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

Postgraduate Course: Advanced Topics in Social Philosophy (PHIL11198)

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) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course covers issues and questions in social philosophy - philosophy that treats our socially-embeddedness as something which philosophers should explore and try to understand, and also as a crucial starting point for philosophical inquiry.
Course description People do not typically live as isolated individuals, but as part of larger social groups; families, communities, groups, and societies. This may seem like an obvious point, but some areas of philosophy have been accused of neglecting our fundamentally social nature, and of failing to treat this as worthy of philosophical attention in its own right. Social philosophy treats our socially-embeddedness as something which philosophers should explore and try to understand, and also as a crucial starting point for philosophical inquiry. It includes areas such as feminist philosophy, critical race theory, philosophy of race, and philosophy of disability, but social approaches in areas like ethics, epistemology, metaphysics, political philosophy, and the philosophies of language and mind. For example, social metaphysics asks what social groups are, how social practices categorize people, and what ethical and political consequences follow, and social epistemology looks at the ways in which we can gain knowledge from others through testimony, how we can identify experts, how our views can be challenged by disagreement with others, and the distorting effects of systems of oppression, prejudices, and ideologies on what people do or don't believe and what they do or don't know. This topics-based course introduces student to issues in social philosophy, either generally or through attention to particular social groups. The precise focus of the course within social philosophy will shift from year to year, depending on the interests and expertise of the course organiser.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. engage critically and reflectively with a range of current issues in social philosophy
  2. use written and online discussion resources to share ideas and arguments with their peers and with teaching staff with reference to a particular case or cases
  3. be able to engage critically with key textual sources in the field.
  4. be able to engage constructively in cross-disciplinary conversations
  5. have demonstrated a commitment to constructive dialogue across intellectual and cultural boundaries
Reading List
The following readings are for illustrative purposes, since the course content and the readings will change from year to year.

Ásta. 2018. Categories We Live By: The Construction of Sex, Gender, Race, and Other Social Categories. Oxford University Press.
Barnes, Elizabeth. 2016. The Minority Body: A Theory of Disability. Oxford University Press.
Collins, Patricia Hill. 2000. Black Feminist Thought: Knowledge, Consciousness, and the Politics of Empowerment. Routledge.
Curry, Tommy. 2017. The Man-Not: Race, Class, Genre, and the Dilemmas of Black Manhood. Temple University Press.
Fricker, Miranda. 2007. Epistemic Injustice: Power and the Ethics of Knowing. Oxford University Press.
Glasgow, Joshua, Sally Haslanger, Chike Jeffers, Quayshawn Spencer. 2019. What is Race? Four Philosophical Views. Oxford University Press.
Goldman, Alvin. 1999. Knowledge in a Social World. Oxford University Press.
Goldman, Alvin and Dennis Whitcomb, eds. Social Epistemology: Essential Readings. Oxford University Press.
Haslanger, Sally. 2012. Resisting Reality: Social Construction and Social Critique. Oxford University Press.
hooks, bell. 2000. Feminist Theory: From Margin to Center. Pluto Press.
Khader, Serene. 2018. Decolonizing Universalism: A Transnational Feminist Ethic. Oxford University Press.
Lackey, Jennifer, ed. 2014. Essays in Collective Epistemology. Oxford University Press.
Langton, Rae. 2009. Sexual Solipsism: Philosophical Essays on Pornography and Objectification. Oxford University Press.
Manne, Kate. 2017. Down Girl: The Logic of Misogyny. Oxford University Press.
Mills, Charles. 1997. The Racial Contract. Cornell University Press.
Mills, Charles. 2017. Black Rights/White Wrongs: The Critique of Racial Liberalism. Oxford University Press.
Ritchie, Katherine. 2014. 'What are Groups?', Philosophical Studies 166: 257-72.
Tremain, Shelley. 2017. Foucault and Feminist Philosophies of Disability. Michigan University Press.
Witt, Charlotte. 2011. Feminist Metaphysics: Explorations in the Ontology of Sex, Gender and the Self. Springer Verlag.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
Keywordsgender and race,feminism,society
Course organiserDr Aidan McGlynn
Tel: (0131 6)51 6333
Course secretaryMiss Sabina Ali
Tel: (0131 6) 50 4400
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