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 Words and Ideas: Realism, Nominalism, and the emergence of the modern concept of the Individual.
Code PHIL772
Coordinator Dr CJ Bartley
Philosophy
C.J.Bartley@liverpool.ac.uk
Year CATS Level Semester CATS Value
Session 2024-25 Level 7 FHEQ First Semester 15

Aims

To enhance students' abilities to conduct research using library resources. To develop a capacity for self-motivated philosophical enquiry and reflection. To acquaint students with historical and linguistic approaches to the study of philosophy. To explain the differences between the Platonic and Aristotelian metaphysics. To seek to understand the formative influence of Platonic and Aristotelian traditions in European thought up to the C17. To expose the vicissitudes, and occlusions and revivals undergone by these traditions. To explain the nominalist challenges to Aristotelianism in the Middle Ages and the nature of the response inspired by a revived Platonism. To elucidate the role of philosophy in the birth of early modern science. To raise the question of the extent to which philosophical thinking influences more widely shared conceptions of the world and the place and nature of human beings.


Learning Outcomes

(LO1) Students will be able to recognise the contextual nature of philosophical claims.

(LO2) Students will be able better to appreciate philosophers’ arguments through close attention to their vocabulary.

(LO3) Students will be aware of factors involved in evaluating information sources.

(LO4) Students will be aware of DISCOVER and other sources of academic information.

(LO5) Students will be aware of semantic development of philosophically significant terms.

(LO6) Students will be aware of a range of different traditions of philosophical thought.

(S1) Students will learn how to identify, access and evaluate sources of information.

(S2) Students will develop a capacity for oral and written communication.

(S3) Students will be more confident in their approach to unfamiliar historic texts.

(S4) Students will enhance their ability to identify and reflect critically upon the issues that underlie debates.

(S5) Students will develop confidence in considering previously unfamiliar ideas and worldviews.

(S7) Students will enhance their ability to marshal ideas and arguments and present them in writing.


Syllabus

 

The emergence and development of Plato’s notion of Ideas; Aristotle’s critique of Plato and the rejection of uninstantiated Forms. Hylomorphism. Philo and Ideas in the divine mind. Neoplatonism: Marius Victorinus and Augustine. Dionysius and participation in God. St Thomas Aquinas on divine Ideas; Aquinas on Truth; Aquinas on creation through the Logos. Divine ideas according to Duns Scotus. William of Ockham: nominalism and individualism. Renaissance Platonism. Lorenzo Valla’s repudiation of scholasticism. Nominalist thought and the Reformation. The concept of the world as imbued with purposes and informed by Ideas superseded by that of the world as a mechanism, devoid of values and purposes. Reduction of ideas to their reflexes in the minds of human subjects. The human individual as the bestower of meaning and value. Descartes and the mind as the measure of truth. The new notions of Person and Consciousness in Locke.


Teaching and Learning Strategies

Seminars (11 x 1 hour). Self-directed learning.


Teaching Schedule

  Lectures Seminars Tutorials Lab Practicals Fieldwork Placement Other TOTAL
Study Hours   11

        11
Timetable (if known)              
Private Study 139
TOTAL HOURS 150

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
Essay. There is a resit opportunity. Standard UoL penalty applies for late submission. This is an anonymous assessment.    100       

Recommended Texts

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