PP2EM1-Early Modern Philosophy 1

Module Provider: Philosophy
Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Level:5
Terms in which taught: Autumn term module
Pre-requisites:
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Co-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Module version for: 2014/5

Module Convenor: Dr Alice Drewery

Email: a.e.drewery@reading.ac.uk

Summary module description:
This module gives an overview of the central views of John Locke and George Berkeley, who had an immense impact on the development of modern Western philosophy.

Aims:
This module gives an overview of the central views of John Locke and George Berkeley, who had an immense impact on the development of modern Western philosophy. Locke and Berkeley were influenced by the contemporary scientists of their day, and attempted to incorporate this new science into their philosophy, resulting in empiricist views which are still hugely influential. We will consider topics such as primary and secondary qualities, substance and essences, personal identity and the self, abstraction, God, and human knowledge, and may also cover topics in Locke’s moral philosophy.

Assessable learning outcomes:
By the end of this module, students will be able to give an overview of the central views of Locke and Berkeley and explain their views on a variety of topics. They will be able to assess critically the various arguments considered and understand why the issues covered are important.

Additional outcomes:
Students will develop skills of abstract and lateral thought, which in turn will help promote their critical thinking skills and their general evaluation of arguments. Their discussion of the issues will also develop their oral skills and build on their ability orally to articulate abstract arguments and concepts.

Outline content:
1.An examination of Locke's Essay Concerning Human Understanding and/or his Two Treatises of Government, including topics such as: primary and secondary qualities, substance and essence, personal identity, abstraction, and social contract.
2.An examination of Berkeley's Principles of Human Knowledge, including topics such as: immaterialism, God, idealism and phenomenalism.

Vacation Reading
R.S.Woolhouse, The Empiricists, OUP, 1988.
E.J. Lowe, Locke on Human Understanding, Routledge, 1995
Berkeley, A Treatise Concerning the Principles of Human Knowledge, ed J. Dancy, OUP, 1998.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
The module will be taught by two lectures each week followed by a seminar for which students will be expected to prepare by reading and making notes on the material. Seminars will also be used to give advice on preparing for the two coursework essays.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 20
Seminars 10
Guided independent study 170
       
Total hours by term 200.00
       
Total hours for module 200.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written exam 70
Written assignment including essay 30

Other information on summative assessment:
Coursework
Two essays of 1500-2000 words each, worth a total of 30% of the module mark.

Electronic Submission
All coursework should be submitted electronically via Blackboard and in hard copy to the Philosophy office.

Formative assessment methods:

Penalties for late submission:
The Module Convener will apply the following penalties for work submitted late, in accordance with the University policy.

  • where the piece of work is submitted up to one calendar week after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for the piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day (or part thereof) following the deadline up to a total of five working days;
  • where the piece of work is submitted more than five working days after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.

  • The University policy statement on penalties for late submission can be found at: http://www.reading.ac.uk/web/FILES/qualitysupport/penaltiesforlatesubmission.pdf
    You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadline. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work.

    Length of examination:
    One examination worth 70%, of two hours in length and divided into two sections, one each on Locke and Berkeley. There will be three questions in each section. Students must answer one question from each section.

    Requirements for a pass:
    A mark of 40% overall.

    Reassessment arrangements:
    Re-examination in August by written examination only.

    Last updated: 8 October 2014

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