PHI-10020 - Small Text, Big Thoughts
Coordinator: James Tartaglia Room: CBB 2.014 Tel: +44 1782 7 34315
Lecture Time: See Timetable...
Level: Level 4
Credits: 15
Study Hours: 150
School Office:

Programme/Approved Electives for 2023/24


Available as a Free Standing Elective






Barred Combinations


Description for 2023/24

The module aims to offer student an in-depth introduction to a short influential text from the history of philosophy both:
- to familiarise them with that important text and
- to introduce them to a focused approach to philosophical texts, an approach which cannot be provided in other modules to the same extent, but which is very important in the field.
Any short and influential text in the history of philosophy can be the focus of this module, including: The Yoga-Sutra of Patanjali, The Daodejing, Plato's Phaedo, Descartes's Meditations, Kant's Prolegomena, Nietzsche's Beyond Good and Evil, Wittgenstein's Tractatus, De Beauvoir's Ethics of Ambiguity.

Talis Aspire Reading List
Any reading lists will be provided by the start of the course.

Intended Learning Outcomes

philosophically comprehend, present and evaluate the key ideas of the text focused on: 1,2
demonstrate conceptual familiarity and critical understanding of some of the main interpretations of the text: 2
use a philosophical approach in the discussion of specific aspects of the book examined in the module: 1,2
present in a rigorous way their own views on the book and its significance for the history of philosophy: 2

Study hours

There will be:
- 12 x 1-hour lectures;
- 8 x 1-hour seminars;
- 2 x 53 hours for the preparation of the essays;
- 24 hours for the preparation of the seminars.

School Rules


Description of Module Assessment

1: Essay weighted 50%
One 1,000-word essay
A 1,000-word essay, which reconstructs one particular significant argument from the text examined in the module

2: Essay weighted 50%
One 1,000-word essay
A 1,000-word essay on the significance of the text focused on for the history of philosophy