Philosophy at St Andrews

First year modules

PY1010 | PY1011 | PY1012 | PY1013 | PY1901

PY1010 Mind and World

20 credits

This module provides an introduction to philosophical issues in metaphysics and philosophy of mind. These include questions such as: What is the relation between the mind and the material world? Is the mind a part of the scientific, law-governed material world? If so, can I really act freely? If the mind is part of the material world, how could a material thing be conscious? What, fundamentally, are material things and their properties? What is it for one event to cause another? What is time, and what is change? How can physical objects persist through change? Can a person persist through time and change and still be the same person?

Semester: 1
Credits: 20
Time: 11.00 am - 12.00 noon Mon, Tue, Thu in Irvine Lecture Theatre and occasional Fri in School VI
Teaching: 3 lectures and 1 tutorial
Coordinator: Derek Ball
Additional lecturers: Alex Douglas, Barbara Sattler
Tutorial times: Group 1: Monday 1 – 2, Edgecliffe G01
Group 2: Monday 2 - 3, Edgecliffe G01
Group 3: Monday 3 - 4, Edgecliffe G01
Group 4: Tuesday 9 - 10, Edgecliffe G01
Group 5: Tuesday 10 - 11, Edgecliffe G01
Group 6: Tuesday 1 - 2, Arche Seminar Room
Group 7: Tuesday 2 - 3, Arche Seminar Room
Group 8: Tuesday 3 – 4, Arche Seminar Room
Group 9: Wednesday 10 – 11, Edgecliffe G03
Group 10: Thursday 2 – 3, Arche Seminar Room
Group 11: Thursday 3 – 4, Edgecliffe G03
Group 12: Friday 12 – 1, Edgecliffe G01
Group 13: Friday 1 – 2, Edgecliffe G01

PY1011 Moral and Political Controversies

20 credits

Philosophy has often been said to begin with the question ‘how ought we to live?’ This module introduces students to fundamental questions and problems in moral philosophy (how should we live? What ought we to do? What is it to be a good human being?) and in political philosophy (how ought we to live together?). In moral philosophy we will look at both applied ethics (exploring particular moral issues, such as our obligations to those in severe need, and our treatment of non-human animals) and normative ethics (exploring theoretical approaches to tackling such issues, for example utilitarian, Kantian and virtue ethics). In political philosophy, we will explore central concepts such as liberty, equality, and democracy, and consider the extent to which we should give up some of our freedom in exchange for the protection of the state.

Semester: 1
Credits: 20
Time: 5.00 pm - 6.00 pm Mon, Tue, Thu, and occasional Fri - Buchanan Lecture Theatre
Teaching: 3 lectures and 1 tutorial.
Coordinator: Lisa Jones
Additional lecturers: Ben Sachs, Jens Timmermann
Tutorial times: Group 1: Monday 9 - 10, Edgecliffe G01
Group 2: Monday 10 - 11, Edgecliffe G01
Group 3: Monday 11 - 12, Edgecliffe G01
Group 4: Monday 12 - 1, Edgecliffe G01
Group 5: Monday 1 - 2, Arche Seminar Room
Group 6: Monday 2 - 3, Arche Seminar Room
Group 7: Monday 3 - 4, Arche Seminar Room
Group 8: Monday 4 - 5, Arche Seminar Room
Group 9: Tuesday 9 - 10, Edgecliffe G03
Group 10: Tuesday 10 – 11, Edgecliffe G03
Group 11: Tuesday 11 – 12, Edgecliffe G03
Group 12: Tuesday 11 – 12, Edgecliffe G01
Group 13: Tuesday 2 - 3, Edgecliffe G01
Group 14: Tuesday 3 - 4, Edgecliffe G01
Group 15: Tuesday 4 – 5, Edgecliffe G01
Group 16: Wednesday 9 – 10, Arche Seminar Room
Group 17: Wednesday 10 - 11, Arche Seminar Room
Group 18: Thursday 9 – 10, Edgecliffe G01
Group 19: Thursday 1 – 2, Edgecliffe G01
Group 20: Friday 10 – 11, Edgecliffe G03
Group 21: Friday 11-12, Edgecliffe G03
Group 22: Friday 1 – 2, Edgecliffe G03
Group 23: Friday 2 – 3, Arche Seminar Room
Group 24: Friday 3 – 4, Arche Seminar Room

PY1012 Reasoning

20 credits

This module introduces the essential concepts and techniques of critical reasoning, formal propositional logic, and basic predicate logic. Among the central questions are these: what distinguishes an argument from a mere rhetorical ploy? What makes an argument a good one? How can we formally prove that a conclusion follows from some premises? In addressing these questions, we will also cover topics such as argumentative fallacies, ambiguity, argument forms and analyses, induction versus deduction, counterexamples, truth-tables, truth-trees (tableaux), natural deduction, and quantification.

Semester: 2
Credits: 20
Time: 5.00 pm - 6.00 pm Mon, Tue, Thu, and occasional Fri Buchanan Lecture Theatre
Teaching: 3 lectures and 1 tutorial.
Coordinator: Kevin Scharp
Additional lecturers: Franz Berto
Tutorial times: Group 1: Monday 10 - 11, Edgecliffe G03
Group 2: Monday 1 – 2, Edgecliffe G03
Group 3: Monday 2 – 3, Edgecliffe G03
Group 4: Monday 3 – 4, Arche Seminar Room
Group 5: Monday 4 – 5, Arche Seminar Room
Group 6: Monday 4 – 5, Edgecliffe 104
Group 7: Tuesday 9 – 10, Arche Seminar Room
Group 8: Tuesday 10 - 11, Arche Seminar Room
Group 9: Tuesday 11 – 12, Arche Seminar Room
Group 10: Tuesday 12 – 1, Arche Seminar Room
Group 11: Tuesday 1 – 2, Arche Seminar Room
Group 12: Tuesday 2 – 3, Edgecliffe G01
Group 13: Tuesday 3 – 4, Edgecliffe G01
Group 14: Wednesday 9 – 10, Arche Seminar Room
Group 15: Wednesday 10 – 11, Arche Seminar Room
Group 16: Wednesday 11 – 12, Edgecliffe G01
Group 17: Thursday 9 – 10, Edgecliffe G01
Group 18: Thursday 2 – 3, Edgecliffe 104
Group 19: Thursday 2 – 3, Edgecliffe G03
Group 20: Friday 9 – 10, Edgecliffe 104
Group 21: Friday 12 - 1, Arche Seminar Room
Group 22: Friday 1 – 2, Edgecliffe G03
Group 23: Friday 1 – 2, Arche Seminar Room
Group 24: Friday 2 – 3, Arche Seminar Room
Group 25: Friday 3 – 4, Arche Seminar Room

PY1013 The Enlightenment

20 credits

This module provides an introduction to central figures, works and ideas of the period of the European Enlightenment (roughly 1700-1800), beginning with an account of its historical background and ending with a review of its legacy. It will approach issues both thematically and through the writings of major thinkers, considering for example various contrasts: experience and reason, belief and scepticism, individual and society, nature and convention, equality and inequality and representation and revolution; and looking at the ideas of such figures as Locke, Hume, Kant, Smith, and Rousseau.

Semester: 2
Credits: 20
Time: 11.00 am - 12.00 noon Mon, Tue, Thu School II
Teaching: 3 lectures and 1 tutorial.
Coordinator: Alex Douglas
Additional lecturers: Barbara Sattler Jens Timmermann
Tutorial times: Group 1: Monday 1 – 2, Arche Seminar Room
Group 2: Monday 2 – 3, Arche Seminar Room
Group 3: Tuesday 2 – 3, Arche Seminar Room
Group 4: Tuesday 3 – 4, Arche Seminar Room
Group 5: Thursday 1 – 2, Arche Seminar Room
Group 6: Thursday 2 – 3, Arche Seminar Room
Group 7: Friday 1 – 2, Edgecliffe 104
Group 8: Friday 2 - 3, Edgecliffe G01
Group 9: Friday 3 – 4, Edgecliffe G01

PY1901 Morality & Human Nature (Evening Degree module)

20 credits

This module will examine a number of different perspectives on human nature and will consider a range of moral questions in light of these perspectives. The overarching theme of the course will be to investigate the extent to which what people consider to be right or wrong is affected by what they consider to be natural for humans or part of human nature. Along the way we will consider various other questions such as what it means to say all people are created equal, whether people are inherently bad or good, whether society has a redemptive or corrupting effect on humans, and whether there is or can be any such thing as moral progress. These issues will be approached through consideration of a range of religious, philosophical and scientific traditions and thinkers as well as direct discussion of contemporary moral questions.

Semester: 1
Credits: 20
Teaching: One 2 1/2 hour session a week: lecture and tutorial