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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences : Philosophy

Postgraduate Course: Reason and Experience: Seventeenth Century Philosophy MSc (PHIL11142)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThe course will provide a critical overview of themes from seventeenth century philosophy from Descartes to Berkeley. Issues covered include the nature of material and immaterial substances; the self and its relation to its body and to the non-human world in general; attitudes regarding animals and other living organisms; inanimate bodies and the mechanical philosophy; epistemological scepticism; innatism; sense perception, imagination, intellect; the epistemological role of language and abstract ideas; and moral issues concerning freewill and determinism and the nature of God and theodicy.

The course will be shared with the undergraduate version Reason and Experience: Seventeenth Century Philosophy (PHIL10150)

Formative feedback available:
- opportunity to submit a formative essay by the week 6 closing deadline
-the course organiser will be available to discuss drafts and or plans of essays individually with students before submission (face-to face and via email)
- general advice in class

Course description Provisional lecture plan

1. General introduction and substance monism, dualism and pluralism
2. Nature and Knowledge of the Self
3. Living nature
4. Mechanical nature and causation
5. Scepticism
6. Ideas and Perception
7. Language and communication
8. Mind and Body
9. Freedom and Determinism
10. God and theodicy
11. Revision
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2014/15, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  10
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 20, Revision Session Hours 2, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 174 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) 2500 word assignment

Essay deadline: Monday 20th April 2015 by 12 noon
Word limit: 3000 words maximum
Return deadline: Tuesday 12th May 2015
Feedback Not entered
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
Students will gain an understanding of the often sophisticated and frequently heated debates that raged in the seventeenth century on matters scientific, theological and philosophical. They will come to appreciate the inter-relation between the epistemological, metaphysical, ethical, scientific and theological positions discussed. They will learn to evaluate critically the arguments offered both in defence of, and in opposition to, these positions. By the end of the course, students will be able to defend their own views on these issues and be able to develop and assess different interpretations of the texts studied.
Reading List
Primary sources

Descartes, The Philosophical Writings of Descartes, tr. & ed. by John Cottingham, Robert Stoothoff and Dugald Murdoch, 2 vols (Cambridge University Press, 1984-85)

Spinoza, Ethics, tr. & ed. by G. H. R. Parkinson (London: Dent, 1989)

Malebranche, Nicolas, Dialogues on Metaphysics and on Religion, ed. by Nicholas Jolley, tr. by David Scott (Cambridge University Press, 1997)

Leibniz, Philosophical Essays, tr. and ed. by Dan Garber and Roger Ariew (Indianapolis: Hackett, 1989)

Locke, An Essay concerning Human Understanding, ed. by Pauline Phemister. Oxford World┐s Classics (Oxford University Press, 2008)

Berkeley, Principles of Human Knowledge / Three Dialogues, ed. by Roger Woolhouse (Penguin).

The full weekly reading list is available on Learn.
Additional Information
Course URL Please see Learn page
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
Additional Class Delivery Information Taught by Dr Pauline Phemister
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserDr Pauline Phemister
Tel: (0131 6)51 3747
Course secretaryMiss Lynsey Buchanan
Tel: (0131 6)51 5002
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