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.

Themes in the History of Philosophy PHIL5098

  • 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: No
  • Available to Erasmus Students: No

Short Description

This is an MSc-level course which will focus on a specific theme in the History of Western Philosophy. Such themes include, but are not limited to, the Scottish Enlightenment, Kant, 20th Century Analytic Philosophy, Ancient Philosophy, and Wittgenstein.


6 x fortnightly 2-hour seminar

Requirements of Entry

Standard entry to Masters at College level.

Excluded Courses





Essay (5,000 words): 100%

Course Aims

This course aims to:

■ Develop students' undergraduate level understanding of a particular area in the History of Philosophy to a level which allow them to engage with contemporary positions and arguments in the field.

■ Enable students to articulate and critically evaluate their own position within these contemporary issues.

■ Provide a foundation in this field for future engagement in original research in an area in the History of Philosophy. 

■ Provide the opportunity to achieve a foundation that equips the student for research leading to a Ph.D. in the issues connected to (an area of) the History of Philosophy.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

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

■ Explain the leading positions and arguments in a key area or areas within the History of Philosophy. 

■ Articulate arguments for and against these theories, and compare them and critically

■ Recognise and incorporate classic and contemporary positions and arguments in an area in the History of Philosophy into their own developing research fields where relevant

■ Develop an original philosophical argument in at least one subfield of the History of Philosophy

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.