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.

Emotions PHIL5066

  • Academic Session: 2022-23
  • School: School of Humanities
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 5 (SCQF level 11)
  • Typically Offered: Either Semester 1 or Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes
  • Available to Erasmus Students: Yes

Short Description

Emotions occupy a central place in our lives, and are increasingly the object of philosophical attention. In this course we will consider questions concerning the nature of emotions, the role they play in our lives, whether they are irrational responses or might be essential to theoretical and practical reasoning.


2 lectures per week for 9 weeks, plus 4 seminars. The course may not run every year. Options running this year are available on MyCampus.

Requirements of Entry

Standard entry to Masters at College level

Excluded Courses





Two essays, equally weighted, each with a word limit of 2500 words.

Course Aims

This course aims to:

■ introduce students to contemporary theories of emotions.

■ outline some of the competing accounts on the relationships between emotions, judgements, and feelings.

■ allow students to explore competing views of the rationality of emotions.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

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


■ Explain and evaluate the main theories about the nature of emotion;


■ Critically discuss the relationship between emotions and judgements;


■ Critically discuss the relationship between emotions and feelings;


■ Explain and assess the claim that emotions are irrational;


■ Critically discuss the claim that emotions are essential to flourishing human lives.


Assessment for this course is at Masters Level.

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.