Please note: there may be some adjustments to the teaching arrangements published in the course catalogue for 2020-21. Given current circumstances related to the Covid-19 pandemic it is anticipated that some usual arrangements for teaching on campus will be modified to ensure the safety and wellbeing of students and staff on campus; further adjustments may also be necessary, or beneficial, during the course of the academic year as national requirements relating to management of the pandemic are revised.

The Philosophy of David Lewis (Philosophy SH) PHIL4058

  • Academic Session: 2022-23
  • 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
  • Available to Erasmus Students: Yes

Short Description

This course studies the philosophy of David Lewis, asking both about the viability of his theories on particular topics and about the systematic coherence of his work.


16x1hr lectures; 4x1hr seminars over 10 weeks as scheduled on 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

Successful completion of Junior Honours Philosophy, and by arrangement to visiting students or students of other Honours programmes.

Excluded Courses





Exam (90 minutes) - 40%

Essay (3000 words) - 60%

Main Assessment In: April/May

Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? Not applicable

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:

■ Introduce students to the philosophical work of David Lewis;

■ Familiarize students with Lewis's theories in a number of areas of metaphysics, philosophy of language, epistemology, and value theory;

■ Enhance students' capacity to analyse a philosophical system as a whole, and to think systematically themselves.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

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

■ Critically evaluate Lewis's reductionism and the major challenges it faces;

■ Articulate different views about whether there is a plurality of worlds, and argue for or against these views;

■ Explain and critically assess Lewis's theories on certain selected subject matters (which may include laws of nature, colours, qualia).

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.