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Level 4

4AANA102 Introduction to Philosophy I



Credit value: 15
Module coordinator: Dr Julien Dutant
Module tutors: Dr Carlo Nicolai (Logic); Dr Clayton Littlejohn (Ethics)



  • Summative assessment: 1 x 2-hour examination (100%)
  • Formative assessment: 2 x Logic exercise sets and 1 x 1,000 word essay 


  • Summative assessment: 1 x 2-hour examination (100%)
  • Formative assessment: 2 x Logic exercise sets and 1 x 1,000 word essay 

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

Teaching pattern: one two-hour weekly lecture and one one-hour weekly seminar 
Pre-requisites: none

The module offers a broad overview of topics and techniques in two key branches of the discipline: Logic and Ethics. It runs for ten weeks over the autumn semester, with a five-week block devoted to each of the two key areas. 

Due to content overlap, the following modules should not be taken in combination:

Further information

Module aims

The Introduction to Philosophy I and II modules are intended for first year undergraduates, in particular PPE, PPL and Liberal Arts students, who begin their study of philosophy at degree level as part of a wider course of study. Each gives a basic familiarity with two central areas of philosophical thought: Logic and Ethics in Introduction to Philosophy I and Metaphysics and Epistemology in Introduction to Philosophy II. They provide some appreciation of both the diversity of areas of philosophical inquiry as well as the interconnected, systematic nature of Philosophy as a whole, and they serve as a foundation for 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 two main areas of Philosophy: Logic and Ethics.

  • The ability to apply core notions of Logic such as validity, consistency, deduction.

  • 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

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

Core reading

  • Nagel, J. (2014) Knowledge: A Very Short Introduction, Oxford University Press.
  • Ney, A. (2014) Metaphysics: an Introduction, Taylor & Francis.


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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