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Unit information: Introduction to Philosophy A in 2020/21

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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




School/department Department of Philosophy
Faculty Faculty of Arts

Description including Unit Aims

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 unit, students will be able to:

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

(2) demonstrate knowledge of the key secondary literature on these texts, and be able to engage critically with it.

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

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

(5) demonstrate familiarity 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 Information

Lectures, small group work, individual exercises, seminars and virtual learning environment.

Assessment Information

Summative: take-home open-book exam - 100% [designed to test ILOs 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.