Admission to this course is restricted to students enrolled in the MA Philosophy 60 EC, specialisation Philosophy, Politics and Economics (PPE).
A course on key concepts and ideas that recur repeatedly in the disciplines of Philosophy, Politics and Economics. These include very general concepts used in attributing mental states, like belief, knowledge and intention, as well as other explanatory ideas such as those of causation, covering laws, rationality, and motivation. It will be shown that these concepts have a history and have ideological as well as scientific uses.
This course aims to give students a thorough grounding in the core concepts, thinking and methods of Philosophy, Politics and Economics. Students will learn to use, but also to examine critically, such fundamental ideas as those of normativity, social explanation and causation, knowledge and science, ideology, anthropocentrism and other forms of perspective-based heuristics, nomothetic generalisation, critical theory, constructivism and individual and corporate agency. They will be encouraged to compare and contrast the role played by these ideas across the PPE disciplines, and to contextualise these understandings by evaluating the part they play in current social and political thinking.
By the end of the course, students will be able to discuss authoritatively key formative ideas in the PPE disciplines. They will be conversant with the ideas of a range of major social, economic, political and philosophical theories and thinkers, aware of the conditions in which these ideas emerged, grasp difficulties in applying them, and be able to use them critically in argument.
Students who successfully complete the course will be able to:
understand some core concepts used in the PPE disciplines, to deploy them in argument with appropriate real-world examples, and appraise them critically with reference to ancillary ideas such as those of science, objectivity, and agent-relativity;
display a knowledge of the history of these concepts, and their responsiveness to wider technical, political and cultural change;
distinguish ideological and analytical appraisals of these concepts.
Mode of instruction
- Lectures and seminars
Class attendance is required.
Total course load (10 EC x 28 hrs): 280 hours
Attending lectures and seminars: 14 × 3 = 42 hours
Final exam: 3 hours
Preparation classes and studying literature: 14 × 10 = 140 hours
Preparation mid-term essay: 40 hours
Preparation of class presentation: 15 hours
Preparation of final exam: 40 hours
Mid-term essay: 40%
Presentation in class: 10%
Final exam: 50%
One resit will be offered, covering the entire course content, and consisting of a final exam and essay. The grade will replace previously earned grades for subtests. Students who have obtained a satisfactory grade for the first examination(s) cannot take the resit.
Blackboard will be used for advertising readings, exchanging information and readings, including links, uploading other relevant material.
- Taylor & Goodwin, The Politics of Utopia: A Study in Theory and Practice (Peter Lang 2009).
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