Module Details

The information contained in this module specification was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change, either during the session because of unforeseen circumstances, or following review of the module at the end of the session. Queries about the module should be directed to the member of staff with responsibility for the module.
Title GO HIGHER STAGE 3: ISSUES IN PHILOSOPHY
Code GOHI006
Coordinator Dr CG Jones
Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences
C.G.Jones2@liverpool.ac.uk
Year CATS Level Semester CATS Value
Session 2018-19 Level 3 FHEQ Second Semester 10

Aims

  1. To introduce the basic core skills and methodologies used in the critical reading, debating and writing of philosophy.
  2. To develop competence in close reading of a philosophical text.
  3. To introduce key debates in ethics, epistemology, existence of god and existentialism.
  4. To develop confidence in presenting comple x ideas on paper and to an audience.
  5. To progress the bibliographical and research skills necessary to finding and using library and online sources effectively.
  6. To establish the transferrable learning, communication (written and oral) and digital skills required for entry to an undergraduate programme.

Learning Outcomes

Apply philosophical reasoning in verbal debates and writing.
 

Read critically (an extract from) a canonical philosophical text in detail.

Write a logically argued and structured philosophy essay referenced with Harvard.

Describe and contrast certain key themes in the philosophy of ethics, epistemology and existentialism.

Debate contemporary ethical issues using philosophical argument and methods.

Identify and apply key skills required to deliver an effective presentation.

Find and use library and online resources efficiently.


Syllabus

A representative syllabus is:
1. Introduction: What is philosophy and why does it matter? Critical thinking and how to do it; deductive and inductive reasoning.
2. Epistemology 1: Can we trust the evidence of our senses? Is what common sense tells us about the world correct? Does our knowledge rest on firm foundations? Is it possible to truly ‘know’ anything about the world? Philosopher s from Plato onwards have wrestled with these key philosophical questions; we will critique their conclusions.
3. Epistemology 2: Building on the previous week’s discussion, we will examine Descartes’ Cogito Ergo Sum and debate scepticism in modern philosophical thought.
4. God 1: We continue our metaphysical exploration (asking ‘what is the nature of reality?’) with an examination of contrasting arguments for the existence of god, specifically the ontological and cosmological argument and the argument from design, and a second look at induction/deduction.
5. God 2: The problem of evil and free will; debate.
6. Ethics 1: How should one live? We will look at key philosophers’ answers to this question including theories of virtue, utilitarianism and deontology.
7. Ethics 2: Students will examine and report on a key text (Kant or Mill); we will debate contemporary ethical issues using the various ethical frameworks we have researched.
8. Existentialism 1: Why did Sartre say that man is ‘condemned to be free’? We will introduce some key themes of existentialism with a focus on Sartre’s Being and Nothingness.
9. Revi ew and reflect; assessment workshop. We will reflect on essay writing, presentations and examination requirements/technique.
10. Existentialism 2: We will continue our exploration of existentialism with a consideration of the ways in which philosophy can be progressed through fiction; we will also examine the feminist existentialism of Simone de Beauvoir.
11. The Feminist Critique: We will debate feminist philosophies and their challenge to ‘masculine’ philosophy with a special focus on French feminist philosophy of language.
12. Review & Reflect: Concluding workshop.
The module ends with sessions devoted to student presentations and review of the topics covered.

Teaching and Learning Strategies

Lecture - Interative lectures cover major themes

Tutorial - Students to prepare by reading texts and preparing arguments to present.

Online Discussions - Online resources and virtual forums will be established to facilitate debate.

Workshop - Problem-based learning

Presentation - Minimum 5 minute individual presentation.


Teaching Schedule

  Lectures Seminars Tutorials Lab Practicals Fieldwork Placement Other TOTAL
Study Hours 7
Interative lectures cover major themes
  3
Students to prepare by reading texts and preparing arguments to present.
    2
Online resources and virtual forums will be established to facilitate debate.
1
Problem-based learning
1
Minimum 5 minute individual presentation.
14
Timetable (if known)              
Private Study 86
TOTAL HOURS 100

Assessment

EXAM Duration Timing
(Semester)
% of
final
mark
Resit/resubmission
opportunity
Penalty for late
submission
Notes
             
CONTINUOUS Duration Timing
(Semester)
% of
final
mark
Resit/resubmission
opportunity
Penalty for late
submission
Notes
Practical Assessment  20 minutes  Second Semester  50  Yes  Standard UoL penalty applies  Team Debate  
Coursework  2000 words  Semester 2  50  Yes  Standard UoL penalty applies  Essay Notes (applying to all assessments) The final essay may build on material discussed in the debate. If the debate is not done in the originally timetabled slot an alternative slot is offered as a late submission opportunity. 

Recommended Texts

Reading lists are managed at readinglists.liverpool.ac.uk. Click here to access the reading lists for this module.
Explanation of Reading List:

Students will be advised to specialise, choosing from within a reading list supplied on VITAL. A typcial reading list is as follows.

General resources which offer a commentary and interpretation of many of our topics:
Falzon
, Christopher. 2007. Philosophy Goes to the Movies: An Introduction to Philosophy. 2nd. ed. London: Routledge.
Martinich, A.P. 2005. Philosophical Writing: an Introduction. Third edition. Oxford: Blackwell.
The Stanford Encyclopaedia of Philosophy:
http://plato.stanford.edu/
Warburton, Nigel. 2004. Philosophy: The Basics. Second edition. London: Routledge.

Introductory:
Falzon, Christopher. 2007. Philosophy Goes to the Movies: An Introduction to Philosophy. 2nd. ed. London: Routledge Ch. 6: ‘The Holy Grail – Critical Thinking’, pp. 181-211.
Nuttall, John. 2002.  An Introduction to Philosophy. Cambridge: Polity Press. Especially Ch. 1 ‘The Nature of Philosophy’, pp. 1-10 & Ch. 4 ‘Knowledge, Belief and Logic’, pp. 59-80.
Warburton, Nigel. 2004. Philosophy: The Basics. Second edition. London: Routledge. Introduction pp. 1-9.
Epistemology:
The Matrix
.1998 [Film] Directed by The Wachowski Bros. USA: Warner Bros.
Warburton, Nigel. 2004. Philosophy: The Basics. Second edition. London: Routledge. Ch. 4 ‘The External World’, pp. 89-108.
Warburton, Nigel. 2006.  Philosophy: The Classics. Third edition. London: Routledge. Ch. 5, ‘René Descartes Meditations’, pp. 45-57.
God:
Bragg
, Melvin, In Our Time: ‘The Ontological Argument’, BBC Radio 4, 27 September 2012:
<
http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01mwx64 >
Swinburne
, Richard, The Existence of God. 2004. Second edition. Milton Keynes: OUP.  Copies of this are in the library, or online as an electronic book.
Warburton, Nigel. 2004. Philosophy: The Basics. 2nd edition. London: Routledge 2004. Ch. 1. ‘God’, pp. 11-36.
Ethics:
Driver
, Julia. 2007. Ethics: The Fundamentals. Oxford: Blackwell.
Vardy, Peter & Grosch, Paul. 1999. The puzzle of ethics. London: Harper Collins. This has a good section applying theory to modern day ethical problems.
Warburton, Nigel. 2004. Philosophy: The Basics. Second edition. London: Routledge. Ch. 2. ‘Right an d Wrong’, pp. 37-64.
Warburton, Nigel. 2006.  Philosophy: The Classics. Third edition. London: Routledge. Ch. 14, ‘Immanuel Kant Groundwork of the Metaphysic of Morals’, pp. 126-133 & Ch. 17 ‘John Stuart Mill Utilitarianism’, pp. 153-159.
Existentialism:
Bragg
, Melvin, In Our Time: ‘Existentialism’, BBC Radio 4, 28 June 2001
 <
http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p00547h8 >
Lloyd, Genevieve. 1993, The man of reason: ‘male’ and ‘female’ in Western Philosophy.  Second edition. London. Routledge.  Ch. 6, pp. 93-102.
Nye, Andrea. 1988. Feminist Theory and the Philosophies of Man. London: Routledge. Ch. 4 ‘A World Without Women: The Existentialist Feminism of Simone de Beauvoir’, pp. 73-114.
Priest, Stephen , ed. 2000. Jean Paul Sartre: Basic Writings. London: Routledge.
Sartre, Jean Paul. 2000 (1938). Nausea. London: Penguin classics.
Tong, Rosemarie.1995. Feminist Thought: A comprehensive introduction. London: Routledge. Ch. 7 ‘Existentialist Feminism’, pp. 195-216.
Warburton, Nigel. 2006.  Philosophy: The Classics. Third edition. London: Routledge. Ch. 24 ‘Jean Paul Sartre Being and Nothingness’, pp. 210-221.
Wartenberg
, Thomas E. 2008. Existentialism: A Beginner’s Guide. London: Oneworld.

The Feminist Critique:
Cameron
, Deborah, ed. 1990. The Feminist Critique of Language: A Reader. London: Routledge. ‘Introduction: why is language a feminist issue?’ pp. 1-30.
Lloyd, Genevieve, 1996. ‘The Man of Reason’ in Garry, Ann and Pearsall, Marilyn, eds. Women, Knowledge and Reality. Second edition. London: Routledge, pp.  149-165,
Nye, Andrea. 1988. Feminist Theory and the Philosophies of Man. London: Rou tledge. Ch. 6 ‘A Woman’s Language’, pp. 172-233.
Tong, Rosemarie.1995. Feminist Thought: A comprehensive introduction. London: Routledge. Ch. 8 ‘Postmodern Feminism’, pp. 217-234.
 

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