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Durham University

Faculty Handbook 2022-2023

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

PHIL3131: ISSUES IN CONTEMPORARY ETHICS

Type Open Level 3 Credits 20 Availability Available in 2022/23 Module Cap Location Durham

Prerequisites

  • Moral Theory PHIL2041.

Corequisites

  • At least one other 'Year 3' module in Philosophy.

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None.

Aims

  • To explore issues in contemporary ethics.

Content

  • The precise list of topics may vary from year to year. The topics will be taken from a list including:
  • moral realism
  • projectivism
  • response-dependence
  • moral motivation
  • internal and external reasons
  • practical reason and desire
  • particularism
  • intuitionism
  • virtue theory
  • free will and responsibility
  • death
  • love
  • trust

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • By the end of the module, students will have knowledge and understanding of key philosophical theories relating to the foregoing issues.
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.
  • Discussion periods enable students to voice their views and debate with others.
  • 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 it to bear on new problems under pressure of time.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Lectures/Discussions 22 1 Per Week 1.5 Hours 33
Preparation and Reading 167
Total 200

Summative Assessment

Component: Examination (two-hour unseen written examination 100%) Component Weighting: 60%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Examination 2 hours 100%
Component: Essay Component Weighting: 40%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Essay 2,500 words 100%

Formative Assessment:

One essay in Michaelmas of approximately 2000 words.


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



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