The Tragedy of Human Reason: Kant's Critique of Pure Reason - PHIL6240

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Module delivery information

This module is not currently running in 2024 to 2025.


The curriculum will focus on an important classic texts on reason and metaphysics in the European tradition. The relation between reason and metaphysics has been a focus of philosophy ever since Plato. This includes questions concerning the nature of the mind, the scope and limits only knowledge, the essence of reality, of space, time and existence, and the possible existence of the soul, free will and God. Students will be expected to read such classic texts (for example, Kant's Critique of Pure Reason), but also contemporary critical commentaries.


Contact hours

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

Method of assessment

Main assessment methods:

Essay (3,000 words) – 70%
Summary of weekly reading (300 words) – 10%
Seminar Performance – 20%

Reassessment methods
100% Coursework (3,000 words)

Indicative reading

The University is committed to ensuring that core reading materials are in accessible electronic format in line with the Kent Inclusive Practices. The most up to date reading list for each module can be found on the university's reading list pages:

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

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

1 Demonstrate depth of knowledge of important texts on reason and metaphysics in the European philosophy;
2 Articulate and critically discuss the main arguments for those ideas, using at least three contemporary interpretations of these texts, and also discuss critically these interpretations;
3 Demonstrate comprehensive understanding of how these texts contribute to contemporary philosophical themes;
4 Demonstrate comprehensive and systematic understanding of the main intellectual environment in these texts were written.

The intended generic learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:
1 Demonstrate confident and composed skills in critical analysis and argument, both through their reading and through listening to others;
2 Demonstrate an ability to be understandable in their philosophical writing and dialogue, with a focus on precision and clarity;
3 Demonstrate confidence in working autonomously and taking responsibility for their learning;
4 Read and engage with set texts.


  1. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  2. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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