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PH5033 / PH5533
Contemporary Issues in the Philosophy of Physics
CREDIT POINTS 15

Course Co-ordinator: Dr Guido Bacciagaluppi

Pre-requisite(s): Available only to postgraduate students.

The course will focus on issues of current interest in contemporary philosophy of physics, usually in philosophy of quantum mechanics, philosophy of space-time or philosophy of statistical mechanics. In 2012-2013, it will coincide with the first half of PH5057, which is a regular research seminar and reading group, open to research postgraduates and other staff from within and outwith the department, with presentations from staff, students and visitors, and discussion of classic and contemporary sources. In particular, Elise Crull and myself will present material from our book in progress on The ‘Einstein Paradox’: The debate on nonlocality and incompleteness in 1935.

12 two-hour seminars over twelve weeks.

One 3,500 word essay (90%) and seminar participation (10%).

PH5035 / PH5535
Spinoza's Ethics
CREDIT POINTS 15

Course Co-ordinator: Dr Mogens Laerke

Pre-requisite(s): Available only to postgraduate students.

Note(s): Will not run in 2012/13.

This course will be dedicated to the close reading of Spinoza's Ethics (1677), in particular parts I and II. Through discussion, it is the aim to identify and articulate the originality and radicality of Spinoza's pantheistic system. We will discuss in some detail what has been called "the enduring questions", i.e. problems in Spinoza's philosophy which have puzzled commentators for over three hundred years and still do, such as the coherence of Spinoza's concept of God, the meaning of his doctrine of the attributes, and the nature of the substance-mode relation. In this connection, we will read and discuss relevant commentary literature.

12 two-hour seminars over twelve weeks.

One 3,500 word essay (90%) and seminar participation (10%).

PH5036/PH5536
Recent Topics in Metaphysics and Epistemology
CREDIT POINTS 15

Course Co-ordinator: TBA

Pre-requisite(s): Available only to postgraduate students.

Note(s): Will not run in 2012/13.

This course will focus on issues in contemporary metaphysics related to the existence and structure of objects. How many things are there: none, one, or many? Is the world filled with only the micro-particles of physics, or are there macro-sized things? When -- if ever -- does a thing have parts? Can a thing be continually divided into smaller and smaller parts, or must there be smallest parts ('atoms')? Can a thing be part of larger and larger wholes, or must there be a largest whole (the 'universe')? Are things really just un-individuated stuff, or do objects always come with boundaries? And what are boundaries anyway? This course will give you a working knowledge of the many rival theories about the structure of the world.

Twelve 2-hour seminars over 12 weeks.

One 3,500 word essay (90%) and seminar participation (10%).

PH5037/PH5537
Advanced Formal Logic
CREDIT POINTS 15

Course Co-ordinator: TBA

Pre-requisite(s): Available only to postgraduate students.

Note(s): Will not run in 2012/13.

x

Twelve 2-hour seminars over 12 weeks.

One 3,500 word essay (90%) and seminar participation (10%).

PH5038/PH5538
Advanced Topics in Formal and Philosophical Logic
CREDIT POINTS 15

Course Co-ordinator: TBA

Pre-requisite(s): Available only to postgraduate students.

Note(s): Will not run in 2012/13.

Twelve 2-hour seminars over 12 weeks.

One 3,500 word essay (90%) and seminar participation (10%).

PH5039/PH5539
Truth and Knowledge: Contemporary Issues
CREDIT POINTS 15

Course Co-ordinator: TBA

Pre-requisite(s): Available only to postgraduate students.

Note(s): Will not run in 2012/13.

x

Twelve 2-hour seminars over 12 weeks.

One 3,500 word essay (90%) and seminar participation (10%).

PH5040/PH5540
Advanced Topics in Practical Philosophy
CREDIT POINTS 15

Course Co-ordinator: TBA

Pre-requisite(s): Available only to postgraduate students.

Co-requisite(s): None

Note(s): Will not run in 2012/13.

x

12 two-hour seminars over 12 weeks.

One 3,500 word essay (90%) and seminar participation (10%).

PH5041
Funding Skills
CREDIT POINTS 15

Course Co-ordinator: TBA

Pre-requisite(s):

Note(s): Will not run in 2012/13.

This component is largely independent study, with six skills-based seminars, focussing on research proposals, CVs, funding agencies, jobs and other relevant topics. The students are to identify a research question, guided by their supervisor and are to apply the skills they learn in the relevant skills training sessions to put together a research funding application.

6 two-hour seminars (skills-based) and 2 one-hour individual supervision sessions (identifying research question).

Continuous assessment (100%): students will submit a research proposal (three versions of 500, 1000 and 2000 words) with compulsory sections on each of questions, context, method and a bibliography.

PH5042
Independent Research Project 1
CREDIT POINTS 30

Course Co-ordinator: Dr G Bacciagaluppi

Pre-requisite(s): Available only to postgraduate students.

The course consists of one-to-one supervision with a member of staff. Students will be expected to produce an essay of ca. 6000 words.

8 hours of supervision.

The essay (ca. 6000 words) will be assessed by submission.

PH5043 / PH5543
Spinoza's Theologico-political Treatise
CREDIT POINTS 15

Course Co-ordinator: Dr Beth Lord

Pre-requisite(s): Available only to postgraduate students.

Note(s): Students are not permitted to register for this course after the end of week 2 of teaching.

This course will be dedicated to the reading of Baruch de Spinoza's Theologico-political treatise (1670), today widely recognized as a masterpiece of political philosophy, on a par with texts such as Hobbes' Leviathan or Locke's Two Treatises on Government. Through discussion, it is the aim of this course to identify and articulate the main arguments in Spinoza's defence of the "liberty to philosophise" and of his recommendation of a democratic rule. We will consider how his political philosophy relates to his metaphysical system (as presented in the Ethics from 1677). We will also discuss Spinoza's modern, "philosophical" approach to the Bible and to religion in general, and try to understand why the book caused such a scandal among theologians from the period.

12 two-hour seminars over 12 weeks.

One 3,500 word essay (90%) and seminar participation (10%).

PH5044 / PH5544
Scientific Methodology
CREDIT POINTS 15

Course Co-ordinator: Dr Luca Moretti

Pre-requisite(s): Available only to postgraduate students. Knowledge of elementary propositional and predicate logic.

Note(s): Will not run in 2012/13.

The course aims at uncovering what constitutes scientific rationality. Some of the most important conceptions of scientific methodology, including Popper's falsificationism, Lakatos' and Laudan's methodologies of research programs, Kuhn's conception scientific paradigms, Feyerabend's anarchism, will be scrutinized. Some of these views will be tested on cases from past and contemporary science, including the Copernican revolution and the continental drift hypothesis. The second part of the course deals with the problem of constructing a formalized system of inductive logic. The focus will mostly be on modern Bayesianism and its problems.

12 two-hour seminars over 12 weeks.

One 3,500 word essay (90%) and seminar participation (10%).

PH5045 / PH5545
Recent Topics in Philosophy of Biology
CREDIT POINTS 15

Course Co-ordinator: Dr Ulrich Stegmann

Pre-requisite(s): Available only to postgraduate students.

Note(s): Will not run in 2012/13.

In this course we will discuss recent topics in the philosophy of biology. Students with a background in this field will be enabled to explore it in more depth, whereas students with little or no background will be able to familiarize themselves with some of the key issues. The course covers topics in several biological subdisciplines, especially evolutionary biology and molecular biology.

12 two-hour seminars over 12 weeks.

One 3,500 word essay (90%) and seminar participation (10%).

PH5046 / PH5546
Research Practices 1
CREDIT POINTS 15

Course Co-ordinator: TBA

Pre-requisite(s): Available only to postgraduate students.

Note(s): Will not run in 2012/13.

The module is split into two halves. In the first half of the module, the students work through the allocated background reading for the relevant phase of the project. Each week the students have a seminar with the course co-ordinator to discuss the reading. The meetings are to be introduced by a student presentation. In the second half of the module students are to attend at least 3 meetings of one of the projects running at the Northern Institute of Philosophy (currently Basic Knowledge, The Self, and Contextualism and Relativism) including the relevant minuting sessions, or the equivalent for another research project in the Department of Philosophy.

6 two-hour seminars, plus 9 hours of project sessions and minuting sessions.

One written summary (1000-2000 words) of the research questions of the project against the background of the reading allocated in the first half of the module (35%). One essay (3000-4000 words) on a question of the student's choice relating to the project (65%).

PH5048 / PH5548
Research Practices 3
CREDIT POINTS 15

Course Co-ordinator: TBA

Pre-requisite(s): Available only to postgraduate students.

Note(s): Will not run in 2012/13.

The module is split into two halves. In the first half of the module, the students work through the allocated background reading for the relevant phase of the project. Each week the students have a seminar which the course co-ordinator to discuss the reading. The meetings are to be introduced by a student presentation. In the second half of the module students are to attend at least 3 meetings of one of the projects running at the Northern Institute of Philosophy (currently Basic Knowledge, The Self, and Contextualism and Relativism) including the relevant minuting sessions, or the equivalent for another research project in the Department of Philosophy.

6 two-hour seminars, plus 9 hours of project sessions and minuting sessions.

One written summary (1000-2000 words) of the research questions of the project against the background of the reading allocated in the first half of the module (35%). One essay (3000-4000 words) on a question of the student's choice relating to the project (65%).

PH5049/PH5549
Ecology and the Environment
CREDIT POINTS 15

Course Co-ordinator: Dr Ulrich Stegmann

Pre-requisite(s): Available only to postgraduate students.

Note(s): Will not run in 2012/13.

The environmental crisis has brought latent and long-standing issues about our relation to the natural world to the attention of politicians and the general public. This course takes a multifaceted view at ecology and the environment by looking at some central concepts and problems in ecology and investigating their ethical, social and political ramifications. The course thus involves perspectives from both theoretical and practical philosophy. Among the concepts to be explored from the point of view of philosophy of science will be the notions of biodiversity and niche construction.

12 two-hour seminars over twelve weeks.

One 3,500 word essay (90%) and seminar participation (10%).

PH5050 / PH5550
Contemporary Scepticism
CREDIT POINTS 15

Course Co-ordinator: Dr Luca Moretti

Pre-requisite(s): Available only to postgraduate students. Knowledge of elementary propositional and predicate logic.

Note(s): Will not run in 2012/13.

The course will focus on the contemporary debate on spistemological scepticism, will single out the principal types of scepticism recently emerged and will explore important attempts to reply to them. The emphasis will be on global scepticism (or scepticism about the external world). The latter will include positions based on relevant alternatives, on the rejection of closure, and on epistemological entitlement; infallibilism and contextualism will also be considered.

12 two-hour seminars over 12 weeks.

One 3,500 word essay (90%) and seminar participation (10%).

PH5051/PH5551
Biology and Morality
CREDIT POINTS 15

Course Co-ordinator: TBA

Pre-requisite(s): Available only to postgraduate students.

Note(s): Will not run in 2012/13.

We will employ material from Darwin's Descent of Man, Dawkins The Extended Phenotype and one or another anthology of critical articles concerned with the evolution of altruism, individual and group selection, the alleged human instinct for justice and fairness, and the limitations of natural morality and naturalized moral theory.

12 two-hour seminars over twelve weeks.

One 3,500 word essay (90%) and seminar participation (10%).

PH5052
Philosophy Proseminar
CREDIT POINTS 15

Course Co-ordinator: Dr Guido Bacciagaluppi

Pre-requisite(s): Available only to postgraduate students.

The course will give students an introduction to various library, writing and presentation skills and using computer data bases for research. It will introduce students to research methods and practices in philosophy. In particular, students will read, present and discuss particularly instructive examples of research papers in different areas of philosophy, under the guidance of different members of the department.

12 two-hour seminars over 12 weeks.

One 3,500 word essay (90%) and seminar participation (10%).

PH5054/PH5554
Epistemic Disagreement
CREDIT POINTS 15

Course Co-ordinator: TBA

Pre-requisite(s): Available only to postgraduate students.

Note(s): Will not run in 2012/13.

Disagreement comes in various kinds. A distinguished mathematician might disagree with a novice over whether there are more rational than natural numbers. However, she might also disagree with another distinguished mathematician - an epistemic peer - over the size of the continuum. Having distinguished between various kinds of disagreement, we will zoom in on disagreement between epistemic peers. That is, individuals who are epistemic equals in that they have equally good access to the evidence that bear on the relevant question (the size of the continuum, say), are equally competent with respect to that question, and have knowingly shared all their evidence. We will discuss the main views on peer disagreement. According to conformism, two epistemic peers must change their degree of belief when they find themselves in disagreement. They must conform, in other words. According to non-conformism, the opposite is the case: two epistemic peers who find themselves in disagreement need not change their degree of belief, but each can reasonably maintain her initial degree of belief. We will also familiarize ourselves with a hybrid of conformism and non-conformism. Lastly, we will discuss the issue what it is reasonable for a novice to believe in light of disagreement between experts.

12 two-hour seminars over twelve weeks.

One 3,500 word essay (90%) and seminar participation (10%).

PH5055/PH5555
Kierkegaard's Fear and Trembling
CREDIT POINTS 15

Course Co-ordinator: TBA

Pre-requisite(s): Available only to postgraduate students.

Note(s): Will not run in 2012/13.

Kierkegaard's reflection on Abraham's sacrifice of his son Isaac presents a challenge both to ethics and religion. Is it possible that Abraham was right in killing Isaac, and that can there be a teleogical and religious "suspension" of ethics? By a close reading of Kierkegaard's classic Fear and Trembling, this unit provides the student with an understanding both of the basic components of Kierkegaard's philosophy and of the issue of the relation to ethics to which he is responding.

12 two-hour seminars over twelve weeks.

One 3,500 word essay (90%) and seminar participation (10%).

PH5056/PH5556
Special Subject in Philosophical Research
CREDIT POINTS 15

Course Co-ordinator: Dr Ulrich Stegmann

Pre-requisite(s):

One of the key episodes in 20th century life sciences was the elucidation of the structure of DNA in 1953 and the subsequent understanding of protein synthesis. In this course we trace the history of this episode and explore its philosophical ramifications. We will investigate the emergence of new representational spaces and of a new discipline, the varied use of abstract and physical models, the controversies about the notion of information, and the historiographical challenges posed by studying ‘recent’ history. This course combines topics in the philosophy of science with topics from the history and sociology of science.

12 two-hour seminars over twelve weeks.

One 3,500 word essay (90%), seminar participation.

PH5057
Research-Related Special Subject Philosophy
CREDIT POINTS 30

Course Co-ordinator: Dr Guido Bacciagaluppi

Pre-requisite(s): Available only to postgraduate students.

Note(s): Students are not permitted to register for this course after the end of week 2 of teaching.

The course will take the form of a regular research seminar or reading group, open to research postgraduates and other staff from within and outwith the department, with presentations from staff, students and visitors, and discussion of classic and contemporary sources. In particular, in 2012-2013, Elise Crull and myself will present material from our book in progress on The ‘Einstein Paradox’: The debate on nonlocality and incompleteness in 1935. The first half of this course can be taken separately under the course code PH5033.

Twenty-four 2-hour seminars over twelve weeks in the first half-session and twelve weeks in the second half-session.

One 6,000 word essay (90%) plus seminar participation (10%).

PH5058/PH5558
Topics in Early Modern Philosophy
CREDIT POINTS 15

Course Co-ordinator: Dr Morgens Laerke

Pre-requisite(s): Available only to postgraduate students.

Note(s): Will not run in 2012/13.

This course will be dedicated to the reading of central philosophical texts from the early modern period, approximately from Bacon to Hume. The organization of the course is topical, with two or three central themes (such as for example faith and reason, the nature of ideas, or the metaphysics of substance), which will then be discussed in relation to several philosophers. We will be reading key primary texts from the period and also include central commentary literature. Through discussion, it is the aim of this course to enable students to identify and articulate fundamental issues in early modern philosophy and gain a firm understanding of the core issues of the period.

Twelve 2-hour seminars over twelve weeks

One 3,500 word essay (90%) plus seminar participation (10%).

PH5060
Research Preparation Seminar
CREDIT POINTS 15

Course Co-ordinator: TBA

Pre-requisite(s): Available only to postgraduate students.

Note(s): Will not run in 2012/13.

This component is largely independent study, with six skills-based seminars, focussing on research proposals, CVs, funding agencies, jobs and other relevant topics. The students are to identify a research question, guided by their supervisor and are to apply the skills they learn in the relevant skills training sessions to put together a research funding application.

6 two-hour seminars (skills-based) and 2 one-hour individual supervision sessions (identifying research question).

Continuous assessment (100%): students will submit a research proposal (three versions of 500, 1000 and 2000 words) with compulsory sections on each of questions, context, method and a bibliography.

PH5061
Philosophy Proseminar
CREDIT POINTS 30

Course Co-ordinator: TBA

Pre-requisite(s): Available only to postgraduate students.

Note(s): Will not run in 2012/13.

The course will give students an introduction to various library, writing and presentation skills and using computer data bases for research. It will introduce students to research methods and practices in philosophy. In particular, students will read, present and discuss particularly instructive examples of research papers in different areas of philosophy, under the guidance of different members of the department.

12 two-hour seminars over 12 weeks.

100% written assignments: 4 x 1500 word essays due at intervals thoughout the semester and 1 x 4000 word essay.

PH5062 / PH5562
Research Practices 2
CREDIT POINTS 30

Course Co-ordinator: TBA

Pre-requisite(s): Available only to postgraduate students.

Note(s): Will not run in 2012/13.

The module is split into two halves. In the first half of the module, the students work through the allocated background reading for the relevant phase of the project. Each week the students have a seminar with the course co-ordinator to discuss the reading. The meetings are to be introduced by a student presentation. In the second half of the module students are to attend at least 3 meetings of one of the projects running at the Northern Institute of Philosophy (currently Basic Knowledge, The Self, and Contextualism and Relativism) including the relevant minuting sessions, or the equivalent for another research project in the Department of Philosophy.

2 x 1.5 hour seminars in each of the first 6 weeks of the semester and 1 two-hour seminar plus 1 one-hour minuting session in each week of the second part of the semester.

Students will respond to a mock conference call for papers with a written paper (4000 words) plus an abstract (200 words). Students must then present their work at the MLitt conference and respond to another students work, verbally and written. Assessment is 60% submitted paper, 10% submitted abstract, 10% presentation at conference, 10% written response to another students paper.

PH5520
Dissertation / Philosophy
CREDIT POINTS 60

Course Co-ordinator: Dr Guido Bacciagaluppi

Pre-requisite(s): For level 5 students in Philosophy

The content of the course will necessarily vary and consist of a range of key topics and debates definitive of the contemporary state of Philosophy in general.

100% continuous assessment - dissertation of 15,000 words.

PH5541
Conference Skills
CREDIT POINTS 15

Course Co-ordinator: Dr Franz Berto

Pre-requisite(s): Available only to postgraduate students.

Note(s): Students are not permitted to register for this course after the end of week 2 of teaching.

The research skills are delivered through participation in a mock conference. Training sessions throughout the semester, led by the course leader, will focus on the course aims and guide students to the desired learning outcomes. As part of the mock conference, a call for papers is issued to which each student must submit an abstract. The one-day 'conference' will take place and each student will present a paper, receive a response (from another student) and participate in Q&A. Philosophy staff and graduate students will be encouraged to attend this event.

6 two-hour seminars (skills based) and 6 hours of mock conference.

Continuous assessment (100%): the abstract for the conference paper (three versions of 200, 500 and 1000 words) and the written version of the response to another speaker's paper (ca. 1000 words) are both assessed.

PH5542
Independent Research Project 2
CREDIT POINTS 30

Course Co-ordinator: Dr G Bacciagaluppi

Pre-requisite(s): Available only to postgraduate students.

The course consists of one-to-one supervision with a member of staff. Students will be expected to produce an essay of ca. 6000 words.

8 hours of supervision.

The essay (ca. 6000 words) will be assessed by submission.

PH5552
Work in Progress Seminar
CREDIT POINTS 15

Course Co-ordinator: Dr Guido Bacciagaluppi

Pre-requisite(s): Available only to postgraduate students.

Note(s): Students are not permitted to register for this course after the end of week 2 of teaching.

The course will consist of seminars in which students will present their work in progress on the dissertation. They will receive feedback from peers and from the course co-ordinator and will be able to discuss methodological and other issues arising within the group.

12 two-hour seminars over 12 weeks.

Non-assessable pass-fail course. Students will pass as long as they attend, and deliver a presentation.

PH5903
Philosophy Dissertation
CREDIT POINTS 60

Course Co-ordinator: Dr Paula Sweeney

Pre-requisite(s): Available only to postgraduate students.

Note(s): Will not run in 2012/13.

The course consists of one-to-one supervision with a member of staff. Students will be expected to produce a dissertation of 15,000 words.

15 hours of supervision.

The 15,000 word dissertation will be assessed by submission. An oral examination may be held at the discretion of the Examiners.