Theoretical Philosophy - PHIL5002

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Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2024 to 2025
Autumn Term 5 30 (15) checkmark-circle


Theoretical philosophy is one of the main strands of contemporary philosophy. Among other things, theoretical philosophy addresses issues concerning the nature of reality (metaphysics), the nature of knowledge (epistemology), and the nature of correct reasoning (logic).
This module will introduce students to a range of issues and theories in theoretical philosophy. And students will learn to employ the methods of analytic philosophy to address questions such as: What is knowledge? How is knowledge possible? Is there a god? Do we have free will? What is the nature of time? What is causation? Is there one true logic?


Contact hours

Private Study: 260 hours
Contact Hours: 40 hours
Total: 300 hours

Method of assessment

Main assessment methods
Presentation (15 mins) – 20%
Written summary (750 words) – 25%
Essay (2000 words) – 55%

Reassessment methods
100% written coursework.

Indicative reading

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Learning outcomes

The intended subject specific learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

1. Demonstrate a systematic understanding of the main positions in debates in theoretical philosophy, as well as an ability to evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of these positions;
2. Engage critically with some of the central positions and controversies in theoretical philosophy through their study of the relevant arguments, and ultimately support a particular position;
3. Demonstrate the ability to engage in a close critical reading of some of the major texts in theoretical philosophy and refer to these to support their own position.

The intended generic learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

1. Demonstrate their skills in analysis and articulating a coherent position;
2. Demonstrate confidence and accuracy in oral or written argument, and an ability to use such arguments to support a coherent position;
3. Demonstrate their skills in critical analysis, argument, and supporting a particular position through their engagement with philosophical texts, through reading, writing, and discussion;
4. Show an ability to work independently and to take responsibility for their own learning;
5. Demonstrate their ability to clarify complex ideas and arguments, to develop their own ideas and arguments, and to express them using a variety of methods.


  1. Credit level 5. Intermediate level module usually taken in Stage 2 of an undergraduate degree.
  2. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  3. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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