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PHI1010 : European Philosophical Traditions I: Knowledge, Reality, Truth

Semester 1 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 5.0


To introduce students to the discipline of the history of ideas and the problems of philosophy, and to study the intellectual foundations of Western civilization.

In this module students will be introduced to the disciplines of epistemology (theory of knowledge), metaphysics and the history of ideas, and study the intellectual foundations of Western thought. Students will be introduced to and encouraged to reflect upon some of the key ideas and conceptual systems from the history of European thought, specifically those of Plato and Descartes. The lectures will discuss the contrast between the Ancient and Modern world views, investigate the founding philosophical assumptions of each, as well as their respective methodologies, their significant outcomes and the influence they have had on the subsequent history of Western philosophy.

Outline Of Syllabus

1) What is philosophy? What are some of its aims, methods, areas and key themes?
2) Metaphysics and epistemology as central to this course;
3) Perspectives on the history of philosophy;
4) Ancient metaphysics and epistemology as expressions of the ancient worldview;
5) Modern metaphysics and epistemology as the inauguration of philosophical modernity.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion120:0020:00Essay write up
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture101:0010:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading103:0030:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching101:0010:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study103:0030:00Review lecture material, prepare for small group teaching and assessment.
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lectures convey the underlying philosophical, cultural and socio-political thoughts and practices characteristic of the European tradition as a foundation for future consideration of the Enlightenment project. The content of the course will be supported by extracts from original texts, illustrations, examples, historical knowledge and slides in lectures and by structured discussion sessions where students will reinforce knowledge and develop dialogue and communication skills.

Assessment Methods

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

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay1A1002000 words
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The student chooses a title from a choice of up to four questions. These questions encourage independent research using the lecture content as a foundation and makes it possible to assess knowledge acquisition, interpretive skill and theoretical understanding as well as the analytical, creative and critical potential of students. The essay tests the ability to think creatively, self-critically and independently as well as managing one’s own work to set time limits.

Reading Lists