This module is inactive in the selected year. The information shown below is for the academic year that the module was last running in, prior to the year selected.
2015/16 Undergraduate Module Catalogue
PHIL3311 Introduction to Philosophy of Biology
10 creditsClass Size: 30
Module manager: Greg Radick
Taught: Semester 1 View Timetable
Year running 2015/16
Pre-requisite qualificationsA level Biology or equivalent
This module is mutually exclusive with
|HPSC3311||Introduction to Philosophy of Biology|
|HPSC3320||Philosophy of Biology|
Module replacesHPSC3311 Introduction to Philosophy of Biology
This module is approved as a discovery module
Module summaryWhat, exactly, makes the theory of evolution preferable to creationism? Are living things ultimately nothing but the sum of their parts? Is the labelling of a condition as a “disease” just a matter of the facts, or does it always involve social and moral values too? The sciences concerned with life -- including genetics, biomedicine and evolutionary biology -- are different in all sorts of ways from the sciences concerned with the nonliving. Unsurprisingly, the life sciences have thrown up distinctive problems for philosophers, whether concerned with questions about what is real (metaphysics), how scientists find things out (epistemology), or the place in science of judgements of good and bad or right and wrong (values). This module will introduce some of the main problems debated in philosophy of biology today. Anyone interested in what biology claims to teach us about ourselves and our fellow creatures will enjoy this module. If you have already studied philosophy, the module will introduce you to a remarkable and vital set of questions in need of attention. If philosophy is new to you, the module will give you the skills of critical thinking and clear expression which philosophers specialize in, and which will serve you well for the rest of your life.For more details, contact Dr Gregory Radick, email G.M.Radick@leeds.ac.uk
ObjectivesOn completion of this module students should be able to analyse and critically assess a variety of key concepts and explanations in modern biology and biomedicine.
On successful completion of this module a student will have knowledge of a range of philosophical issues regarding evolutionary biology and its repercussions.
The aim of this module is to examine key concepts and explanations in modern biology and biomedicine.
i) the gene, and the question of whether Mendelian genes indeed reduce to strings of DNA nucleotides;
ii) the organism, and the question of whether concepts of 'health' and disease' pick out natural classes of conditions;
iii) the evolving population, and the question of what, precisely, natural selection selects.
|Delivery type||Number||Length hours||Student hours|
|Private study hours||78.00|
|Total Contact hours||22.00|
|Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)||100.00|
Private study- Seminar preparation: 10 x 6 hours
- Essay preparation: 18 hours.
Opportunities for Formative FeedbackThrough seminar discussions and essay plans.
Methods of assessment
|Assessment type||Notes||% of formal assessment|
|Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)||100.00|
Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated
Reading listThe reading list is available from the Library website
Last updated: 15/05/2014
Browse Other Catalogues
- Undergraduate module catalogue
- Taught Postgraduate module catalogue
- Undergraduate programme catalogue
- Taught Postgraduate programme catalogue
Errors, omissions, failed links etc should be notified to the Catalogue Team.PROD