PHI2006 : Ethics of the Natural and Human Environment

  • Offered for Year: 2012/13
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Miriam Baldwin
  • Owning School: Chemical Eng & Advanced Materials
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 1 Credit Value: 10
Semester 2 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 10.0


To introduce students to fundamental themes and perspectives about the relations between science, social sciences, aesthetics, morality and knowledge which inform seminal works in European thought, and to demonstrate the relevance of these debates to contemporary cultural concerns.

Original Summary:
This module explores relationships between the human and ‘natural’ and ‘social’ environment in modernity. It addresses the relations between aesthetics, scientific knowledge, moral theory and theories of society and social processes.

Outline Of Syllabus

(1) The relation between scientific knowledge and aesthetics in Nietzsche
(2) Moral knowledge (Kant)
(3) Theoretical knowledge, Moral Thought and the role of Aesthetic Education in Schiller
(4) The Rejection of Rationality and Order? An examination of W.H. Wackenroder and Thomas Mann
(5) The Social Sciences: The Continental Context (1890s-1920s): Scientific Positivism.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion401:0040:00Prepare and complete essays
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture201:0020:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching201:0020:00Seminars
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study1120:00120:00Review lecture material, prepare for small group teaching, gather resource material for assessment
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

The lectures will provide essential subject specific knowledge on a range of seminal thinkers. Basic concepts in debates on aesthetics, moral theory, science/theoretical knowledge will be covered.

Seminars permit discussion of the relative merits of these thought systems and guide independent analysis and interpretation. Students will explore lecture material in greater depth. Seminars will also facilitate skill in approaching and selecting material for essays.

Students will utilize the reading list in order to allow for fruitful seminar discussion. The private study time will be devoted to the independent interpretation of material, the selection of topics and the writing of essays. Other time will be needed for the gathering of resources.

The essay form gauges students’ ability to move between generalization and appropriately detailed discussion, and to cite relevant texts.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay1M502000 words
Essay2M502000 words
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

Essays will demonstrate the students' abilities to gather information and analyse and interpret data. They will also show evidence of critical reflection appropriate to a stage two level on the honours degree.

Reading Lists


Disclaimer: The University will use all reasonable endeavours to deliver modules in accordance with the descriptions set out in this catalogue. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information, however, the University reserves the right to introduce changes to the information given including the addition, withdrawal or restructuring of modules if it considers such action to be necessary.