PHI-30026 - Epistemology &Metaphysics ll
Coordinator: Giuseppina D'Oro Room: CBA2.007 Tel: +44 1782 7 33350
Lecture Time: See Timetable...
Level: Level 6
Credits: 15
Study Hours: 150
School Office:

Programme/Approved Electives for 2023/24


Available as a Free Standing Elective





EITHER successful completion of the core Level 2 modules in Philosophy OR by permission of the module convenor.

Barred Combinations


Description for 2023/24

Kant is probably one of most influential thinkers in the history of philosophy. He argued that in order to be possible metaphysics had to drastically be reformed. The change he advocated was from a conception of metaphysics as an enquiry into the ultimate structures of reality to a conception of metaphysics as a second-order enquiry into the structures of knowledge (transcendental philosophy). In this module we will study three philosophers: Leibniz, Hume and Kant. Leibniz practiced the very kind of metaphysics which Kant claimed to be bankrupt. Hume was a critic of Leibniz who claimed that metaphysical treatises of the kind written by Leibniz should be "committed to the flames". Kant on the other hand believed that far from being abandoned, as Hume claimed, metaphysics ought to be reformed. His transcendental philosophy is an attempt to rescue metaphysics from the Humean critique. But, and this is the important question raised by this module: does our hero succeed in the task of reforming metaphysics? And does the metaphysics Kant defends bear any resemblance to what is ordinarily understood by metaphysics?

The module aims to introduce a number of issues in epistemology and metaphysics through the study of key figures in the history of modern philosophy.

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

Intended Learning Outcomes

Identify and describe the historical origins of key problems in epistemology and metaphysics: 1
Compare and contrast the strengths and weaknesses of different/contrasting readings of certain philosophical passages
: 1
Critically assess the contribution of a given philosopher to the solution of a particular philosophical problem
: 1
Critically analyse the philosophical context in which a particular claim is made: 1
Explain the key characteristics of the philosophical tradition to which a philosopher belongs: 1
Evaluate the effectiveness of a particular claim towards the solution of a philosophical problem: 1
Apply hermeneutic skills and operationalise the principle of interpretative charity (whenever possible): 1

Study hours

The module lasts for a semester and is comprised of:
8 x 2 hour lectures
7 x 1 hour seminars
Seminars will lag one week behind the lectures and end in the same week as the lectures.
Breakdown of study hours:
Interactive lectures 16 hours
seminars 7 hours
private study: 40 hours
seminar preparation: 35 hours
preparation for essay: 52 hours

School Rules


Description of Module Assessment

1: Essay weighted 100%
3000 words
3000 words essay on a set topic. The essay will test students' critical understanding of a given thinker and of the philosophical position they defend.