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Undergraduate programmes

Intercalated BSc in Philosophy

Programme of study

The intercalated BSc in philosophy comprises four courses. The courses are inter-related, and together comprise a coherent and integrated program of study in some central themes in metaphysics and epistemology.

All modules are worth 30 credits and weighted equally.

6AAN4043 Knowledge, Objectivity and Relativism

6AAN4043 is an introductory, but by no means elementary course in core analytic metaphysics and epistemology.  It was originally developed for the IBSC in Philosophy, and remains one of the required modules for that degree.  But it is now open to students from some other degree streams, subject to availability of places.  It cannot be taken by single or joint honours philosophy students.  The module aims to provide an understanding of some philosophical problems concerning our knowledge of a mind-independent reality.  Special attention is given to the problematic distinction between facts and values, and the ways in which our evaluative thought may or may not be objective.  A secondary objective is to provide the student with the basic elements of analytic philosophical methodology.

Students completing this module will gain:

1. Familiarity with some core problems of contemporary metaphysics and epistemology.

2. The ability to deploy the philosophical techniques and argumentative strategies that can be used to discuss those problems. 

3. The transferable skill of formulating and evaluating arguments both for and against various other kinds of philosophical positions.

Further information is available on the module page on the Department website.

6AAN4053 Facts and Values in Historical Perspective

6AAN4053 is an introductory, but by no means elementary course in history of philosophy.  It is a text-based course, and involves a close and detailed study of some of the great classics of the subject.  It was originally developed for the IBSC in Philosophy, and remains one of the required modules for that degree.  But it is now open to students from other degree streams, subject to availability of places.  It cannot be taken by single or joint honours philosophy students.  The module aims to provide an understanding of the ways in which some central philosophical problems have been addressed by great philosophers of the past.  Most of these problems involve values, and the ways in which the evaluative relates to the straightforwardly factual.  A secondary objective is to provide the student with the basic elements of analytic philosophical methodology as they are used in the study of classic texts.

Students completing this module will gain:

1. Familiarity with some classic philosophical texts.

2. Familiarity with some core philosophical problems and they way our understanding of them has developed over time.  

3. The ability to deploy the philosophical techniques and argumentative strategies that can be used to discuss those problems.

4. The transferable skill of formulating and evaluating arguments both for and against various other kinds of philosophical positions.

Further information is available on the module page on the Department website.

6AAN4063 Values, Needs and Desires

6AAN4063 is an introductory, but by no means elementary course in core analytic value theory—mainly ethics, but with some political philosophy.  It was originally developed for the IBSC in Philosophy, and remains one of the required modules for that degree.  But it is now open to students from other degree streams, subject to availability of places.  It cannot be taken by single or joint honours philosophy students.  The module aims to provide an understanding of some philosophical problems concerning values, and moral values in particular.  A secondary objective is to provide the student with the basic elements of analytic philosophical methodology.

Students completing this module will gain:

1. Familiarity with some core problems of contemporary moral and political philosophy.

2. The ability to deploy the philosophical techniques and argumentative strategies that can be used to discuss those problems. 

3. The transferable skill of formulating and evaluating arguments both for and against various other kinds of philosophical positions.

Further information is available on the module page on the Department website.

6AAN4500 Dissertation

The dissertation may be on any philosophical topic, chosen with the approval of the course co-ordinator (normally Dr David Galloway ).

 

Teaching and Assessment

The courses in the Intercalated Year are taught by a mixture of lectures and seminar discussions, although ‘lecture’ is perhaps slightly misleading here.  Given the relatively small numbers of students involved, it is possible to incorporate a good deal of discussion within a lecture.  

Assessment is normally by three hour unseen written examinations, taken at the end of the academic year. Students will also be required to write some very short essays for each of the courses. These short essays are used to give the student some sense of how their work is progressing, and to provide guidance on writing short philosophical essays of the kind required in the final examinations. Grades are assigned to these essays, but those grades are for the student’s guidance only, and no part of the final assessment, which is based solely upon the examinations and the dissertation.

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