Visiting Students

First Year

Please make sure you are familiar with our policies on Essay deadlines and penalties.

First Year Modules 2023/24

  • Introduction to the History of Philosophy
  • Introduction to Practical Ethics
Timetables - Only courses listed below are relevant to Visiting students.‌

Visiting Students Philosophy Booklet - updated 13th Dec. 2023

Dates of Semesters (Teaching)

Semester One Orientation 1st September 2023
  Teaching 18th September - 24th November
  Exams 4th - 15th December 2023
Semester Two Teaching 8th January - 28th March 2024
  Study week 8th - 12th April 2024
  Exams 15th April - 1st May 2024
Autumn Exams 6th - 16th August 2024

 Sign up for your first year tutorials on Canvas

Optional Courses:

Schedule of Courses:

Optional

Code

Course

Semester

ECTS

Examination

PI107

Introduction to History of Philosophy  

1

5

Exam

PI108

Introduction to  Practical Ethics 

2

5

Written Essay at the end of the semester. 

Individual Course Details:

Introduction to History of Philosophy

Code

Semester

Contact hours / weekly

ECTS

PI107

1

2 (Tutorials not included)

5

Lecturer:  Dr. O. Richardson

Course description:  The course will introduce students to key thinkers and ideas in the history of western philosophy. Since ancient philosophy is so central to this history, the first half of the course is devoted to some of its most important achievements in the work of the Pre-Socratics, Plato, and Aristotle.  Attention is then turned to aspects of medieval philosophy, and the great rationalist and empiricist traditions (represented by Descartes, Spinoza, and Leibniz, and Locke and Hume, respectively). Lectures will also be offered on Kant, Nietzsche, and the analytic and phenomenological traditions

Prerequisites: None

Teaching and learning methods: The course is lecture-based, supplemented by tutorials.

Methods of assessment and examination:  Exam

Core text:  
Copleston, History of Philosophy, Image Publishing
Guthrie, W. K. C., The Greek Philosophers from Thales to Aristotle, Methuen
Johnston, D., A Brief History of Philosophy, Continuum
Plato, Republic, Penguin
Russell, B., History of Western Philosophy, Routledge
Solomon, R. and Higgins, K., A Short History of Philosophy, Oxford
Stumpf, S. E., and Fieser, J., Socrates to Sartre and Beyond, McGraw Hill


Introduction to Practical Ethics

Code

Semester

Contact hours / weekly

ECTS

PI108

2

2 (Tutorials not included)

5

Lecturer: Dr. R. Hull

Course description: This course (Practical Ethics) provides a rigorous, but non-technical examination of a wide range of contemporary ethical issues.  Indicative issues discussed include discrimination, free speech, sexuality, life and death, punishment and justice.  Excerpts will be taken from the core texts listed below.

Prerequisites: None

Teaching and learning methods: The course is lecture-based, supplemented by tutorials.

Methods of assessment and examination: Overall assessment is by written essay at the end of the  semester. Written course work (essay) - if required is added to the evaluation

Core texts:
Andrew I. Cohen  and Christopher Heath Wellman, eds., Contemporary Debates in Applied Ethics (Hoboken, NJ: Wiley-Blackwell, 2005). 
Peter Singer, Practical Ethics (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2011). 
Hugh La Follette, ed., The Oxford Handbook of Practical Ethics (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005). 
Hugh La Follette, ed., Ethics in Practice: An Anthology (Hoboken, NJ: Wiley-Blackwell, 2006). 

Second Year

Philosophy Modules.

Entry requirements: A pass in First Arts Philosophy or its equivalent in the case of exchange and visiting students

Handbook & Timetables available here: Visiting Students Philosophy Booklet - updated 13th Dec. 2023:

Schedule of Courses:

Optional

PI216

History of Modern Philosophy

1 (semester)

5 ECTS

By essay

PI2101

Information Ethics   

2

5

By Continuous Assessment and group project

PI210

Moral & Political Philosophy

1

5

Continuous Assessment and  Final essay

PI240   

Bioethics   

1

5 Continuous assessment and  essay

PI234  

Topics in Practical Philosophy

1

5

By essay

PI248

Phenomenology

1

5

Continuous Assessment and Final assignment (essay)

PI2108

Philosophy in Irish Schools

1

5

Journal

PI2109

Philosophy in Irish Schools

2

5

Journal

PI207

Philosophy of Art 

2

5

By essay

PI2102      

Formal logic

2

5

2 hour written exam

PI241   

History of Irish Thought

2

5

By essay

 

       

Individual Course Unit Details:

 

History of Modern Philosophy

Code

Semester

Contact hours / weekly

ECTS

PI216

1

2 (Tutorials not included)

5

Lecturers:  Prof. F. O' Murchadha /Dr. T. Doyle

Course Description :  Dr. N. Ward will examine the development of Rationalism from Descartes to Kant. Special attention will be paid to the rationalist attempt to give a systematic account of both human and non-human reality. Dr Doyle will examine the relation between empirical science and metaphysics in the eighteenth century period of Enlightenment, with particular emphasis on the philosophies of Hume and Kant.

Prerequisites: None

Teaching and learning methods: The course is lecture-based, supplemented by tutorials.

Methods of assessment and examination: Overall assessment is based on essays.

Core Texts:
Selected passages from the following text will be considered:
Roger Ariew & Eric Watkins (eds) Modern Philosophy: An Anthology of Primary Sources (Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing Co., 1998).

 

Information Ethics

Code

Semester

Contact hours / weekly

ECTS

PI2101

2

2 (Tutorials not included)

5

Lecturer: Dr. H.  Felzmann

Course description: This module aims to provide students with a critical understanding of current and emerging ethical concerns in relation to the internet, big data and robotics, including issues such as online identity, privacy and robot-human interactions.  Philosophical reflection of core concepts will underlie the discussion of emerging concerns.  Preparation of weekly readings is an essential requirement for participation.

Prerequisites: None

Teaching and learning methods: This course is lecture-based, supplemented by tutorials.

Methods of assessment and examination: Overall assessment is bycontinuous assessment and group project.

Core Texts:
Luciano Floridi (Ed) 2010, The Cambridge Handbook of information and Computer Ethics
Helen Nissenbaum 2009, Privacy in Context: Technology, Policy and integrity of Social Life, Stanford University Press.

 

Moral & Political Philosophy

Code

Semester

Contact hours / weekly

ECTS

PI210

1

2 (Tutorials not included)

5

Lecturer:  Dr. O. Richardson

Course description:  This course is an introduction to several important topics and questions in political and moral philosophy, such as:   What, if anything, legitimises governmental authority and the exercise of political power?    What is justice?   What is the nature of citizenship?   Is a free market a necessary component of a free society?   What principles ground our fundamental notions of property rights, freedom and equality?   To explore these questions, we will begin by reading extracts from the Ancients, primarily Plato and Aristotle.    We will then examine the ideas of Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau and Kant.   Finally, we will review texts by more contemporary authors, including Rawls, Nozick and Foucault.   Overall, the aim of this course is to trace the ideas that have shaped our contemporary political systems and to equip us to think critically about what conditions make 'the good society' possible

Prerequisites: None

Teaching and learning methods: The course is lecture-based, supplemented by tutorials.

Methods of assessment and evaluation: Four discussion questions distributed over the course of the semester.  (4 questions in total).  Each discussion question is worth 5% = total of 20%.   The final essay at the end of the first semester is worth 80%.

Core Texts:
Excerpts will be taken mainly from the following sources:
Steven M. Cahn, ed., Classics of Political and Moral Philosophy.  (Oxford University Press, 2011) 

 

 

Topics in Practical Philosophy 

Code

Semester

Contact hours / weekly

ECTS

PI234

1

2 (Tutorials not included)

5

 

Lecturer: Dr. Lucy Elvis 

Course description:  This module focusses on a close reading of Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics discussing the issues of the role of philosophical reflection with respect to human practice, the role of the 'good life' in understanding ethics, the place of virtue with respect to moral 'ought', the role of pleasure and self-love with respect to ethics, as well as questions of justice, happiness and moral motivation. The course will comprise of a close reading of the text, and develop an account of the refractions of Aristotle’s text in the Philosophical Hermeneutics of Hans Georg-Gadamer, Nussbaum’s Aristotelian Social Democracy, and the phronetic Social Science proposed by McIntyre in After Virtue and elsewhere.

Prerequisites: None 

Teaching and learning methods:   This course is lectured-based supplemented by tutorials. 

Methods of assessment and evaluation:  Mid-term assignment and final essay

Core Texts: Aristotle, Nicomachean ethics. T.Irwin (trans.) Hackett Publishing, London, 2019.

Supplementary reading:

Amélie Oksenberg Rorty (ed.) Essays on Aristotle's Ethics. University of California Press, 1980.


History of Irish Thought

Code

Semester

Contact hours / weekly

ECTS

PI241

2

2 (Tutorials not included)

5

Lecturer: Dr. J. O'Reilly

Course Description: The course History of Irish Thought introduces the student to the thought of Irish men and women who have made a contribution to philosophical thought. This year the course will focus on two particular individuals, the 18th parliamentarian and writer Edmund Burke (1729 –1797) and the contemporary political philosopher Philip Pettit. Our main concern shall be to examine their respective contributions to questions of liberty, good government, and the sources of a just and stable society.

Prerequisites: None

Teaching and learning methods: The course is lecture-based.

Methods of assessment and examination: The course will be evaluated by continuous assessment and final essay.

Core texts:

Burke, Edmund. Reflections on the Revolution in France, Penguin.
Burke, Edmund. Pre-Revolutionary Writings, CUP, 2009.
Pettit, Philip. Republicanism: A Theory of Freedom and Government, Oxford, 1999.
Pettit, Philip. On the People’s Terms: A Republican Theory and Model of Democracy, CUP, 2012.

 

 

Phenomenology 
CodeSemesterContact hours / weeklyECTS
PI248 1 2 5

Lecturer:  Prof. Felix Ó Murchadha 

Course description: This course will familiarize students with the methods and themes Phenomenology focusing on the work of Husserl, Heidegger, Merleau-Ponty and Levinas. The course will concentrate especially on such themes as consciousness, intentionality, reduction, embodiment, time and the other. 

Prerequisites: None 

Teaching and learning methods:  The course is lecture-based, supplemented by tutorials. 

Methods of assessment and examination:  Continuous Assessment (35%) and a Final Assignment (Essay) (65%) 

Core texts:   

Heidegger, Martin: Being and Time (various translations) 

Husserl, Edmund: The Essential Husserl (Indiana University Press, 1999) 

Husserl, Edmund The Idea of Phenomenology (Nijhoff 1973), available at https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=mdp.49015002052539;view=1up;seq=7 

Lévinas, Emmanuel: Totality and infinity: an essay on exteriority (Pittsburgh: Duquesne University Press 2005) 

Merleau-Ponty, Maurice: Phenomenology of Perception (Routledge, 2005) 

 

Philosophy in Irish Schools 

Code

Semester

Contact hours / weekly

ECTS

PI2108

1

2 (Tutorials not included)

5 (2-3 US credits)

Lecturer: Dr. O. Richardson, Dr. L. Elvis

Course description:    Philosophy in Irish Schools PI 2108 is a service learning module for Visiting Students. This semester-long module is worth 5 ECTS credits (approximately 2-3 US credits) and is delivered via a series of academic lectures and reflective seminars. This module has a practice-based element which requires fourteen hours of service at a local primary school (elementary school).

 This module utilises an educational approach to learning called Philosophy for Children (P4C). P4C is a form of inquiry-based learning that encourages critical thinking through democratic dialogue. The module will provide students with a theoretical introduction to the P4C pedagogy, the opportunity to experience the pedagogy as a member of a community of inquiry, and the skills needed to become a P4C facilitator. Students will develop their own facilitation practice by delivering P4C workshops (in pairs) to groups of 3rd, 4th and 5th class students (7-11 year olds) from a primary school located in Galway city. 

Prerequisites:  None. But please note below.

1.  This module is capped at 21 students. This form must be submitted no later than 6pm on Friday 08/09/23. You will receive an email to notify you of the outcome of your expression of interest before 5pm on Monday 11/09/23. The form is available online at:  https://www.universityofgalway.ie/international-students/studyabroad/tailormadeprogrammes/

2.  There will be two Saturday training events on the 23rd and 30th of September 2023. Attendance at these training events is compulsory for any student registered for PI2108.  

3.  As part of this module, students will be working with young children. Therefore, students wishing to participate in PI2108 will require police clearance. Students should plan to bring police clearance documentation with them to Ireland. 

Teaching and learning methods: This course is lecture-based, supplemented by tutorials.

Methods of assessment and examination:

 1) Satisfactory participation in all classes – including assigned facilitation of P4C workshops – is required.

 2) Students are required to submit a detailed “theory-to-practice” journal. In this journal, students will engage in theoretical reflection on the P4C pedagogy in response to short readings and will assess the impact of that reflection on their classroom practices.

 3) Book module and associated lesson plan.

Core Texts: You are not required to purchase a textbook. All extracts from primary texts will be available on Blackboard. However, there is a list of suggested preparatory readings below:

Gregory, Maughn, Joanna Haynes, and Karin Murris. The Routledge International Handbook of Philosophy for Children. New York: Routledge, 2017.

Gregory, Laverty, Gregory, Maughn, and Laverty, Megan. In Community of Inquiry with Ann Margaret Sharp: Childhood, Philosophy and Education. Routledge International Studies in the Philosophy of Education, 2018.

 Lipman, Matthew. Thinking in Education. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003.

 Lipman, Matthew, Ann Margaret Sharp, and Frederick S. Oscanyan. Philosophy in the Classroom. 2nd ed. Philadelphia, [Pa.]: Temple University Press, 1980

Lyons, A., McIlrath, L. & Munck, R. Higher Education and Civic Engagement: Comparative Perspectives. UK: Palgrave MacMillan, 2012. 

Naji, Rosnani Hashim, and Naji, Saeed. History, Theory and Practice of Philosophy for Children: International Perspectives. Routledge Research in Education. 2017.  

 

Philosophy in Irish Schools 

Code

Semester

Contact hours / weekly

ECTS

PI2109

2

2 (Tutorials not included)

5 (2-3 US Credits)

Lecturer: Dr O. Richardson, Dr. L. Elvis

Course description:    Philosophy in Irish Schools, PI2109 is a service learning module for Visiting Students. This semester-long module is worth 5 ECTS credits (approximately 2-3 US credits) and is delivered via a series of academic lectures and reflective seminars. This module has a practice-based element which requires fourteen hours of service at a local primary school (elementary school).

This module utilises an educational approach to learning called Philosophy for Children (P4C). P4C is a form of inquiry-based learning that encourages critical thinking through democratic dialogue. The module will provide students with a theoretical introduction to the P4C pedagogy, the opportunity to experience the pedagogy as a member of a community of inquiry, and the skills needed to become a P4C facilitator. Students will develop their own facilitation practice by delivering P4C workshops (in pairs) to groups of 3rd, 4th and 5th class students (7-11 year olds) from a primary school located in Galway city. 

Prerequisites:   None. But please note below.

1. This module is capped at 21 students. If you would like to be considered for a place you must complete an expression of interest form. The EOI must be completed and submitted by 5pm on Monday, 15/01/24. The form is available online at:     https://www.universityofgalway.ie/international-students/studyabroad/tailormadeprogrammes/ For more information contact Dr Lucy Elvis at lucy.elvis@universityofgalway.ie

2. There will be two Saturday training events on the 27th of January and 3rd of February 2024. Attendance at these training events is compulsory for any student registered for PI2109.  

3. As part of this module, students will be working with young children. Therefore, students wishing to participate in PI2109 will require police clearance. Students should plan to bring police clearance documentation with them to Ireland. 

Teaching and learning methods: This course is taught through a mixture of lectures and seminar-based learning.

Methods of assessment and examination:   

1) Satisfactory participation in all classes – including assigned facilitation of P4C workshops – is required.

 2) Students are required to submit a detailed “theory-to-practice” journal. In this journal, students will engage in theoretical reflection on the P4C pedagogy in response to short readings and will assess the impact of that reflection on their classroom practices.

 3) Book module and associated lesson plan.

Core Texts:   You are not required to purchase a textbook. All extracts from primary texts will be available on Blackboard. However, there is a list of suggested preparatory readings below:

Gregory, Maughn, Joanna Haynes, and Karin Murris. The Routledge International Handbook of Philosophy for Children. New York: Routledge, 2017.

Gregory, Laverty, Gregory, Maughn, and Laverty, Megan. In Community of Inquiry with Ann Margaret Sharp: Childhood, Philosophy and Education. Routledge International Studies in the Philosophy of Education, 2018.

 Lipman, Matthew. Thinking in Education. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003.

 Lipman, Matthew, Ann Margaret Sharp, and Frederick S. Oscanyan. Philosophy in the Classroom. 2nd ed. Philadelphia, [Pa.]: Temple University Press, 1980

Lyons, A., McIlrath, L. & Munck, R. Higher Education and Civic Engagement: Comparative Perspectives. UK: Palgrave MacMillan, 2012.

 Naji, Rosnani Hashim, and Naji, Saeed. History, Theory and Practice of Philosophy for Children: International Perspectives. Routledge Research in Education. 2017. 

 

Philosophy of Art 

Code

Semester

Contact hours / weekly

ECTS

PI207

2

2 (Tutorials not included)

5

Lecturer: Dr. L. Elvis

Course description:    This modules is an introduction to philosophical approaches to various artforms across Western history of ideas.   It gives students the skills to rigourously understand relevant key texts as well as critically discuss them in relation to a range of art practices and artworks.    Whether pre-modern, modern, or contemporary, the philosophical approaches considered cover a variety of methods including from the analytic and interpretive traditions.     Similarly, the artforms discussed span a variety of historical periods, movements and categories. 

Prerequisites: None

Teaching and learning methods: This course is lecture-based, supplemented by tutorials.

Methods of assessment and examination: Overall assessment is by essay at the end of the semester.   There will be marks attributed to a mid-term continuous assessment and participation also.

Core Texts: 

Gracyk, T.,, The Philosophy of Art, Polity Press
Carroll, N.,, Philosophy of Art: A Contemporary Introduction, Routledge
Hofstadter, A. and Kuhns, R.,, Philosophies of Art and Beauty: Selected Readings in Aesthetics from Plato to
Heidegger, University of Chicago Press
Bredin, H. and Santoro-Brienza, L.,, Philosophies of Art and Beauty: Introduction Aesthetics, Edinburgh
University Press.

Bioethics

Code

Semester

Contact hours / weekly

ECTS

PI240

1

2 (Tutorials not included)

5

Lecturer: Dr Nora Ward

Course description: This seminar is concerned with contemporary issues in Bioethics.  It will introduce a variety of normative ethical theories to provide a foundation for the critical analysis of a range of issues arising from the biological and medical sciences. These are likely to include abortion, euthanasia/physician assisted suicide, disability, genetic modification and resource allocation. It is intended that students will gain knowledge of moral philosophy that equips them to evaluate some of the most pressing dilemmas facing biomedical practice

Prerequisites:  None

Teaching and learning methods: The course is lecture-based, supplemented by tutorials

Methods of assessment and evaluation: Overall assessment is by essay

Core texts:       
Beauchamp, T., & Childress, J., Principles of Biomedical Ethics, OUP, 1994.
Singer, P. (Ed), A Companion to Ethics, Blackwell, 1993.


Formal Logic

Code

Semester

Contact hours / weekly

ECTS

PI2102

2

2 (Tutorials not included)

5

Lecturer: Dr. N. Tosh

Course description: Formal logic is the systematic study of deductive reasoning. It is motivated by such questions as 'what does it mean to say that a piece of reasoning is "correct"?', 'how can we tell when a piece of reasoning is correct?', and 'could we program a machine to do the job for us?' The course begins with the concept of validity, and then moves on to cover sentence logic, truth tables, natural deduction, and elementary predicate logic. Throughout, we lean heavily on Paul Teller's Logic Primer, now freely available online (http://tellerprimer.ucdavis.edu/). No previous knowledge is assumed, but good study habits are essential. Readings and practice exercises will be set each week, and students who fall behind may find it difficult to catch up.

Prerequisites: None

Teaching and learning methods: This course is lecture-based, supplemented by tutorials.

Methods of assessment and examination: Overall assessment is by written exam.

Core Texts: Paul Teller, A Modern Formal Logic Primer, http://telleprimer.ucdavis.edu/

 

Final Year

Entry requirements: A pass in Second Arts Philosophy or its equivalent in the case of visiting and exchange students.

Dates of Semesters: 2023/24

2023/24 First Semester
Orientation 1st September 2023
Teaching begins                  Monday, 4th September, 2023
Teaching ends Friday, 24th November, 2023
Semester 1 exams start Monday, 4th December, 2023
Semester 1 exams end Friday, 15th December, 2023
Christmas holidays Saturday, 16th December 2023 

2023/24 Second Semester
Orientation to be announced  
Teaching begins Monday, 8th January, 2024
Easter holidays Good Friday, 29th March - Easter Monday, 1st April 2024
Examinations begin Monday, 15th April, 2024
Examinations end Wednesday, 1st May, 2024
 Autumn exams  Tuesday, 6th August - Friday, 16th August 2024
 

Optional Courses:

Semester One:

Code

Course

Semester

ECTS

Examination

PI3100

Kant's Theoretical Philosophy

1

5

Continuous Assessment plus an essay at the end of Semester 1. 

PI335

Moral Theory

1

5

Continuous Assessment plus an essay

PI315

Philosophy of Mind

1

5

By essay

PI3103

Environmental Ethics

1

5

By essay

PI3104

Philosophy and Culture in Context

1

5

By essay and continuous assessment 

PI3106

Formal Logic 2

1

5

By end-of-term assignment, supplemented by several in-cass written tests

Semester Two: 

Code

Course

Semester

ECTS

Examination

PI310

Topics in Applied Philosophy

2

5

By essay

PI129

Advanced philosophical Text

2

5

By end-of-term assignment supplemented by some in-class exercises. 

PI327

Philosophy of Religion

2

5

Continuous assessment and Final assignment

PI3105

Philosophy of Nature

2

5

Continuous assessment and Final assignment

 

Individual Course Unit Details:

Kant's Theoretical Philosophy

Code

Semester

Contact hours / weekly

ECTS

PI3100

1

2 (Tutorials not included)

5

Lecturer: Dr. T. Doyle

Course description:  This module examines Kant's theoretical philosophy by focussing on his arguments for transcendental idealism in the Critique of Pure Reason.   Particular attention will be paid to Kant's ambitious aim to establish the objectivity of Newtonian science whilst leaving room for the possibility of God, freedom and immortality by focussing on his arguments for the transcendental ideality of space and time, his argument for the transcendental deduction of the categories, his distinction between phenomena and noumena, the argument of the Analogies and Antinomies.   The modules also incorporates a number of revision exercises to help with student learning and understanding of the text.

Teaching and learning methods: The course is lecture-based, supplemented by tutorials

Methods of assessment and examination: Overall assessment is based on a written essay at the end of the semester. Continuous assessment - is added to the evaluation.

Core texts:

Selected passages from the following texts shall be considered:
Sebastian Gardner, Routledge philosophy guidebook to Kant and the Critique of Pure Reason, London; Routledge, 1999.
Kant, Immanuel, Critique of Pure Reason, (MacMillan, 1929), translated by Norman Kemp Smith.
James O'Shea, Kant's Critique of Pure Reason:  An Introduction, Acumen Publishing.
Jay F. Rosenberg, Accessing Kant, Clarendon Press; 2005. Oxford.
(A detailed list of readings will be distributed at the beginning of the course.)

 

Moral Theory

Code

Semester

Contact hours / weekly

ECTS

PI335

1

2 (Tutorials not included)

5

Lecturer:  Dr. H. Felzmann

Course description:  This course will introduce students to the principal positions in contemporary moral theory including consequentialism, deontology and virtue theory, drawing on core historical authors such as Mill, Kant, and Aristotle, as well as contemporary theories, such as the principle-based approach to bioethics, casuistry, care ethics and narrative ethics.  Preparation of weekly readings and willingness to participate constructively in class discussion are essential requirements for participation.

Prerequisites: None

Teaching and learning methods:  The course is lecture-based, supplemented by tutorials

Methods of assessment and evaluation: Overall assessment is based on continuous assessment and an essay.

Core text:
Mark Timmons, Moral Theory: An Introduction, Lanham, Md, Rowman & Littlefield, 2002.

 

Philosophy of Mind

Code

Semester

Contact hours / weekly

ECTS

PI315

1

2 (Tutorials not included)

5

Lecturer: Dr. J. O'Reilly

Course Description: The course begins with an introduction to three influential approaches to mental phenomena – Logical Behaviourism, Identity Theory, and the emergence of Functionalism. The second part of the course builds on these foundations via an exploration of David Lewis’ Analytic Functionalism and Jerry Fodor’s Psycho-functionalism. At this stage, we are ready to look at the Computational Theory of Mind and Daniel Dennett’s Intentional Stance. The final section of the course focuses on John Searle’s critique of the Computational approach to the mind with his “Chinese Room” thought experiment and on the advent of Embodied Cognition as a criticism of overly mind-centred accounts of cognition.

Prerequisites: None

Teaching and learning methods: The course is lecture-based.

Methods of assessment and examination: The course will be evaluated by continuous assessment and final essay.

Core texts:
Heil, John. Philosophy of Mind, Routledge, 2013.
Kim, Jaegwon Kim. Philosophy of Mind, Westview Press Colorado, 2011.
Kind, Amy, Philosophy of Mind: The Basics, Routledge, 2020.*

 

Environmental Ethics

Code

Semester

Contact hours / weekly

ECTS

PI3103

1

2 (Tutorials not included)

5

Lecturer:     Dr Nora Ward

Course Description:   In this class, we will explore the ethical, ecological and social dimensions of environmental issues. We begin with an exploration of the perception of nature in Western thought, as well as an overview of influential texts that have shaped the field of environmental ethics. As such, we will explore the relationship between human and non-human nature, addressing questions such as "Does non-human nature matter for its own sake, or simply for the sake of fulfilling human interests? What about the value of holistic entities such as ecosystems? What is intrinsic value anyway, and how does it differ from instrumental value?" Towards the latter half of the course, we will focus on the philosophical implications of international environmental issues such as climate change, indigenous rights, ecofeminism, environment justice and eco-terrorism.

Prerequisites:   None

Teaching and Learning Methods:   This course is lecture-based, supplemented by tutorials

Methods of Assessment and Examination:  Overall assessment is based on a written essay.   Written course work  - if required - is added to the evaluation. 

Core Text: A list of readings will be provided at the beginning of the semester.

 

Philosophy and Culture in Context

Code

Semester

Contact hours / weekly

ECTS

PI3104

1

2 (Tutorials not included)

5

Lecturer: Dr. L. Elvis

Course description: This module explores philosophical approaches to the production and consumption of art and culture in contemporary society. Beginning with the question ‘What is culture?’ it progresses to exploring the effect of technology on cultural production, the role of institutions in shaping culture and the divisions between ‘high’ and ‘low’ culture. From a focus on Bildung as cultivation, (Kant, Herder, Humbolt) this course then explores contributions from a range of thinkers form the Frankfurt school (Benjamin, Adorno, Horkheimer and Marcuse) to problematise the role of culture in shaping society. As part of this module, students will undertake a short placement at TULCA Festival of Visual Art to reflect on these ideas in practice.

Teaching and learning methods: This course is lecture-based, supplemented by tutorials. Students will consolidate their learning through a placement at TULCA festival of visual arts.

Methods of assessment and examination: Overall assessment is by essay at the end of the semester. There will be marks attributed to a mid-term continuous assessment and participation also.

Core text: All essential and supplementary readings will be available on Blackboard, with a full list available at the start of the semester.

 


Topics in Applied Philosophy

Code

Semester

Contact hours / weekly

ECTS

PI310

2

2 (Tutorials not included)

5

Lecturer: Dr. R. Hull.

Course Description:   This course is concerned with the application of the study of philosophy to issues of pressing public concern. It takes the experiences of disability and social deprivation as case studies and looks at how such experiences can best be theoretically articulated. Particular attention is given to rival theories of human freedom and their relevance to contemporary social and political debates. Attention is also focused on how different theories of justice and morality imply very different social responses to the issues of disability and deprivation. Subjects covered include Rawls’ theory of freedom, Nozick's libertarianism, the acts/omissions distinction and the doctrine of double effect. The course is designed to give students an analytical background that can be used to explore other contemporary social and political issues. 

Prerequisites:   None

Teaching and Learning Methods:   This course is lecture-based, supplemented by tutorials

Methods of Assessment and Examination:  Overall assessment is based on a written essay.   Written course work (essay) - if required - is added to the evaluation. 

Core Text:
Barnes, C., Disabled people in Britain and discrimination, Hurst and co, 1991. [346.42013 BAR]
Bynoe, I.,  Oliver, M.,  & Barnes, C.,  Equal Rights for Disabled People: the case for a new law, Institute for Public Policy Research, 1991. [346.013 BYN]
Glover, J., Causing death and saving lives, Penguin Books, 1977. [179.7 GLO]
Gray, T, Freedom, Macmillan, 1991. [323.44]
Kymlicka, W. Contemporary Political Philosophy, Clarendon Press, 1990. [320.50904]
Nozick, R., Anarchy, State, and Utopia, Blackwell, 1974. [320.101 NOZ]
Pogge, T.W, Realizing Rawls, Cornell University Press, 1989. [320.001 RAW.P]
Rawls, J. A Theory of Justice, Oxford University Press, 1974. [340.11]

Other resources:
To be posted on Blackboard.

 

Formal Logic 2 

Code

Semester

Contact hours / weekly

ECTS

PI3106

1

2 (Tutorials not included)

5

Lecturer: Dr. N. Tosh

Course description: This course is the sequel to the 2nd-year Formal Logic module PI2102. It introduces a new proof method -- truth trees -- and a mostly new formal language -- predicate logic with identity. The course text is Paul Teller's _Logic Primer_, freely available online (http://tellerprimer.ucdavis.edu/). Readings and practice exercises will be set each week. Familiarity with material taught in PI2102 is assumed. 

Prerequisites: You need to have passed PI2102 Formal Logic or have an equivalent level of experience with formal logic. 

Teaching and learning methods:  The course is lecture-based, supplemented by tutorials.   
 

Methods of assessment and examination: end of term assignment, supplemented by several in-class written tests. 
 

Core Texts: Paul Teller, A Modern Formal Logic Primer, https://tellerprimer.ucdavis.edu/ 

 

Philosophy of Religion

Code

Semester

Contact hours / weekly

ECTS

PI327

2

2 (Tutorials not included)

5

Lecturer: Prof. F. ÓMurchadha

Course description: This course will discuss one of the principle problems of the philosophy of religion, namely the relation of faith and reason. The relation of faith and reason has been a matter of controversy since the early Christian thinkers. In modernity, with a revised account of reason and rationality, the question became increasingly complex and the philosophical positions on this issue increasingly divergent. We will look at two philosophers: Kant and Kierkegaard. Following upon that, we will discuss a number of themes including forgiveness, language, love, violence and time.

Prerequisites: None

Teaching and learning methods: The course is lecture-based, supplemented by tutorials.

Methods of assessment and examination: Continuous Assessment (35%) and a Final Assignment - essay - (65%)

Core texts:

Arendt, H.: The Human Condition, Chicago: Chicago University Press, 1998

Derrida, J.: “To Forgive: The Unforgiveable and the Imprescriptible” in Caput et al.: Questioning God, Bloomington, Indiana UP, 2001, pp. 21-51.

Derrida, J.: “How to Avoid Speaking: Denials” in H. Coward et. al (eds): Derrida and Negative Theology (SUNY Press, 1992), pp. 73-142

Kant: Religion within the Boundaries of Mere Reason. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998)

Also published in: Kant and Rational Theology (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998), pp. 39-216

Kierkegaard: Fear and Trembling. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006)

Philips, D.Z.: The Concept of Prayer, Oxford, Basil Blackwell, 1981.

Ricoeur, P.: “Love and Justice”, Figuring the Sacred, Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1995

 

Philosophy of Nature

Code

Semester

Contact hours / weekly

ECTS

PI3105

2

2 (Tutorials not included)

5

Lecturer: Prof. F. Ó Murchadha

Course description: This module will introduce students to the philosophy of nature with particular emphasis on the 'naturephilosophy (Naturphilosophie)' of Friedrich Schelling. Schelling's challenge to both Newton's mechanical view of nature and Kant's subjectivism will be discussed. Following a detailed exploration of Schelling's work, the engagement with the question of nature of a number of Phenomenologists will be investigated with respect to Schelling. The final section of the module will examine the work of the New Materialists and the manner in which they re-conceptualize nature. In that context Feminist approaches will be emphasised particularly as they critically engage with the culture/nature, female/male and subject/object divide. 

Prerequisites: None 

Teaching and learning methods: The course is lecture-based, supplemented by tutorials. 

Methods of assessment and examination:Continuous Assessment (35%) and a Final Assignment (Essay) (65%) 

Core Texts: 

Barad. Karen: Meeting the Universe Halfway, Duke University Press 2017 

Heidegger, Martin: Basic Writings, Harper, 2008. 

Heidegger, Martin: Introduction to Metaphysics, Yale University Press, 2014 

Schelling, Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph von: First Outline of a System of the Philosophy of Nature, SUNY Press, 2004.  

Schelling, F. W. J. The Ages of the World (1815),Suny Press, 2000. 

 

 

Advanced Philosophical Text

Code

Semester

Contact hours / weekly

ECTS

PI129

2

2 (Tutorials not included)

5

 Lecturer: Dr Nick Tosh

 
Course description: The module allows students to read a philosophical text in greater detail than is usually possible in a survey course. This year, the text is Paradoxes by R. M. Sainsbury. With this book as our guide, we will examine paradoxes of rational action, rational belief, logic and truth. Specific examples will likely include the prisoner's dilemma, Newcomb's paradox, the raven paradox, the paradox of the unexpected examination, Russell's paradox and the liar paradox.

Prerequisites: None

 
Teaching and learning methods: the course is lecture-based.
 
Methods of assessment and examination: end of term assignment, supplemented by some in-class exercises.
 
Core Texts: R. M. Sainsbury (2009) Paradoxes. Cambridge University Press