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

Postgraduate Course: Introduction to Philosophical Method (PHIL11008)

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
SummaryThis course aims to introduce students whose academic background is not primarily in philosophy to the topic of philosophical methodology. This will be achieved by studying the structure of philosophical arguments as they appear in a selection of important contemporary philosophical texts, particularly in the core areas of philosophy of science, philosophy of language, epistemology, ethics, and philosophy of mind.

The course is shared with the Introduction to Philosophical Methodology online course (PHIL11132) for blended learning. On-campus students on the shared course will first watch a video lecture (approx. 40 - 50 mins) on Learn and attend fortnightly seminars on campus with the instructor for the week from week 3.
Course description Week 1: Introduction to Conceptual Analysis and Thought Experiments
- Asynchronous forum seminar

Week 2: Functionalism, Inverted Qualia and Blockhead
- Asynchronous forum seminar

Week 3: Physicalism and Zombies
- Synchronous seminar

Week 4: JTB Analysis of Knowledge and Gettier Cases
- Asynchronous forum seminar

Week 5: Reliabilism, Clairvoyance and the New Evil Demon
- Synchronous seminar

Week 6: Galileo's Falling Bodies, Newton's Bucket, and Einstein's Elevator
- Asynchronous forum seminar

Week 7: Artificial Intelligence and the Chinese Room Argument
- Synchronous seminar

Week 8: The Open Question Argument and the Paradox of Analysis
- Asynchronous forum seminar

Week 9: Moral Twin Earth
- Synchronous seminar

Week 10: Descriptivism about Proper Names
- Asynchronous forum seminar

Week 11: Kripke's Epistemic, Modal and Semantic Arguments
- Synchronous seminar
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2016/17, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  None
Course Start Semester 1
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 20, Seminar/Tutorial Hours 5, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 171 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Students will be assessed by a 2500 word essay (85%) and successful participation in the on-line activities associated with the course (15%). How the participation component will be assessed will be made clear to the students at the start of the course.

Essay deadline: Monday 19th December 2016 by 12 noon
Word limit: 2500 maximum (excluding references)
Return deadline: Friday 20th January 2017
Feedback Students have the opportunity to submit a formative essay by week 6 deadline on Turnitin via Learn. The essay cannot be draft of summative essay but it can be on the same topic.

Formative essay deadline: Thursday 27th October 2016 by 12 noon
Return deadline: Friday 18th November 2016
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. have a grasp of fundamental issues in philosophical methodology, e.g. the nature of thought experiments, the role of rational intuitions, conceptual analysis.
  2. be able to critically analyse and engage with literature by key philosophers in this field.
  3. be able to present arguments clearly and concisely both within a classroom context and in a 2,500 word essay.
  4. gain transferable skills in research, analysis and argumentation
Reading List
Week 1
Class Readings
Chris Daly, An Introduction to Philosophical Methods, Broadview Press, 2010. Chapter 2.

Week 2
Class Readings
Ned Block (1978) 'Troubles with functionalism', in Timothy O'Connor and David Robb (eds.), Philosophy of Mind: Contemporary Readings. Routledge, 2003. 222 - 233. Available as an e-book.

Week 3
Class Readings
Todd Moody (1994) 'Conversations with zombies' Journal of Consciousness Studies, 1, 196 - 200 (read this first)
Daniel Dennett (1995) 'The unimagined preposterousness of zombies' Journal of Consciousness Studies, 2, 322 - 326

Week 4
Reading list TBD

Week 5
Reading list TBD

Week 6
Class Readings
Norton, J. D. (1995) 'Are Thought Experiments Just What You Thought?' Canadian Journal of Philosophy 26(3): 333 - 366.

Week 7
Class Readings
Searle, J. R. (1980) 'Minds, Brains and Programs,' Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 3(3): 417 - 424.
Plus these responses (also in Behavioral and Brain Sciences, vol. 3, 1980): Abelson, R. P. 'Searle's argument is just a set of Chinese symbols,' 424 - 5. Block, N. 'What intuitions about homunculi don't show,' 425 - 6. Dennett, D. 'The milk of human intentionality,' 428 - 30. Hofstadter, D. R. 'Reductionism and religion,' 433 - 4. Minsky, M. 'Decentralized minds,' 439 - 40.Rorty, R. 'Searle and the special powers of the brain,' 445 - 6.

Week 8
Class Readings
Moore, G. E. (1903) 'The Subject Matter of Ethics' in his Principia Ethica, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Baldwin, T. (2010) 'The Open Question Argument' in The Routledge Companion to Ethics, John Skorupski (ed.), Oxford: Routledge

Week 9
Class Readings
1. Hare, R. M. (1952) The Language of Morals (OUP) p148-50.
2. Horgan, T. and Timmons, M. (1991) 'New Wave Moral Realism Meets Moral Twin Earth' Journal of Philosophical Research 16

Week 10
Class Readings
Jesper Kallestrup, Semantic Externalism, London: Routledge, 2011. Chapter 1.

Week 11
Class Readings
Jesper Kallestrup, Semantic Externalism, London: Routledge, 2011, Chapter 2.

The full weekly reading list is available on Learn.
Additional Information
Course URL Please see Learn page
Graduate Attributes and Skills Both oncampus and online students can develop their ability for independent learning through online resources.
Additional Class Delivery Information Team taught by Prof Jesper Kallestrup, Dr Suilin Lavelle, Dr Debbie Roberts and Dr Alistair Isaac.
KeywordsMethodology; Ethics; Epistemology; Mind; Philosophy of Science
Course organiserDr Jesper Kallestrup
Course secretaryMiss Lynsey Buchanan
Tel: (0131 6)51 5002
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