PP3EAP-Early Analytic Philosophy

Module Provider: Philosophy
Number of credits: 10 [5 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Autumn term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Module version for: 2017/8

Module Convenor: Prof John Preston

Email: j.m.preston@reading.ac.uk

Summary module description:

This module introduces students to one or more of the original architects of analytic philosophy, Gottlob Frege, Bertrand Russell, G.E.Moore and Ludwig Wittgenstein. We will look at central texts from one or more of these thinkers in detail, and consider relations between their ideas.


The programme of study in Philosophy is specifically designed to introduce you to progressive intellectual challenges and to consolidate your previous experience at each new level. This module fits into our graduated, supervised programme for developing independent-learning skills. It builds on our Part 2 provision in particular by deepening your understanding of the history of 20th-century philosophy, and core areas of philosophy such as epistemology, philosophy of mind and language, and philosophy of science, but also less central areas such as the philosophy of mathematics.

Assessable learning outcomes:

By the end of this module, you will be able to relate the work of one of these thinkers to that of the others, and to explain key ideas in their work. Your oral skills will be improved by presentation of material on a given topic in the seminar section of this module and group interaction will be encouraged by discussion and questioning in both lectures and seminars.

Additional outcomes:

You will gain an overview of a system of thought that was essential to the ‘linguistic turn’ of analytic philosophy and to the further development of analytic metaphysics and philosophy of language. This will provide you with a valuable perspective on other topics studied in your philosophy degree, notably in metaphysics, philosophy of language, and philosophy of science. The material to be covered will be treated both from an analytic and an exegetical perspective. The module thereby trains both logico-analytic and hermeneutic skills.

Outline content:

The module begins with an introduction to the background of the thinkers in question. This is followed by an introduction to one or more of their central texts (such as Wittgenstein’s Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus). We will look at their claims about logic, language, knowledge, and the mind.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

The module is taught by lectures and seminars. Students are expected to attend 10 hours of lectures and 5 hours of seminars during the term in which the module’s lecture and seminar classes take place. All students are required to write a single essay from a list of questions supplied by the module convenor. The essay assignment will be due in week 5 of the Summer term. In addition, students will be required to write a short précis of the topic for discussion in each seminar class. Students are encouraged to be active in all classes, asking questions and trying to answer the questions posed by others. A reading list and sample questions will be given out at the start of the course.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 10
Seminars 5
Guided independent study 85
Total hours by term 100.00
Total hours for module 100.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written assignment including essay 100

Other information on summative assessment:

Formative assessment methods:

Students will write a short précis of the topic for discussion for every seminar class. Some classes may involve quizzes.

Penalties for late submission:
The Module Convenor 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:

    Requirements for a pass:

    A mark of 40% overall

    Reassessment arrangements:

    Written assignment, to be completed in August

    Additional Costs (specified where applicable):

    Last updated: 31 March 2017

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