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Level 4

4AANA101 Introduction to Philosophy


Credit value: 30
Module coordinator: 2016-17: Dr Julien Dutant 
Module tutors: 2016-17: Dr Nils Kürbis (Logic); Dr Julien Dutant (Epistemology); Dr Clayton Littlejohn (Ethics); Dr Jessica Leech (Metaphysics)


  • Summative assessment: one three-hour exam (100%) 
  • Formative assessment: Logic exercises plus three 1,000 word essays

Students are reassessed in the failed elements of assessment and by the same methods as the first attempt.

Teaching pattern: two one-hour lectures and one one-hour exercise class per week, for the first five weeks (Logic). Following this, one one-hour lecture and one one-hour seminar per week for the final fifteen weeks
Pre-requisites: none
Sample syllabus: Please see the Past syllabi section below for an indication of the syllabus for this module.

The module offers a broad overview of topics and techniques in four key branches of the discipline: Logic, Metaphysics, Epistemology and Ethics. It runs for twenty weeks over the autumn and spring semesters, with a five-week block devoted to each of the four key areas. The Logic block consists of two one-hour lecture and one one-hour exercise class per week. The Metaphysics, Epistemology and Ethics blocks consist of one one-hour lecture and one one-hour seminar per week.

Further information

Module aims

This module is intended for first year undergraduates, in particular Liberal Arts, PPE and PPL students, who will be beginning their study of philosophy at degree level as part of a wider course of study. It aims to provide a grounding in the subject that will give students a basic familiarity with central areas of philosophical thought, as well as providing some appreciation of the interconnected, systematic nature of Philosophy as a whole, and thus serving as a foundation on which more specialised study can be built.

Learning outcomes

By the end of the module, the students will be able to demonstrate intellectual, transferable and practicable skills appropriate to a level 4 module and in particular will be able to demonstrate that they have:

  • Awareness and understanding of the central concepts, theories and arguments of some main areas of Philosophy: Logic, Metaphysics, Epistemology and Ethics.

  • The ability to apply valid critical and argumentative techniques to these and other areas of the subject.

  • Familiarity with selected key texts, with the ability to summarize and analytically criticize the arguments and positions of others.

  • The ability to develop philosophical views of their own, which they are prepared to defend or amend in the light of criticism from others.

Past syllabi

4AANA101 module syllabus 2015-16 (pdf)

Please note that module syllabus and topics covered may vary from year to year. 

More detailed information on the current year’s module (including the syllabus for that year) can be accessed on KEATS by all students and staff. 

Core reading

Bergman, M, Moor, J. & Nelson, J. (2009) The Logic Book, 5th ed., Mc-Graw Hill.McGraw-Hill, 2009.

Conee & T. Sider (2005) Riddles of Existence: a Guided Tour of Metaphysics, Oxford University Press.


The modules run in each academic year are subject to change in line with staff availability and student demand so there is no guarantee every module will run. Module descriptions and information may vary between years.

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