Module and Programme Catalogue

Search site

Find information on

2017/18 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

PHIL1120 Great Philosophical Thinkers

20 creditsClass Size: 300

Module manager: Nick Jones
Email: n.o.jones@leeds.ac.uk

Taught: Semester 1 View Timetable

Year running 2017/18

Module replaces

PHIL1040PHIL1140PHIL1060

This module is approved as a discovery module

Module summary

This module provides students with an introduction to some important philosophical questions considered by some of the most influential figures in the History of Philosophy. Can we know anything for certain, and if so, how can we know it? What is the external world like in-and-of-itself, and how closely does it resemble the world-as-we-experience-it? Might it just be ‘all a dream’? Is it possible to prove the existence of God by rational argument? What is the essence of the self, and how do ‘I’ relate to my body? These are all important issues in Theoretical Philosophy. The initial focus of the module will be the answers given to these questions by approximately four or five philosophers drawn from the likes of Plato, Aristotle, Descartes, Locke, Berkeley, Hume and Kant. The module will place these philosophers’ thought in historical context, and will provide students with a sense of the unfurling of the history of Western Philosophy. The module will also involve the close reading of some of the primary texts written by these philosophers, and, most importantly, will involve students personally engaging with the philosophical debates under consideration.

Objectives

On completion of this module, students should have a basic ability to:
• discuss philosophical issues with others of opposing views;
• construct an argument for a point of view, and express it in clear, concise prose;
• read philosophical texts critically and with attention to detail;
• explain and respond to central ideas in the work of the philosophers studied.

Learning outcomes
By the end of the module, students will be able to:
• display an understanding of the views of the philosophers studied;
• demonstrate a sense of the historical context in which these views developed;
• construct an argument for a point of view, and express it in clear, concise prose;
• read philosophical texts critically and with attention to detail;
• explain and respond to central ideas in the work of the philosophers studied.


Syllabus

The module will study approximately four or five philosophers typically (but not necessarily) drawn from the following list: Plato, Aristotle, Descartes, Locke, Berkeley, Hume, Kant. The precise philosophers studied will depend on the interests and expertise of the academic staff members teaching the module in a given year.
The module will study a range of philosophical issues typically (but not necessarily) drawn from the following list: Can we know anything for certain, and if so, how can we know it? What is the external world like in-and-of-itself, and how closely does it resemble the world-as-we-experience-it? Might it just be ‘all a dream’? Is it possible to prove the existence of God by rational argument? What is the essence of the self, and how do ‘I’ relate to my body? The precise issues studied will depend on the interests and expertise of the academic staff members teaching the module in a given year.
The module will place these philosophers and these issues in historical context, and in doing so will elucidate the unfurling of the history of Western philosophy.
As well as introducing the philosophers and the issues in question, students will get to personally engage with the issues under consideration, and will get to carry out a close study of portions of the primary texts written by these philosophers.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Proctorial51.005.00
Lecture181.0018.00
Tutorial81.008.00
Private study hours169.00
Total Contact hours31.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)200.00

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Via proctorial/tutorial participation and performance in essays.

Methods of assessment


Coursework
Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
EssayEssay 1 - 1500 words40.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)40.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated


Exams
Exam typeExam duration% of formal assessment
Unseen exam 2 hr 00 mins60.00
Total percentage (Assessment Exams)60.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 20/07/2017

Disclaimer

Browse Other Catalogues

Errors, omissions, failed links etc should be notified to the Catalogue Team.PROD

© Copyright Leeds 2019