(5) be familiar with some key contemporary literature on these issues, and be able to engage critically with it.

(6) be in a position to relate the philosophical issues discussed to the texts read.

Teaching details

22 one-hour lectures + 11 one-hour seminars.

Assessment Details

Formative: two 1,500-2,000 word essays from a list of questions designed to test intended learning outcomes (1)-(6).

Summative: one 3-hour unseen examination designed to test intended learning outcomes (1)-(6).

Reading and References

  • Rene Descartes, Meditations on First Philosophy, Hackett, Cambridge, 1993.
  • David Hume, An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding, Hackett, Cambridge, 1993.
  • Bertrand Russell, The Problems of Philosophy, Hackett, Cambridge, 1990.

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