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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences : Lifelong Learning (PPL)

Undergraduate Course: An Introduction to Philosophy (LLLI07002)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Course typeStandard AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 7 (Year 1 Undergraduate) Credits10
Home subject areaLifelong Learning (PPL) Other subject areaNone
Course website None Taught in Gaelic?No
Course descriptionThis is a for-credit course offered by the Office of Lifelong Learning (OLL); only students registered with OLL should be enrolled. What can we know? Does God exist? Do I have free will? How should I act? Does life have meaning? This course offers an introduction to the main areas of philosophy through discussion of some of the most interesting questions in each field.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Additional Costs None
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Summary of Intended Learning Outcomes
By the end of this course, students should be able to:
┐ Display familiarity with some key philosophical issues;
┐ Identify the positions of various philosophers on these issues;
┐ Explain the strengths and weaknesses of these positions;
┐ Express an understanding of the nature and value of philosophy.
Assessment Information
Open Studies 10 credit courses have one assessment. Normally, the assessment is a 2000 word essay, worth 100% of the total mark, submitted by week 12. To pass, students must achieve a minimum of 40%. There are a small number of exceptions to this model which are identified in the Studying for Credit Guide.
Special Arrangements
Additional Information
Academic description Not entered
Syllabus Content of course
1. Introduction
What is philosophy? What are its origins? Why do we do it?
2. Epistemology
What is knowledge? What can we know? How do we know things?
3. Philosophy of Mind
What am I? Am I my mind or my body? What ensures my survival over time?
4. Philosophy of Religion
Does God exist? What are the arguments for God┐s existence? How can we account for evil in the world?
5. Metaphysics
Do I have free will? Are all my actions determined by factors outside my control? Am I ever responsible for anything I do?
6. Moral Philosophy
Should we be moral? Is right and wrong relative to culture? How do I know how to act?
7. Applied Ethics
Is abortion wrong? Is there a difference between killing and letting die? Do animals have rights?
8. Political Philosophy
Why do we live in societies? What rights do I have? What are my duties?
9. Aesthetics
What is beauty? Is beauty in the eye of the beholder? What is art?
10. Existentialism
Why are we here? Does life have meaning? How should I live?
Transferable skills Not entered
Reading list Essential reading will be provided on a weekly basis, however, students would do well to avail themselves of a basic introductory text. The following are highly recommended:
Blackburn, S., 1999. Think. Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press.
Nagel, T., 1987. What does it all mean? Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press.
Warburton, N., 2004. Philosophy: the Basics. 4th ed. London: Routledge.
Warburton, N., ed., 2005. Philosophy: Basic Readings. 2nd ed. London: Routledge.
Web sources
James Mooney┐s (course tutor) website: and twitter account: @film_philosophy
Class handouts
Handouts will be provided on a weekly basis.
Study Abroad Not entered
Study Pattern Combination of lectures and discussion.
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserMr James Mooney
Tel: (0131 6)50 3077
Course secretaryMrs Diane Mcmillan
Tel: (0131 6)50 6912
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