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PH2029: LIFE, DEATH AND MEANING (2020-2021)

Last modified: 05 Aug 2021 13:04

Course Overview

Living a life is a full-time occupation. Our lives matter to us. But each of us will eventually die (possibly today), just as those we leave behind will eventually die. Sooner or later, after our death, we will be forgotten and the traces of our lives will disappear. Death will cut short the plans, projects, relationships and commitments we care most about. Should we therefore conclude that human life is meaningless or absurd? And if so, how should we respond to that? On this course we will consider these and related questions. All students are welcome!

Course Details

Study Type Undergraduate Level 2
Session First Sub Session Credit Points 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits)
Campus Aberdeen Sustained Study No
  • Dr Edward Thornton

Qualification Prerequisites

  • Programme Level 2

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

  • Any Undergraduate Programme (Studied)
  • Either Programme Level 2 or Master Of Arts In Philosophy, Politics And Economics

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 is a topic-driven course on which we critically explore questions relating to the meaning and value of life. These topics will include: God, suffering, absurdity, death, sex, happiness, pleasure. In doing so we will draw upon a wide range of thinkers from both Anglo-American and European traditions, and also, where relevant, on literature and film.

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

2500 words essay (50%)

Take Home Exam (50%)


resit: 2500 words essay (100%)

Formative Assessment

There are no assessments for this course.

Course Learning Outcomes

Knowledge LevelThinking SkillOutcome
ConceptualUnderstandAcquire and demonstrate knowledge of the subject areas.
ConceptualUnderstandAcquire an understanding of the philosophical literature relevant to the topics.
ProceduralEvaluateDevelop critical thinking skills
ReflectionCreateDevelop proficiency on written and oral communication skills.
ProceduralCreateLearn to construct arguments and to communicate arguments to a group of peers.

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