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PH1023: EXPERIENCE, KNOWLEDGE AND REALITY (2022-2023)

Last modified: 04 Oct 2022 13:11


Course Overview

How “real” is reality? How does the mind relate to the world? This course introduces two approaches to answering these questions: rationalism and empiricism. By reading Rene Descartes’ Meditations on First Philosophy, we learn about Descartes’ rationalist approach to knowledge, reality, mind-body dualism, and God’s necessary existence. Through David Hume’s Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding see how Hume grounds knowledge in experience. We read Hume on impressions and ideas, induction, causality, miracles and critically compare and examine Descartes’ and Hume’s arguments by drawing on readers and critics.

Course Details

Study Type Undergraduate Level 1
Session First Sub Session Credit Points 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits)
Campus Aberdeen Sustained Study No
Co-ordinators
  • Dr Michele Giavazzi

Qualification Prerequisites

  • Either Programme Level 1 or Programme Level 2

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

  • One of Any Undergraduate Programme (Studied) or Master Of Letters In Philosophy And Society or Any Postgraduate Programme Diploma In Philosophy And Society

What other courses must be taken with this course?

None.

What courses cannot be taken with this course?

Are there a limited number of places available?

No

Course Description

The course introduces rationalism and empiricism as two major systems of thought taking different approaches to the same question: how does the mind relate to the world? Students will first learn about 17th century rationalism by focusing on Rene Descartes' Meditations on First Philosophy. Through this text, students will learn about rationalist approaches to knowledge and reality, and about specific topics in Descartes' philosophy including the method of doubt, the mind-body problem, and arguments for the existence of the self, God, and the world. We will then turn to David Hume's Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding as the key text of 18th century empiricism. Through this text, students will learn how empiricist philosophers criticized rationalism, and turned instead to experience to provide a foundation for knowledge. We will look at Hume's distinction between impressions and ideas, the problem of induction, his account of causality, and his critique of miracles. Other rationalist and empiricist philosophers will also be introduced to provide context.


Details for second half-session courses, including assessments, may be subject to change until 23 December 2022.

Contact Teaching Time

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

Teaching Breakdown

  • 2 Lectures during University weeks 8 - 18
  • 1 Tutorial during University weeks 9 - 18

More Information about Week Numbers


Details for second half-session courses, including assessments, may be subject to change until 23 December 2022.

Summative Assessments

Essay

Assessment Type Summative Weighting 50
Assessment Weeks Feedback Weeks

Look up Week Numbers

Feedback

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

Word Count 1500
Learning Outcomes
Knowledge LevelThinking SkillOutcome
Sorry, we don't have this information available just now. Please check the course guide on MyAberdeen or with the Course Coordinator

Essay

Assessment Type Summative Weighting 50
Assessment Weeks Feedback Weeks

Look up Week Numbers

Feedback

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

Word Count 1500
Learning Outcomes
Knowledge LevelThinking SkillOutcome
Sorry, we don't have this information available just now. Please check the course guide on MyAberdeen or with the Course Coordinator

Formative Assessment

There are no assessments for this course.

Resit Assessments

Essay

Assessment Type Summative Weighting 100
Assessment Weeks Feedback Weeks

Look up Week Numbers

Feedback Word Count 1500
Learning Outcomes
Knowledge LevelThinking SkillOutcome
Sorry, we don't have this information available just now. Please check the course guide on MyAberdeen or with the Course Coordinator

Course Learning Outcomes

Knowledge LevelThinking SkillOutcome
FactualRemembertest

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