Philosophy 1A: How Should I think? PHIL1010

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Humanities
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 1 (SCQF level 7)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 1
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes

Short Description

This course will introduce students to the practice of thinking philosophically, by encouraging the development of critical reasoning skills and exploring issues pertaining to the nature and acquisition of knowledge. Students will apply their critical skills to issues of current interest and importance within society today.


One hour lectures on Mondays and Tuesdays at either 10am or 2pm over 9 weeks as scheduled on MyCampus. Two hour "Collaborative Classes" (listed as "seminars" on MyCampus) which blend lecture/seminar elements, either on Wednesdays at 2pm or Thursdays at 9am over 9 weeks as scheduled on MyCampus. Students who join the 10am lecture group are automatically enrolled in the Thursday 9am Collaborative Class. Students who join the 2pm lecture group are automatically enrolled in the Wednesday 2pm Collaborative Class.

Requirements of Entry


Excluded Courses

DUMF1014, PHIL1001




Essay (1,500 words)  - 40%

10x multiple choice quizzes -10%

Exam (90 minutes) - 50%

Main Assessment In: December

Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? No

Reassessments are normally available for all courses, except those which contribute to the Honours classification. For non-Honours courses, students are offered reassessment in all or any of the components of assessment if the satisfactory (threshold) grade for the overall course is not achieved at the first attempt. This is normally grade D3 for undergraduate students and grade C3 for postgraduate students. Exceptionally it may not be possible to offer reassessment of some coursework items, in which case the mark achieved at the first attempt will be counted towards the final course grade. Any such exceptions for this course are described below. 


Seminar participation is not available for reassessment.

Course Aims

This course aims to:


■ Introduce students to core reasoning skills.

■ Allow students to develop analytical thinking skills via (a) the identification and clarification of conceptual relationships and (b) the identification and evaluation of assumptions and arguments.

■ Allow students to develop skills of interpretation, criticism, clarity, relevance, concise expression and sound argumentation.

■ Allow students to apply reasoning skills to important issues in today's world.

■ Allow students to engage with wider philosophical issues relating to the nature, possibility and scope of knowledge.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

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

■ Explain and apply the concepts of logical structure, premise, conclusion, deductive validity, soundness, and other concepts central to logical argumentation.

■ Explain the value of critical thinking and argument analysis; identify and reconstruct arguments drawn from a variety of sources.

■ Identify and explain key rhetorical ploys and fallacies.

■ Apply critical and analytical skills to issues of current philosophical importance.

■ Analyse and critically evaluate theories and arguments from other areas of philosophy using reasoning skills acquired on this course.

■ Explain and evaluate competing theories on the nature and acquisition of knowledge.

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.