Undergraduate Course: God in Philosophy: Plato to Hume (THET08010)
|School||School of Divinity
||College||College of Humanities and Social Science
|Credit level (Normal year taken)||SCQF Level 8 (Year 1 Undergraduate)
||Availability||Available to all students
|Summary||An introduction to philosophical theology and some issues in the philosophy of religion, especially the question of how to inquire into 'God' philosophically. Lectures, seminars and set texts in this course treat a range of philosophers in the Western tradition from Plato to the Enlightenment.
The course aims to investigate the role that God plays in major philosophers between Plato and Hume. It also considers the role that key developments in philosophy play in theological speech about God. Lectures and tutorials will focus on primary texts from Plato to Hume; the two essays will require students to interpret the primary texts. Themes include analogy, metaphysics and existence.
The set texts are excerpts from classic works from Plato's Republic to Hume's Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion. There is recommended secondary literature to aid interpretation but the focus is on interpreting the primary texts.
Student Learning Experience Information:
The course has a programme of three one-hour weekly lectures plus a one-hour tutorial per week. There will be interactive elements to the lectures, and there is a schedule of reading to be carried out before each lecture and each tutorial. Through participation in lecture and tutorial discussions, as well as through the mid-semester essay and the final exam essay included in the assessment schedule, students will demonstrate their achievement of the intended learning outcomes.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
||Other requirements|| None
Information for Visiting Students
|Pre-requisites||Visiting students especially welcome. Students should usually have at least 1 introductory level course in theology or religious studies at grade B or above at university level.
|High Demand Course?
Course Delivery Information
|Academic year 2018/19, Available to all students (SV1)
|Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info)
Lecture Hours 33,
Seminar/Tutorial Hours 10,
Feedback/Feedforward Hours 1,
Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4,
Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours
|Assessment (Further Info)
|Additional Information (Assessment)
||There will be two essays required. The first (2000 words), due in the middle of the semester, will count for 35%, and will be a book review of one of the primary texts, selected by the student. The second (3000 words), due during the exam period, will count for 65%, from a selection of set essays published at the start of the course. The difference in weighting will permit formative feedback, and will permit students to build on what they have learned in the previous essay.
|No Exam Information
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
- Demonstrate an ability to rehearse the principal arguments of the set texts and to summarise concisely a substantial body of material
- Demonstrate an ability to differentiate the arguments of the set texts from the arguments of their interpreters, and to identify their strengths and weaknesses
- Show an ability to structure an argument, to use correct grammar in expressing philosophical ideas, and to support claims with reference to specific named primary and secondary texts.
- Demonstrate an ability to undertake independent research
|All course readings are available online via Learn.|
There are set primary texts each week as follows:
Plato Republic VI.506-513; VII 514-523
Aristotle Metaphysics XII (┐) 6-10
Augustine Confessions 1.4.4 (to start, and then) Confessions X; De Trinitate V
Anselm Proslogion: Preface, I-III
Aquinas Summa Theologiae 1a.2.3, 1a.12.12-13, 1a13 1-6
Scotus Ordinatio (selections)
Descartes Meditations III
Leibniz ┐Principles of Nature and Grace, Based on Reason┐
Locke ┐Of Faith and Reason┐
Hume An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding X
Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion, VII, IX
|Graduate Attributes and Skills
||Ability to summarise difficult material;
Ability to structure arguments logically;
Ability to interpret set texts;
Ability to produce a properly referenced essay.
|Course organiser||Dr Ulrich Schmiedel
Tel: (0131 6)50 8918
|Course secretary||Ms Katrina Munro
Tel: (0131 6)50 8900