Philosophy 2M: Self & Society

Philosophy 2M: Self & Society

Self & Society is mainly focused on the nature of the self, the nature of society and the relationships that hold between them. It has four components.

The first part of the course engages with the nature and value of democracy. For example, it will seek to determine (1) whether democracy is to be valued for its own sake or for the good consequences it brings about (2) whether freedom, equality, utility explain the value of democracy and (3) whether democracy is the best system of government for Britain, or indeed for every country. The course will combine historical perspectives from Rousseau and Mill with contemporary analysis.

In the second section, contemporary issues in social ethics are investigated. The nature of the self is the subject of the third component, which is concerned with issues such as personal identity and the possibility of free will. The fourth part explores central issues in the philosophy of religion through a key text of the Scottish Enlightenment: David Hume’s Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion. We consider some classic philosophical arguments for the existence of God, and show how religious belief is integrated into our broader moral and epistemological commitments.

Image of John LockeCourse convener:  Dr Hugh Lazenby
Semester: 1
Lecture hour: 12-1, Monday - Thursday
Lecture venue: See MyCampus

Recommended texts:

The main books you need for 2M are:

  • David Hume (ed. M. Bell), Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion, Penguin 1990
  • J.S. Mill Considerations on Representative Government
  • J.J Rousseau The Social Contract

Please note that this course is a revised version of the course 2M: Morality, Politics and Religion. Students who have completed that course cannot take this course.

Teaching resources for this course, including lecture notes and exercises, will be made available on the Philosophy Moodle site.