Timetable information in the Course Catalogue may be subject to change.

University Homepage
DRPS Homepage
DRPS Search
DRPS Contact
DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences : Philosophy

Postgraduate Course: The Nature of Philosophy (PHIL11213)

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 will encourage students to think critically about the nature and significance of philosophical reflection and philosophical theories. We will be engaged with fundamental questions in what is sometimes called ¿metaphilosophy,¿ or the investigation of the nature and methods of philosophy.
Course description In this course, students will be encouraged to think about the nature of philosophy and philosophical investigation. We will be engaged with fundamental questions in what is sometimes called "metaphilosophy," or the investigation of the nature and methods of philosophy. The questions we will consider include:
1. What is the aim of philosophical investigation or philosophical reflection?
2. What, if anything, makes philosophical investigation and reflection valuable?
3. Does philosophy make progress? If so, what does philosophical progress consist in? If philosophy doesn¿t make progress, what does that imply about the value or significance of philosophical reflection?
4. What, if anything, distinguishes philosophy from other disciplines?
5. What is the relationship between questions about the nature of philosophy and philosophy itself?
6. Is there a correct philosophical method? If so, what is it?
Students will be invited to think about these questions in the context of the particular subfields of philosophy or philosophical debates they have studied or are particularly interested in. They will be expected to reflect on the significance of their answers to these and related questions for their own philosophical outlooks and interests. Students will be asked to write and discuss with their peers several short reflective essays exploring the topics of the course and developing their own views. These short essays will serve as the basis for a longer summative essay.

Readings for the course will be drawn from a variety of historical and contemporary sources. Readings may include texts from: Hume, Carnap, Wittgenstein, Cavell, Feyerabend, Van Fraassen, Rorty, Chalmers, Beebee, Williamson, and contemporary contributions to meta-metaphysics.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. reflect critically on their own philosophical educations and interests
  2. understand and critically engage with a variety of views about the nature of philosophy, the nature of philosophical progress, and the aims and significance of philosophical reflection
  3. think critically about the relation between philosophy and other disciplines
  4. improved core skills in philosophy, including the ability to interpret and analyse philosophical texts, evaluate arguments, and develop critical ideas in response
  5. further developed written communication skills
Reading List
Readings may vary from year to year. Detailed information will be provided on the course Learn page in advance of the start of the course. For a list of representative authors, see the course description.

Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Mindsets: Enquiry and lifelong learning; Outlook and engagement.
Skills: Personal and intellectual autonomy; Communication.
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserDr Jennifer Marusic
Course secretaryMiss Sabina Ali
Tel: (0131 6) 50 4400
Help & Information
Search DPTs and Courses
Degree Programmes
Browse DPTs
Humanities and Social Science
Science and Engineering
Medicine and Veterinary Medicine
Other Information
Combined Course Timetable
Important Information