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Module descriptions

7AAN2050 Methodology of the History of Philosophy


Credit value: 20
Module tutor: Professor John Milton

  • Formative assessment: one x 2,000–3,000-word essay, due by end of semester or as otherwise instructed
  • Summative assessment: one x 4,000-word essay

Teaching pattern: one weekly one-hour lecture and one weekly one-hour seminar

2012-13 details

Semester: Semester one (Autumn)
Time: Mondays, 13:00–15:00
Room: TBA

pdfDownload the module syllabus 2012-13 (pdf)

Deadline for summative assessment: Monday 21 January 2013

This course will give students a broad overview of rival approaches to the study of the history of philosophy, and will provide them with training in research methods to be applied to such study. Students will be introduced to the problems involved in the interpretation of historical texts, including those originally written in English, translated into English, or read in the original languages. They will get an overview of the variety of primary sources that can be used, and the problems involved in the interpretation of different kinds of these. They will be introduced to the tools of research: library catalogues, databases, websites etc. The knowledge that students will acquire will serve as a foundation for further, more specialised research in specific areas of the history of philosophy, as well as giving them an appreciation of the more general problems of the discipline as a whole.

Learning outcomes

Students taking this module should gain:

  • Awareness and understanding of basic methodological problems arising in the History of Philosophy, and some of the ways in which these have been tackled
  • Familiarity with the variety of manuscript and printed primary sources used by historians of philosophy, and with the problems involved in interpreting these
  • Familiarity with and ability to use research tools
  • An ability to apply the methodological principles and techniques acquired through the module to their own work in the History of Philosophy, and a readiness for high-level original research in this area

Addtional information

  • This module is compulsory for students in the MA History of Philosophy programme (and available as an option for students in other MA programmes who happen to have an interest in the history of the subject)
  • Part-time MA History of Philosophy students must take this module in the first of their two years
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