Philosophy of the self ADED11907E

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: Short Courses
  • Credits: 10
  • Level: Level 1 (SCQF level 7)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes

Short Description

This course begins by asking the deceptively simple question "Who am I?".  It introduces students to different views of the self from Classical to modern times by covering the ideas of key figures in the Western philosophical tradition.  A range of philosophical problems related to the self are considered, including the nature of personal identity and self-knowledge; the value of character and integrity; and the meaning of authenticity. Key discussions of these issues from Aristotle to Descartes and Hume and Sartre are also covered and the course ends with consideration of the critical views of Freud and Foucault.  


Block 2

2 hours per week for 10 weeks

Monday 19.00-21.00.

Requirements of Entry


Excluded Courses





A short exercise written on a worksheet (25% weighting). This will comprise of five sentence-prompts or questions which students will use to write a brief paragraph summarising an argument they have studied.


An essay (75% weighting) of 1200-1500 words. 

Course Aims

The course aims to

■ Familiarise students with key philosophical arguments concerning the self.

■ Provide students with the opportunity to engage critically with these debates

■ Introduce students to some of the key figures in the western philosophical tradition.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to:

■ Reconstruct arguments concerning the self from the work of key figures in the Western philosophical tradition from Classical to the modern times.

■ Describe and illustrate by example the key difficulties and objections made to these arguments from within the same tradition.

■ Evaluate the success or otherwise of a philosophical argument, with reference to the arguments concerning the self.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.