Philosophy 2M: Self & Society PHIL2002

  • Academic Session: 2019-20
  • School: School of Humanities
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 2 (SCQF level 8)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 1
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes
  • Available to Erasmus Students: Yes

Short Description

This course considers philosophical issues relating to the nature of the self and society and the relationships that hold between them. Issues in moral and political philosophy, metaphysics, epistemology and philosophy of religion will addressed, building on work done in Level 1.


Lectures: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday at 12 noon; and weekly one hour seminar (choice of times) over 9 weeks as scheduled on MyCampus.

Requirements of Entry

A grade D3 or above in one of the following Philosophy 1K(PHIL1001); Philosophy 1M(PHIL1002)

Excluded Courses



Essay 1500 words (40%)

Seminar participation (10%)

90 minute examination (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 will provide the opportunity to:

■ survey arguments in moral and political philosophy, metaphysics and epistemology and philosophy of religion, building on Level 1 Philosophy courses.

■ develop a broad theoretical and historical background in moral and political philosophy, philosophy of religion and theories of the self and society.

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

■ interpret and evaluate philosophical writings.

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

■ prepare for more advanced studies in philosophy.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

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

■ identify main elements in the moral and political philosophies of some of the following: Aristotle, Plato, Hume, Kant, Bentham, Hobbes, Rousseau, Locke, Hegel, Marx, Mill.

■ engage critically with the texts of these authors and argue a case as to whether what they say is true or false, justifiable or unjustifiable.

■ discuss critically both the historical location of the texts selected and their relevance to issues under discussion today.

■ discuss philosophically some important contemporary moral problems.

■ discuss critically some main arguments used by philosophers in discussing the relationship between philosophy and religion.

■ discuss critically some main arguments used by philosophers in discussing the nature of the self and how it is related to wider society.

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.