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PPR.306: Reading Philosophical Texts

Tutor: Dr Nick Unwin
Term: Not available 2014/15

Course Description

This course gives students the opportunity to read and study the thought of seminal thinkers in the philosophy. In so doing we develop a more thorough understanding of the ideas of the thinker in question, and see how those ideas link-up into a wider systematic and philosophic whole. Possible works of philosophy include:

Aristotle Nicomachean Ethics (Harmondsworth; New York: Penguin, 1976)

Hegel Phenomenology of Spirit (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1977)

David Hume A Treatise of Human Nature (Oxford University Press, 1978)

Kant Groundwork for the Metaphysics of Morals (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002)

John Locke Essay Concerning Human Understanding (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1975)

J.S.Mill On Liberty (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1985)

Nietzsche Beyond Good and Evil (Harmondsworth, Penguin, 1973)

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students will be able to:

  • A knowledge and understanding of the thinkers under review.
  • An understanding and appreciation of the contribution to wider debates generated by those thinkers.
  • An appreciation of the benefits of a close and deep reading of a thinker.
  • The ability to explain, discuss and reflect on the themes raised by the thinkers.


40% coursework and 60% exam.
Coursework: 1 essays of 3000 words. Exam: 2 hours.

Teaching Method

Lecture (1.5 hours) and seminar (1 hour) weekly.

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