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Last modified: 22 May 2019 17:07

Course Overview

Kant s Critique of Pure Reason (1781) is one of the most important works of Western philosophy Kant focuses on what we can and cannot know, transforming concepts of freedom, God, self, and nature along the way. In resolving the impasse between rationalism and empiricism, Kant set out a new approach to epistemology and metaphysics called transcendental idealism. This fundamental turning-point in philosophy also generated some enduring problems.

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Course Details

Study Type Undergraduate Level 3
Session Second Sub Session Credit Points 30 credits (15 ECTS credits)
Campus None. Sustained Study No
  • Dr Beth Lord

Qualification Prerequisites

  • Programme Level 3

What courses & programmes must have been taken before this course?

  • Any Undergraduate Programme (Studied)

What other courses must be taken with this course?


What courses cannot be taken with this course?

Are there a limited number of places available?


Course Description

Course Aims: - To introduce students to the central topics in Kant's Critique of Pure Reason - To develop skills of close textual reading and analysis - To be able to locate and utilise relevant secondary material - To develop skills of reasoning and debate Main Learning Outcomes: - To acquire knowledge of Kant's philosophy through reading his major work, the Critique of Pure Reason - To critically engage with central texts, debates, and issues in Kant's philosophy - To be able to articulate ideas clearly and systematically in writing and discussion Content: Kant's Critique of Pure Reason (1781) is one of the most important works of Western philosophy. In attempting to resolve the bitter philosophical disputes of his own age, Kant paved the way for the next two hundred years of philosophical activity by setting out his own groundbreaking approach to metaphysics and epistemology: transcendental idealism. With this, Kant resolved the problems of rationalism and empiricism and introduced a new philosophical vocabulary, but he also left behind a host of problems which philosophers have puzzled over ever since. This course explores these key aspects of Kant's thought using a text-based approach. We will work through selections from the Critique to develop an understanding of Kant's arguments and the problems that emerge from them.

Contact Teaching Time

Information on contact teaching time is available from the course guide.

Teaching Breakdown

More Information about Week Numbers

Details, including assessments, may be subject to change until 31 August 2023 for 1st half-session courses and 22 December 2023 for 2nd half-session courses.

Summative Assessments

1st Attempt: 1 x 1000 word glossary (10%); 1 x 2500 word essay (50%); 1 x 2-hour exam (40%) Resit: Resit for year 3 students: 1 x 2-hour exam (100%). In line with School policy, students cannot pass the course on the first attempt if a component piece of assessed work is submitted and marked 0-5. The student must then take the resit in order to pass the course. Failure to submit a component piece of assessed work, or submitting a token piece, will rsult in the withdrawal of the class certificate.

Formative Assessment

Tutorial worksheets for Level 3 students, which will be discussed in class.


Written feedback will be provided on essays, glossaries (Level 3) and presentations (Level 4). Further feedback is available through discussion in office hours.

Course Learning Outcomes


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