Module and Programme Catalogue

Search site

Find information on

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.

2018/19 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

PRHS3200 Moral, Rational Selves: Perspectives on Human Nature

20 creditsClass Size: 30

Module manager: James Boulding

Taught: Semester 2 View Timetable

Year running 2018/19

Pre-requisite qualifications

Enrolment in a programme with a named PRHS component (Philosophy, History & Philosophy of Science, Religion or Theology & Religious Studies

This module is not approved as a discovery module

Module summary

This module will examine some recurring themes in the study of human nature and the approach that is taken in scientific, philosophical and/or theological disciplines. Students will consider the centrality of rationality, moral agency, self and freedom to human nature, and the particular perspectives each field brings to these concepts. They will also consider the extent to which work in one area conflicts with or complements other accounts.


The aims of the module are to introduce students to the ways in which the key themes of the module (rationality, morality, identity) are discussed in the sciences and in philosophy and theology, to draw connections between these different disciplinary perspectives on aspects of human nature, and to show how the theories and findings of these different perspectives interact.

Learning outcomes
On completion of the module, students will be able to:

1. Display understand of the key module themes (rationality, morality, identity) and relate them to each other.
2. Explain the relevance of both current reserch and classical thought to the key themes.
3. Identify questions that are common to the study of human nature across multiple disciplines.

Skills outcomes
- Interpreting philosophical and theological texts
Relating work from different disciplines
Critical analysis and evaluation of philosophical and theological ideas and arguments.


Topics studied may include (but are not limited to) the following:
Topics studied may include (but are not limited to) the following:
• The nature of reason.
• The process of reasoning (action theory & neurology).
• The evolution of altruism and prosocial behaviour.
• The biological basis of morality; empathy and emotion.
• The relationship between rationality and self-interest.
• The nature of the self.
• The formation of identity; external influences on that formation.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours179.00
Total Contact hours21.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)200.00

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Via seminar performance, essays, and discussions with the module leader outside of class time (e.g. in office hours)

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Essay2000 words50.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)50.00

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

Exam typeExam duration% of formal assessment
Standard exam (closed essays, MCQs etc) (S1)2 hr 50.00
Total percentage (Assessment Exams)50.00

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: 22/01/2019


Browse Other Catalogues

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

© Copyright Leeds 2019