Module specification



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Confirmation that this version of the module specification has been approved by the School Learning and Teaching Committee:

………… A. Stähler, 18 DEC 2014…………….(date)



MODULE SPECIFICATION



  1. Title of the module:

The Rise and Fall of Modern Philosophy: Descartes to Kant

  1. School or partner institution which will be responsible for management of the module

Philosophy, SECL

  1. The Start Date of the Module:

September 2011, revised for 2013

  1. The number of students expected to take the module:

20 (H) and 20 (I)

  1. Modules to be withdrawn on the introduction of this proposed module and consultation with other relevant Departments and Faculties regarding the withdrawal:

None

  1. The level of the module:

I (PL584) & H (PL514)

  1. The number of credits and ECTS value which the module represents:

30 (15 ECTS)

  1. Which term(s) the module is to be taught in (or other teaching pattern):

Autumn or Spring

  1. Prerequisite and co-requisite modules:

None

  1. The programmes of study to which the module contributes:

Single Honours and Joint Honours Philosophy

  1. The intended subject specific learning outcomes

On completion of the module I level students should:

    1. have a good familiarity with the principal epistemological and metaphysical doctrines of Descartes, Locke, Leibniz, Berkeley, Hume and Kant,

    2. understand central issues in modern philosophy since Descartes, such as the problem of scepticism, the mind-body problem, personal identity, the nature of ideas, primary-secondary qualities, idealism, causation, induction, modern philosophical approaches to God;

    3. be able to compare these doctrines critically, and to evaluate them and standard secondary literature,

    4. be able to develop and to defend their own epistemological and metaphysical positions;

On completion of the module H level students should:

    1. have an in-depth familiarity with the principal epistemological and metaphysical doctrines of Descartes, Locke, Leibniz, Berkeley, Hume and Kant,

    2. have an in-depth understanding of central issues in modern philosophy since Descartes, such as the problem of scepticism, the mind-body problem, personal identity, the nature of ideas, primary-secondary qualities, idealism, causation, induction, modern philosophical approaches to God;

    3. be able to compare these doctrines critically, and to evaluate them and advanced secondary literature,

    4. encourage students to develop and to defend their own epistemological and metaphysical positions vis a vis contemporary theories in epistemology and metaphysics;




  1. The intended generic learning outcomes

On completion of the module I level students should:

    1. have developed their skills in critical analysis and argument through engaging with the issues in 11.2;

    2. have developed their ability to speak effectively in public and make complex philosophical ideas clear and understandable;




    1. have developed their ability to work autonomously, alone and in groups, and to take responsibility for their learning.

On completion of the module H level students should:

    1. 11.1-11.8, ure/week + 1 hour seminar, for 10 weeks, one term. have developed their skills in critical analysis and argument through engaging with the issues in 11.6;

    2. have developed their ability to speak effectively in public and make complex philosophical ideas clear and understandable, and defend their own point of view against objections;

    3. have developed their ability to work autonomously, alone and in groups, to take responsibility for their learning leadership initiative in teamwork.



  1. A synopsis of the curriculum

This course is concerned with the principal epistemological and metaphysical doctrines of great figures of European philosophy, namely: René Descartes (1596-1650), John Locke (1632-1704), Gottfried Leibniz (1646-1716), George Berkeley (1685-1753), David Hume (1711-1776), Thomas Reid (1710-1796), and Immanuel Kant (1724-1804). Whilst each of these philosophers deserves to be studied in his own right, it is especially illuminating to study them in historical sequence. In the first place, all but Descartes developed their views partly in response to his predecessors. In the second place, the views in question are extraordinarily diverse – so that the course provides a fairly broad grounding in both epistemology and metaphysics.

The course starts with Descartes, the founder of modern philosophy. We ask, with him, how we can face the challenge of scepticism. Can we have metaphysical, indeed any kind of, knowledge? Is the soul or mind independent of the body? Is the soul immortal? Is there a God and can we prove this? What makes me the same person I was ten years ago? What are ideas and how were they conceived of throughout modern philosophy? Is everything an idea, an idea in my or in God’s mind? Can I have direct knowledge about the world, or only of ideas objects cause in me? Are colours real properties of objects? Is causation a relation in the world, or only in my mind? What is the role of the senses in acquiring metaphysical knowledge? Can we have experience-independent knowledge about the world? Is Kant correct to claim that we can only know how objects appear to us, not how they are in themselves? Can we find conceptions, and misconceptions, prevailing throughout the Descartes-Kant tradition? What can we learn from these traditions and contribute to contemporary philosophy?



  1. Indicative Reading List

Meditations on First Philosophy, René Descartes

An Essay Concerning Human Understanding, John Locke

New Essays on Human Understanding/Monadology/Philosophical Essays, Gottfried

Leibniz


Principles of Human Knowledge, Three Dialogues, George Berkeley

An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding, David Hume

A Treatise on Human Nature, David Hume

An Enquiry into the Human Mind/Essays, Thomas Reid

The Critique of Pure Reason, Immanuel Kant

Prolegomena to Any Future Metaphysics, Immanuel Kant

  1. Learning and Teaching Methods, including the nature and number of contact hours and the total study hours which will be expected of students, and how these relate to achievement of the intended learning outcomes

This module will be taught be means of 2 hours lecture/week + 1 hour seminar, for 10 weeks,

Total Contact Hours: 30

Total Study hours: 300

These learning and teaching methods will achieve learning outcomes: 11.1-11.8, 12.1-12.6.



  1. Assessment methods and how these relate to testing achievement of the intended learning outcomes

100% Coursework
Essay (1500 words) 35%

Essay (2500 words) 45%

Presentations (each student has to read out a 300 word summary of a topic) (10%)

Seminar Contribution (10%)


I and H level students have to choose their essay question from level appropriate sets of questions, which are negotiated.
The essays will satisfy learning outcomes: 11.1-11.8, 12.1, 12.4

The presentation will test learning outcomes: 11.1, 11.5, 12.2, 12.3, 12.5, 12.6



Seminar Contribution will test learning outcomes: 12.2, 12.3, 12.5, 12.6



  1. Implications for learning resources, including staff, library, IT and space

None


  1. The School recognises and has embedded the expectations of current disability equality legislation, and supports students with a declared disability or special educational need in its teaching. Within this module we will make reasonable adjustments wherever necessary, including additional or substitute materials, teaching modes or assessment methods for students who have declared and discussed their learning support needs. Arrangements for students with declared disabilities will be made on an individual basis, in consultation with the University’s disability/dyslexia support service, and specialist support will be provided where needed.




  1. Campus(es) where module will be delivered

Canterbury


Minor Revision to module specification confirmed 07 November 2011





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