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

Undergraduate Course: History of Analytic Philosophy (PHIL10116)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 3 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course covers the early history of analytic philosophy. The objective is to explore the development of logic at the beginning of the 20th century and its application to central philosophical problems.
Course description Towards the beginning of the twentieth century, a rich and influential tradition known as Analytic Philosophy emerged, which became predominate style of philosophy in the English speaking world. In this course, we will look at the early history of this movement, as reflected in the works of Frege, Russell, and Moore.

This tradition emerged from two trends. One trend was a rejection of the idealism that had become popular in philosophy in the 19th century. Idealism holds that the world is somehow dependent on our conception of it. Frege, Russell, and Moore each developed frameworks according which the world is objective, and is not altered by what we think about it. The other major trend was that philosophers sought to apply developments in logic and the study of language to traditional philosophical problems. Difficulties in understanding the foundations of mathematics led Frege and Russell to develop rigorous new ways of thinking about logic and language. These tools form the foundation of many developments in contemporary logic and linguistics. But Frege and Russell went beyond the investigation of logic, mathematics, and language. We will see how these tools were put to use in understanding the structure of human thought and the world it represents, and in resolving scientific puzzles.

This course will cover the philosophical climate in which these philosophers developed, their views on traditional philosophical issues, and the distinctive debates that arose within the emerging tradition.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesVisiting students:
at least 2 University level philosophy courses at the grade B level or above
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. The students will better understand the work of foundational figures in analytic philosophy.
  2. The students will learn the relevance of the foundational figures contemporary debates in metaphysics, philosophy of language, logic, and epistemology.
  3. The students will learn how the development of symbolic logic was put to work in solving philosophical problems.
  4. Students will learn to explain and analyze these developments in essays.
Reading List
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
Additional Class Delivery Information Each week, this course will have 1 hour of lecture and 1 hour of tutorial.
KeywordsFrege,Russell,Moore,logic,Stebbing,20th century philosophy,metaphysics,language
Course organiserDr Bryan Pickel
Tel: (0131 6)51 5177
Course secretaryMiss Samantha Bell
Tel: (0131 6)50 3602
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