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

Undergraduate Course: Social Philosophy (PHIL10204)

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 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 Students MUST have passed: Mind, Matter and Language (PHIL08014) AND Knowledge and Reality (PHIL08017)
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements Students studying on MA Cognitive Science (Humanities) are permitted to take this course without having met the pre-requisites of Mind, Matter and Language (PHIL08014) and Knowledge and Reality (PHIL08014). However, it is advisable that students discuss the suitability of the course with their PT and the course organiser before enrolling.
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesVisiting students should have completed at least 3 Philosophy courses at grade B or above. We will only consider University/College level courses. Applicants should note that, as with other popular courses, meeting the minimum does NOT guarantee admission. These enrolments are managed strictly by the Visiting Student Office, in line with the quotas allocated by the department, and all enquiries to enrol in these courses must be made through the CAHSS Visiting Student Office. It is not appropriate for students to contact the department directly to request additional spaces.
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2024/25, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  0
Course Start Semester 1
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Seminar/Tutorial Hours 32, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 164 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Midterm Essay (40%)
Final Essay (60%)
Feedback Guidance will be given in advance of each assignment. Depending on the year, this may be in the form of an in-class discussion, a handout, or a formative work, or discussion of a component of the assessed work.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Explain key issues and controversies in social philosophy.
  2. Explain and analyze various theories and arguments in social philosophy with reference to a particular case or cases.
  3. Understand the relationship between social philosophy and other areas of philosophy.
  4. Develop and explain their views of social philosophy.
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
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserDr Marion Boulicault
Course secretaryMs Joan MacKenzie
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