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Unit information: Texts in Modern European Philosophy 1 in 2019/20

Please note: Due to alternative arrangements for teaching and assessment in place from 18 March 2020 to mitigate against the restrictions in place due to COVID-19, information shown for 2019/20 may not always be accurate.

Please note: you are viewing unit and programme information for a past academic year. Please see the current academic year for up to date information.

Unit name Texts in Modern European Philosophy 1
Unit code PHIL20050
Credit points 20
Level of study I/5
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 1 (weeks 1 - 12)
Unit director Dr. Seiriol Morgan
Open unit status Not open




School/department Department of Philosophy
Faculty Faculty of Arts


Students taking this unit study one or more of the key landmark texts in the development of modern European philosophy, which made a major contribution to the development of philosophy during that period. The text may be a single key text, or where appropriate more than one text by the same philosopher or more than one text by different philosophers, when a clear and philosophically important relationship between them can be demonstrated. The particular text or texts focused on may vary from year to year, but in each case will raise issues of enduring and general philosophical interest and importance.

The unit aims to give students a good understanding of one or more of the key landmark texts published by European philosophers of the C19 and C20, writing in the wake of Kant’s ‘Copernican revolution’ in Philosophy. The texts and the issues that they raise will be of enduring philosophical interest and significance. The positions and arguments advanced within the text or texts will be considered and assessed, and their continuing importance brought out.

Examples of possible texts that might be studied:- Schopenhauer’s The World as Will and Representation, Hegel’s The Philosophy of Right, Nietzsche’s Twilight of the Idols, Foucault’s Discipline and Punish and The History of Sexuality

Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:

1. demonstrate detailed knowledge and in-depth understanding of one or more central texts of modern European philosophy, together with the broader philosophical importance of the ideas articulated therein,

2. demonstrate the ability to engage critically with the positions and arguments articulated in the text or texts, and to offer their own assessment of those positions and arguments, to a standard appropriate for level I/5,

3. demonstrate skills in philosophical writing, of a standard appropriate to level I/5,

4. demonstrate independent research skills of a standard appropriate to level I/5.

Teaching details

22 x 1-hr lectures; 11 x 1-hr tutorials

Assessment Details


1 x 2000 word essay (40%) [ILOs (1)-(4)]

1 x 2-hour unseen exam (60%) [ILOs (1)-(3)]

Reading and References

Literature will vary as the texts vary, but as an example, if the text were Schopenhauer’s The World as Will and Representation, the following would be suitable:- Arthur Schopenhauer The World as Will and Representation Julian Young Schopenhauer Dale Jacquette The Philosophy of Schopenhauer Robert Wicks Schopenhauer’s The World as Will and Representation Chris Janaway Self and World in Schopenhauer’s Philosophy