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Faculty Handbook Online 2014/15

Module Description

Department: Philosophy


Type Open Level 2 Credits 20 Availability Available in 2014/15 Module Cap None. Location Durham


  • At least one module from the following: Ethics and Values (PHIL1011), Knowledge and Reality (PHIL1021), Reading Philosophy (PHIL1041), OR other appropriate evidence.


  • None.

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None.


  • To provide a grounding in philosophical logic - that is, a grasp of those key notions required for understanding the structure of thought and its relation to the world.


  • The module will lay special emphasis on the philosophical problems that a study of logic throws up.
  • Topics to be covered during the module will include: theories of reference, with special emphasis on names and definite descriptions; identity, quantification and existence; opacity, modality and propositional attitudes; theories of truth; conditionals; indexical expressions; the analytic/synthetic distinction and its bearing on the epistemological status of logical truths.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • By the end of the module, students will have knowledge and understanding of key philosophical theories relating to the following issues:
  • reference
  • identity
  • quantification and existence
  • opacity
  • modality and propositional attitudes
  • truth
  • conditionals
  • indexical expressions
  • the analytic/synthetic distinction
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, where appropriate, historical) sources
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.
  • Tutorials 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 formative essays provide the opportunity for students to test their knowledge and understanding of the module content, and their ability to present and defend relevant arguments and theories, uninhibited by the need for summative assessment.
  • The unseen examination tests students' overall knowledge and understanding of the module content at the end of the module, and their ability to bring them to bear on new problems under pressure of time.

Teaching Methods and Contact Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Lectures 22 1 per week 1 hour 22
Tutorials 9 fortnightly 1 hour 9
Preparation and Reading 169
Total 200

Summative Assessment

Component: Examination Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
three-hour unseen written examination 100%

Formative Assessment:

Two essays of 2000 words each

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.

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