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Philosophical Anthropology


Admission requirements

Non applicable.


The course offers an overview of the key philosophical answers to the question: “What is a human being?”, with special focus on the concepts of self, personhood, society and culture. Although the course is organized thematically, it covers all main eras of Western philosophy.

Course objectives

This course aims to introduce the students to a general understanding of the major philosophical problems and arguments put forward in response to the question “what is a human being”?

Students who successfully complete the course will have a good understanding of:

  • the main theories of human nature;

  • the problems attached to the quest for a unified definition of the human;

  • the interaction between the individual and the socio-historical dimensions of the human condition.

Students who successfully complete the course will be able to:

  • critically understand and interconnect the major texts and theories relative to human nature;

  • present a consistent view of the core concepts of the field.


See Collegeroosters Wijsbegeerte 2015-2016, BA Wijsbegeerte (Standaardtraject), eerste jaar/first year.

Mode of instruction

  • Lectures

Course Load

Total course load: 5 EC x 28 hrs = 140 hours

  • Attending lectures: (14 weeks x 2 hrs): 28 hours

  • Time for studying the compulsory literature: 40 hours

  • Preparation lectures: 26 hours

  • Preparation assignments: 40 hours

  • Time for completing the take home exams: 6 hours

Assessment method

  • Mid-term take-home exam made of a series of short questions and one short essay question (taken from 3) (40%)

  • Final take-home essay focusing on one issue that pervades the entirety of the course (chosen from three) (60%)


The resit will be a very demanding take-home paper including one extensive text commentary and one essay on an imposed question covering the entire course.


We will use Blackboard for posting texts, general information documents (syllabus etc), assignments and updates.

Reading list

A reading schedule, a syllabus and all the primary texts will be made available on Blackboard.


Please register for this course via Study administration system uSis
See also Inschrijven voor cursussen en tentamens

Students are strongly advised to register in uSis through the activity number which can be found in the timetable in the column under the heading “”.

Exchange students and Study Abroad students, please see the Study in Leiden website for information on how to apply.

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Registration Contractonderwijs
Registration Studeren à la carte


Dr. F. Chouraqui