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Comparative Philosophy I: Introduction


Admission requirements

Admission to this course is restricted to first-year BA students in Philosophy: Global and Comparative Perspectives.


This course provides an introduction to working with philosophical texts comparatively, that is, doing philosophy by drawing upon more than one cultural tradition. Issues discussed may include the question of what a philosophical tradition is, whether all philosophy is (in some sense) comparative and the possibility of incommensurability between cultures and traditions.

Course objectives

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

  • how to work with texts comparatively at a beginning to intermediate level;

  • some of the major difficulties and the advantages of working with different philosophical traditions comparatively.

Students who successfully complete the course will be able to:

  • read primary texts (in translation) from a range of philosophical traditions with the confidence needed to analyze, reconstruct and critically evaluate key arguments in them;

  • participate in class discussions in such a way that they make intelligible and well-reasoned claims or responses to questions raised;

  • write clear and detailed reconstructions of specific arguments from primary texts.


The timetable 2017-2018 is available on the BA Philosophy website

Mode of instruction

  • Lectures (2 hours per week)

  • Tutorials (2 hours per week)

Class attendance is required for both lectures and tutorials.

Course Load

Total course load 5 EC x 28 hours 140 hours

  • Attending lectures: 13 x 2 hours per week = 26 hours

  • Attending tutorials: 13 x 2 hours per week = 26 hours

  • Preparation of classes and study of the compulsory literature: 63 hours

  • Completion take home exams: 25 hours

Assessment method

  • Take home mid-term exam with one or more essay questions (40%)

  • Take home final exam with one or more essay questions (50%)

  • Participation, including participation in tutorials (10%)


The final mark for the course is established by determination of the weighted average of the several subtests. A subtest can be graded as unsatisfactory.


The resit consists of one examination for all parts at once, covering the entire course content, and consisting of a take home exam with one or more essay questions. The mark for the resit will replace all previously earned marks for subtests.No separate resits will be offered for mid-term tests.

Students who have obtained a satisfactory grade for the first examination(s) cannot take the resit.

Exam review

How and when an exam review will take place will be disclosed together with the publication of the exam results at the latest. If a student requests a review within 30 days after publication of the exam results, an exam review will have to be organized.


Blackboard will be used for:

  • posting of texts and announcements

  • discussion

Reading list

To be announced.


Enrolment for courses and examns through uSis is mandatory.

Students are strongly advised to register in uSis through the activity number which can be found in the timetables for courses and exams.

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Not applicable.


Dr. S.E. Harris