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 Taught Postgraduate Module Catalogue
HPSC5400M Advanced Topics in History and Philosophy of Biology
30 creditsClass Size: 100
Module manager: Dr. Ellen Clarke
Taught: Semester 2 (Jan to Jun) View Timetable
Year running 2018/19
Pre-requisite qualificationsNo prerequisites, though some formal background in the biological sciences is highly recommended; for students with no such background, the module leader will suggest preparatory readings.
This module is mutually exclusive with
|PHIL2600||Philosophical Issues in Biology|
|PHIL2611||How Biology Works|
|PHIL3320||Philosophy of Biology|
This module is not approved as an Elective
Module summaryIf the module recruits three or fewer students, it will be delivered via 3 hours of supervision with the module leader (instead of the format specified below).
ObjectivesOn completion of this module, students should be able to:
1. Explain what the issues are in several key debates in the philosophy of biology;
2. Summarize the main positions that have been adopted in these debates;
3. Analyze the strengths and weaknesses of these positions;
4. Discuss current debates within the context of the long-run historical development of biology
Note: Objective 4 goes beyond what is required of the undergraduates taking the associated module. For Objectives 1-3, it is expected that MA students will be held to a higher standard in their handling of the issues.
This module offers MA students a more historically grounded and philosophically demanding perspective on the topics taught in HPSC3310: Philosophy of Biology. Through a mixture of lectures and seminars, students will engage with a number of key philosophical debates in and around modern biology, including the major positions adopted in these debates, the strengths and weaknesses of these positions, and the historical development of the debates from the nineteenth century to the present. Although the areas covered change year on year, representative topics include questions about the reality of biological species, the nature of natural selection, and the extent to which evolutionary explanations of human attitudes and behaviours rival social explanations. Within each topic area the treatment will begin with technical matters and progress to wider themes. MA students will attend the undergraduate portion of the module, but will also have seminars of their own.
|Delivery type||Number||Length hours||Student hours|
|Private study hours||272.00|
|Total Contact hours||28.00|
|Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)||300.00|
Private studyReading for classes: 132 hours
Writing of assessments: 140 hours (70 hours per essay)
Opportunities for Formative FeedbackEssay #1 to be written by end of Week 8 of Semester 1 and feedback to be given within two weeks
Essay #2 to be submitted during the exam period, and feedback to be given within two weeks
In addition, performance during seminars will be monitored and feedback will be given as required.
Methods of assessment
|Assessment type||Notes||% of formal assessment|
|Essay||Two essays each 3-4,000 words and weighted 50% of total assessment.||100.00|
|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: 05/04/2019
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