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Level 4

4AANB008 Methodology


Credit value: 15
Module Tutor: Dr Julien Dutant


  • Summative assessment: 1 x 2-hour examination (100%)
  • Formative assessment: weekly exercises


  • Summative assessment: 1 x 2-hour examination (100%)
  • Formative assessment: weekly exercises

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 over ten weeks.

This module will introduce and explain a range of concepts from set theory, philosophy of language and metaphysics, probability theory, and decision theory. These will include the notions of set, cardinality, infinity, analyticity, necessity, possible worlds, reference, scope, probability, conditionals, utility, decision rules, dominance, backward induction. The emphasis will be on basic ideas rather than on technical elaboration. The concepts will be sketched, illustrated by examples, and made familiar via exercises. Students will acquire a basic grasp of many technical ideas that are taken for granted in more advanced philosophical debates.

Further information

Module aims

The module introduces students to a range of technical notions that are needed to understand contemporary philosophical debates, and which would otherwise be hard for the students to acquire.

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 familiarity with the basic concepts of:

  • Elementary set theory
  • Metaphysics of modality
  • The theory of reference
  • Probability theory
  • Decision theory
  • Game theory

Past syllabi

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

Core reading

  • Papineau, D. (2012) Philosophical Devices, Oxford University Press.
  • Weatherson, B. (2011) Lecture notes on the Logic of Decision, online manuscript available at 


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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