Cookies

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. You can change your cookie settings at any time. Otherwise, we'll assume you're OK to continue.

Durham University

Faculty Handbook 2021-2022

Module Description

Please ensure you check the module availability box for each module outline, as not all modules will run each academic year.

Department: Philosophy

PHIL1111: Science, Medicine, and Society

Type Open Level 1 Credits 20 Availability Available in 2021/22 Module Cap None. Location Durham

Prerequisites

  • None

Corequisites

  • At least one other 'Year 1' module in Philosophy.

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None

Aims

  • To introduce issues in the history and philosophy of the natural and social sciences, medicine, and society, including key relationships between these areas.
  • To prepare students for a deeper consideration of issues in the history and philosophy of natural and social science, medicine, and society in second and third year modules.

Content

  • Content includes: history of science, history of medicine, philosophy of science, philosophy of medicine, and philosophical issues in science and society. Topics indicative of the content of the module include:
  • History of science:
  • What was science?
  • Historical reflections on the concepts of objectivity, evidence, method, probability, and observation
  • Philosophy of science:
  • What is science? Is ‘creation science’ science?
  • Thomas Kuhn’s The Structure of Scientific Revolutions
  • Theories of scientific method o Science and truth: what do we know for sure?
  • History of medicine and disease:
  • The challenge of changing concepts of the body and illness
  • The development of ethics and professionalism in the practice of medicine
  • Philosophy of medicine and disease:
  • What is health?
  • Health, disease, and scientific method
  • Issues in science and society:
  • Scientific evidence and biased research
  • An introduction to the philosophy of economics
  • Science and democracy

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • By the end of this module students will have a basic knowledge and understanding of key ideas and episodes in the history and philosophy of science, medicine and society.
  • By the end of this module students will have a basic knowledge and understanding of key theories and arguments relating to the history and philosophy of science, medicine and society.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • Correctly utilise specialist vocabulary.
  • Grasp, analyse, evaluate and deploy subject-specific concepts and arguments.
  • Locate, understand, assess and utilise pertinent philosophical and historical sources.
  • Interpret and criticise relevant texts.
Key Skills:
  • Express themselves clearly and succinctly in writing.
  • Comprehend complex ideas, propositions and theories.
  • Defend their opinions by reasoned argument.
  • Seek out and identify appropriate sources of evidence and information.
  • Tackle problems in a clear-sighted and logical fashion.

Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

  • Lectures deliver basic module-specific information, and provide a framework for further study.
  • Discussion groups provide opportunities for students to test their own understanding of the material studied, and defend and debate different opinions.
  • Guided reading provides a structure within which students exercise and extend their abilities to make use of available learning resources.
  • The summative essays test knowledge and understanding of the course material, and the ability to identify and explain issues covered in the module, and, using relevant research material, to present different approaches to those issues, and make reasoned judgment on the merits and demerits of such approaches.
  • The unseen examination tests students' overall knowledge and understanding of the module content at the end of the module, and their ability to bring it to bear on new problems under pressure of time.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Lectures 22 weekly 1 hour 22
Discussion Groups 8 Fortnightly 1 hour 8
Preparation and Reading 170
Total 200

Summative Assessment

Component: Summative Essay Component Weighting: 25%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Summative Essay 2000 words 100%
Component: Summative Essay Component Weighting: 25%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Summative Essay 2000 words 100%
Component: Written examination Component Weighting: 50%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Written examination 100%

Formative Assessment:

<enter text as appropriate for the module>


Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University



If you have a query about a specific module or degree programme, please contact the appropriate department. For programmes in the Business School please see the Learning & Teaching Contact List.

If you have a question about Durham's modular degree programmes, please visit our FAQ webpage. If you have a question about modular programmes that is not covered by the FAQ, or a query about the on-line Faculty Handbook, please contact us using the Comments and Questions form below.