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

Postgraduate Course: Theory of Virtue MSc (PHIL11161)

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 introduce students to central ideas in the theory of virtue from the ancient, early modern and contemporary periods, illustrating the development of this area of moral philosophy, the various ways in which the concept of virtue has been interpreted, and the different views which have been held about its significance for ethics.

Shared with undergraduate course Theory of Virtue (PHIL10165)

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 The course will cover the treatment of virtue in the ancient world (Socrates, Plato, Aristotle and the Stoics), in the mediaeval period (Aquinas), in the early modern period (Hume and Kant), and in more recent philosophy, where it has become central to a distinctive philosophical movement, that of virtue ethics. Topics explored will include moral character, the individual virtues, and the connection of virtue with human happiness or flourishing.
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 the theory of virtue
  2. Understand some historic texts in the theory of virtue
  3. Understand connections between historical and contemporary philosophy
  4. Understand and analyse arguments
  5. Present and defend arguments
Reading List
Plato, Protagoras, Meno, Republic Books II-IV.
Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics, Books I-IV.
Aquinas, Treatise on the Virtues.
D. Hume, Treatise on Human Nature, Book III, Part 3. and Enquiry Concerning the Principles of Morals, Appendix 4.
I. Kant, The Doctrine of Virtue.
D. Statman , ed. Virtue Ethics: A Critical Reader.
R. Crisp and M. Slote, eds, Virtue Ethics (Oxford Readings in Philosophy).
R. Crisp, ed. How Should One Live? Essays on the Virtues.
J. Driver, Uneasy Virtue
A. Macintyre, After Virtue.
R. Hursthouse, On Virtue Ethics

A more detailed reading list linked to weekly topics will be available on Learn
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Written skills; oral communication skills; ability to analyse and follow arguments
Additional Class Delivery Information The course will be taught by Dr Andrew Mason.
KeywordsVirtue,Virtue ethics,History of ethics
Course organiserProf Theodore Scaltsas
Tel: (0131 6)50 3649
Course secretaryMs Becky Verdon
Tel: (0131 6)50 3860
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