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2022/23 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

PHIL2212 History of Modern Philosophy: Leibniz and Hume

20 creditsClass Size: 100

Module manager: Dr Nick Jones

Taught: Semester 2 (Jan to Jun) View Timetable

Year running 2022/23

Module replaces

PHIL2510, PHIL2520

This module is not approved as a discovery module

Module summary

This module looks in detail at the work of two pre-Kantian Modern philosophers (people writing somewhere between about 1600 and 1800). Its aim is very simple: to help you to develop an understanding of their carefully worked-out positions, so as to be able to ask yourself whether your own views are defensible in the light of what they say. In other words, its purpose is to help you to decide what you think, and why, by articulating your responses to classic texts from the past.Specifically, this module is based around the work of Gottfried Willhelm Leibniz and David Hume. Leibniz and Hume were two influential but contrasting thinkers who produced radically different accounts of the nature of the world and the place of human beings in it, and who were both enormously influential in the development of the Critical Philosophy of Kant.


On completion of this module, students should be able to demonstrate:
- knowledge and understanding of some central texts and ideas in the history of modern philosophy before, and leading up to, the work of Kant;
- the ability to read and respond to philosophical writing from a different era;
- the ability to combine historical sensitivity and critical analysis in the study of the history of philosophy.


The History of Modern Philosophy module this year will focus on an in-depth study of works by 2 classic authors of the pre-Kantian Modern period; namely, Gottfried Willhelm Leibniz and David Hume. Decisions with regard to the precise content of the syllabus will be made with a view to providing breadth of coverage and preparation for later study in the History of Philosophy stream.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours181.00
Total Contact hours19.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)200.00

Private study

Reading and tutorial preparation: 106 hours
Preparing and writing assessed essays: 75 hours

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

- Tutorial performance;
- 1000-word essay plan

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Essay3,000 words (end of module)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 list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 07/10/2022


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