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Last modified: 22 May 2019 17:07

Course Overview

Watch this course video! We examine questions such as: Is eating animals immoral? Is being a good or bad person a matter of luck? If so, are we justified in punishing bad people? Should anyone be able to set limits on what you can do with your own  body, even if it's ‘for your own good’? Should everyone be allowed to state their mind, even if their views are harmful or offensive? Is censorship ever justifiable? Do you have a moral obligation to help those worse-off? Are you unknowingly biased against underprivileged groups?   Download Course Guide

Course Details

Study Type Undergraduate Level 1
Session First Sub Session Credit Points 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits)
Campus Old Aberdeen Sustained Study No
  • Dr Stephan Torre

Qualification Prerequisites

  • Either Programme Level 1 or Programme Level 2

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

This course aims to introduce students to central debates in contemporary Philosophy. To introduce key philosophical questions about warfare, art, gender, the mind and our moral attitude towards non-human animals. To develop students' skills of reading and engaging critically with primary texts. To develop students' skills of reasoning, argumentation and debate. Students will have acquired knowledge of central debates in contemporary Philosophy and of key philosophical questions about morality, warfare, art, gender and the mind. Students will understand the main ideas in each of these debates, and will be able to explain differences between various positions in these debates. Students will have critically engaged with primary texts. Students will have articulated the results of their learning clearly and systematically in written form and discussion.  
Should you eat animals? Are you really free to choose your own actions? Should you be allowed to do whatever you want with your own body? Can computers think? What is art? Is war ever morally justified? Is torture ever morally justified? What exactly is sexism? How widespread is it? In this course, we will examine these and other questions of contemporary Philosophy. The aims of this course are to help students understand the arguments at play in a wide variety of philosophical disputes and to encourage students to form their own reasoned views through active debate.

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: One 1000-word essay (50%)  and one take home examination (50%)

Resit: One 1500-word essay (100%). In line with School Policy, failure to submit a component piece of assessed work, or submitting a token piece, will result in the withdrawal of the class certificate (students are not eligible for resit).

Formative Assessment

Feedback on essays; individually arranged conversations during office hours/by appointment/ feedback on in-class presentations


Written on essay and marking sheet; office hours/appointment; peer questions and comments during in-class presentations

Course Learning Outcomes


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