6AANA018 Kant's Epistemology & Metaphysics
Credit value: 15
Module tutor: Dr John Callanan
Summative assessment: two x 2,500-word essays (100%)
Formative assessment: two x 1,500-word essays
Teaching pattern: one one-hour weekly lecture and one one-hour weekly seminar over ten weeks
This course will introduce Kant’s philosophy through an examination of epistemology and metaphysical topics in the Critique of Pure Reason. The course will focus primarily but not exclusively on topics from the first half of the book, and will examine such core topics as the analytic/synthetic distinction, the nature of space and time, Kant’s philosophy of mathematics, the problem of causation and the response to Humean scepticism, and Kant’s theory of the self. The course will aim to show the centrality of Kant’s thought both to an understanding of the development of the history of philosophy and as a source of philosophical interest for contemporary epistemology and metaphysics.
To gain an understanding of the core elements in the thought of a key thinker in Western Philosophy
To secure a grasp of the particular Kantian reformulation of traditional metaphysics.
To see the continuing relevance of Kant’s approach to contemporary debates.
To be able to critically assess Kant’s claims in the light of contemporary theories.
By the end of the module, the students will be able to demonstrate intellectual, transferable and practicable skills appropriate to a Level 6 module and in particular will be able to demonstrate:
An ability to read a core text in the history of philosophy with both sensitivity to its historical context.
An ability to critically evaluate Kant’s thought in relation to contemporary philosophy
A deeper understanding of Kant’s approach to traditional metaphysical problems, and how this approach relates to that of his immediate predecessors.