Metaphysics PHIL4022

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Humanities
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 4 (SCQF level 10)
  • Typically Offered: Either Semester 1 or Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes

Short Description

This course introduces students to a number of major issues in metaphysics. It familiarises students with the main positions and arguments within each topic, and enables students to deploy these arguments for themselves.


16x1hr lectures, 4x1hr seminars over 10 weeks as scheduled in MyCampus. This is one of the Honours options in Philosophy and may not run every year. The options that are running this session are available on MyCampus.

Requirements of Entry

Available to all students fulfilling requirements for Honours entry into Philosophy, and by arrangement to visiting students or students of other Honours programmes.

Excluded Courses





Exam ( 2 hour duration) - 60%

Essay (2000 words) - 40% 

Main Assessment In: April/May

Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? Not applicable for Honours courses

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. 

Course Aims

This course aims to:

■ Allow students to gain a good understanding of the nature and methods of contemporary metaphysics; 

■ Allow students to familiarise themselves with a number of central metaphysical questions, debates and theories; 

■ Allow students to engage in these debates themselves. 

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

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

■ Explain and contrast different theories on a range of metaphysical questions; 

■ State and evaluate influential arguments for and against such theories; 

■ Critically assess how defenders of such a theory might respond to such arguments; 

■ Independently find and engage with literature relevant to a given topic in metaphysics. 

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.