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

Postgraduate Course: Philosophy of the Scottish Enlightenment MSc (PHIL11100)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThe course will present the thought of four leading philosophers of the Scottish Enlightenment, Hutcheson, Smith and Reid. Subjects covered will include their treatment of such topics as the role of reason and sentiment in moral judgement, the idea of a moral sense, the standard of taste, virtue, justice, duty, and freedom and necessity. The relevance of these ideas to modern debates will also be discussed.

Shared with UG course Philosophy of the Scottish Enlightenment PHIL10115.

For courses co-taught with undergraduate students and with no remaining undergraduate spaces left, a maximum of 8 MSc students can join the course. Priority will be given to MSc students who wish to take the course for credit on a first come first served basis after matriculation.
Course description Topics:

Week 1. Introduction to the Scottish enlightenment, and Hutcheson's Aesthetics.
Week 2. Hutcheson's Ethics: the idea of a moral sense.
Week 3. Hume's Ethics: reason, passion and morality.
Week 4. Hume's Ethics: sympathy and the natural virtues.
Week 5. Hume's Ethics: justice.
Week 6. Hume's Aesthetics and its significance for his ethics.
Week 7. Smith's moral psychology: sympathy and the impartial spectator.
Week 8. Smith on moral rules and on virtue.
Week 9 Reid on Freedom and Necessity.
Week 10. Reid's Ethics; the centrality of duty.
Week 11. Review of some central themes in the Scottish Enlightenment, and comparison with other ethical theories.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. understand some major issues in Scottish philosophy of the 18th century
  2. understand how these issues relate to continuing debates
  3. read closely, analyse and criticise early modern philosophical texts.
  4. present and defend arguments
  5. understand and analyse arguments
Reading List
Primary reading is drawn from the following works. (These should be on reserve at the University Library, but online versions are listed when available.)

F. Hutcheson. Inquiry into the Original of our Ideas of Beauty and Virtue.
F. Hutcheson. Illustrations on the Moral Sense
D. Hume. A Treatise of Human Nature.
D. Hume. 'Of the Standard of Taste' in Essays Moral, Political and Literary.
D. Hume. An Enquiry Concerning the Principles of Morals.
A. Smith. The Theory of Moral Sentiments.
T. Reid. Essay on the Active Powers of Man.

Secondary reading available on Learn.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
Additional Class Delivery Information The course is taught by Dr Andrew Mason.
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserProf Theodore Scaltsas
Tel: (0131 6)50 3649
Course secretaryMs Becky Verdon
Tel: (0131 6)50 3860
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