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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Divinity : Theology and Ethics

Undergraduate Course: God in Philosophy: Plato to Hume (THET08010)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Divinity CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 8 (Year 1 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryAn 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.
Course description Academic Description:
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.

Syllabus/Outline Content:
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)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesVisiting 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? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2018/19, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  0
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 33, Seminar/Tutorial Hours 10, Feedback/Feedforward Hours 1, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 152 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
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.
Feedback Not entered
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Demonstrate an ability to rehearse the principal arguments of the set texts and to summarise concisely a substantial body of material
  2. Demonstrate an ability to differentiate the arguments of the set texts from the arguments of their interpreters, and to identify their strengths and weaknesses
  3. 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.
  4. Demonstrate an ability to undertake independent research
Reading List
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
Additional Information
Course URL
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 organiserDr Ulrich Schmiedel
Tel: (0131 6)50 8918
Course secretaryMs Katrina Munro
Tel: (0131 6)50 8900
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