Philosophy - an introduction
Level 1 (CQFW Level 4), 10 Credits.
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Taking a historical approach, the course will consider the search for wisdom and understanding of ourselves, the world and our relationships. It will pursue this search through successive philosophers and schools of philosophy that have shaped Western thought. No previous knowledge of philosophy will be assumed.
1) Ancient Greece and the Presocratic philosophers.
2) The Sophists, Socrates, Plato and Aristotle.
3) Hellenist philosophical schools – Epicureans and Stoics.
4) Neoplatonists and St Augustine.
5) Medieval philosophical schools.
6) Descartes and other Rationalists.
7) Empiricists and Sceptics – Locke, Berkeley and Hume. The Scottish Common Sense School.
8) Kant and Idealism
9) Continental Phenomenologists and Existentialists.
10) Analytical philosophy and positivism
Who is this course for?
Anyone with an interest in the topic. No previous knowledge in philosophy is assumed.
Learning and Teaching
There will be a mixture of short lectures and discussion, the precise proportion to be determined by the needs of the students enrolled. Also we will discuss examples and case-studies. . This will encourage the development of knowledge and understanding of the ideas and concepts discussed in the course. Intellectual skills will be encouraged through participation in class discussion, reading and coursework.
Coursework and Assessment
Essays or other equivalent written assignments to a total of 1500 words demonstrating an understanding of core elements of the course material
For us, the most important element of assessment is that it should enhance your learning. Our methods are designed to increase your confidence and we try very hard to devise ways of assessing you that are enjoyable and suitable for adults with busy lives.
To award credits we need to have evidence of the knowledge and skills you have gained or improved. Some of this has to be in a form that can be shown to external examiners so that we can be absolutely sure that standards are met across all courses and subjects.
You will not have formal examinations but you may have class tests. You may be asked to write assignments, keep a course journal or put together a portfolio. Our assessments are flexible to suit the course and the student.
Honderich, Ted, The Oxford Companion to Philosophy (Oxford University Press, 2005)
Russell, Bertrand, A History of Western Philosophy, new edn (Routledge, 2004)
Warburton, Nigel, Philosophy: the Basics (Routledge, 2004)
Library and Computing Facilities
As a student on this course you are entitled to join and use the University library and computing facilities. You can find out more about these facilities on our website http://www.cardiff.ac.uk/learn under Student Information, or by ringing the Centre on
(029) 2087 0000.
Accessibility of Courses
Our aim is access for all. We aim to provide a confidential advice and support service for any student with a long term medical condition, disability or specific learning difficulty. We are able to offer one-to-one advice about disability, pre-enrolment visits, liaison with tutors and co-ordinating lecturers, material in alternative formats, arrangements for accessible courses, assessment arrangements, loan equipment and Dyslexia screening. Please contact the Centre on (029) 2087 0000 for an information leaflet.
A range of further information can be found on our web site http://www.cardiff.ac.uk/learn or in Choices. This includes the times and dates of courses and an explanation of accreditation and credit levels.