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Study information

Philosophical Reading 1

Module titlePhilosophical Reading 1
Module codePHL1007
Academic year2024/5
Credits15
Module staff

Dr Jonathan Davies (Convenor)

Duration: Term123
Duration: Weeks

11

Number students taking module (anticipated)

40

Module description

This module will familiarise you with the fundamental techniques required to read, understand and criticise a philosophical text. In particular, you will look at texts that deal with problems of epistemology (the philosophical theory of knowledge) and metaphysics (the philosophical study of being and knowing). You will get the opportunity to study a substantial work of philosophy in depth to familiarise yourself with its mode of presentation (form) and arguments (content), two interrelated aspects of every philosophical work. 

Texts chosen will not require any specific background philosophical knowledge but will combine high philosophical quality with historical relevance and clarity of presentation.  This will be a foundation module for the single honours degree programme in Philosophy, and for the modular degree pathway in philosophy. It is also available to students from other schools and departments as an optional course in philosophy.

Module aims - intentions of the module

In this module you will learn and practise the most important basic skill for philosophy students, namely to read a philosophical text. Close reading is crucial for philosophical analysis, understanding and interpretation.

Because of the nature of this module, its syllabus varies from year to year, depending on the text(s) selected.

This year it will be Plato’s Republic.


This will be a foundation module for the SH degree programme in Philosophy, and for the modular degree pathway in philosophy. It will also be available to students from other schools and departments as an optional course in philosophy. This course will familiarise the student with the fundamental techniques required to read, understand, criticize, a philosophical text. It will proceed by in-depth reading and analysis of one or more philosophical texts. Given the introductory nature of this module, we will focus on texts that require no specific background philosophical knowledge and combine high philosophical quality with historical relevance and clarity of presentation.

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

ILO: Module-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 1. engage in in-depth analysis of a text, and reasoning about abstract matters

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 2. analyse arguments, understand the historical and social context of production of a philosophical text, criticise it, and write well-argued essays.

ILO: Personal and key skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 3. construct and evaluate arguments, to formulate and express ideas at different levels of abstraction, to assess and criticise the views of others.

Syllabus plan

Because of the nature of this module, its syllabus varies from year to year, depending on the text(s) selected.

This year it will be Plato’s Republic.

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad
27 123 0

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activities22 hoursWeekly 2-hour lectures / seminars or 1 hour lecture + 1 hour seminar
Guided independent study123 hoursIndependent study

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Written discussion summary250 words1-3Written feedback

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams
40600

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Essay401,500 words1-3Written feedback
Examination 601 hour1-3Written feedback
0
0
0
0

Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
EssayEssay 1,500 words1-3August/September reassessment period
Examination Examination (1 hour)1-3August/September reassessment period

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

You can use any edition that contains the full text. Recommended edition: Plato’s Republic, Trans. Desmond Lee with Intro by Melissa Lane, Penguin Classic (2007).

Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources

ELE - http://vle.exeter.ac.uk/

Key words search

Philosophical, Readings, Philosophy

Credit value15
Module ECTS

7.5

Module pre-requisites

None

Module co-requisites

None

NQF level (module)

4

Available as distance learning?

No

Origin date

01/10/2008

Last revision date

07/03/2022