Realism and Relativism - PL552

Location Term Level Credits (ECTS) Current Convenor 2017-18 2018-19
Canterbury
(version 2)
Autumn
View Timetable
6 15 (7.5) DR GA Forbes

Pre-requisites

None

Restrictions

None

2017-18

Overview

We often make claims about the world, whether in Ethics, Aesthetics, Metaphysics, History or Science. These claims might be thought to involve a correspondence between how we think about the world and how the world 'really is'. This course aims to examine questions of realism and anti-realism: does the world outrun our ability to talk about it? Do some ways of talking about the world capture how the world really is? Can we even make sense of there being a world independent of how we think about it?

Details

Contact hours

Contact hours: 10 x 2-hour weekly lecture & 10 x 1-hour weekly seminar

Availability

Also available at Level 5 (PL588)

Method of assessment

100% Coursework

Preliminary reading

Indicative Reading List
Button, T. (2013) The Limits of Realism, Oxford: Oxford University Press
Putnam, H. (1981) Reason Truth and History, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Rorty, R. (1979) Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature, Oxford: Blackwell.
Wright, C. (1992) Truth and Objectivity, London: Harvard University Press.

Additional readings made available on Moodle.

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

See the library reading list for this module (Medway)

Learning outcomes

On successfully completing the module level 5 students will be able to:
11.1 show an understanding of issues of realism and various forms of anti-realism (including relativism) both in general terms and specific to certain domains (e.g. humour, ethics, aesthetics, medium sized dry goods);
11.2 engage in discussion of debates about realism and anti-realism, orally and in writing in both general terms and specific to certain domains (e.g. humour, ethics, aesthetics, medium sized dry goods);
11.3 demonstrate knowledge of key texts relevant to debates about realism and anti-realism.

On successfully completing the module level 6 students will be able to:
11.4 show a deep and sustained understanding of issues in realism and various forms of anti-realism (including relativism) both specific to certain domains (e.g. humour, ethics, aesthetics, medium sized dry goods), and in general terms (showing an awareness of the difficulties of engaging with such issues given the limitations of the role of language in discussing such issues;
11.5 engage in specific and in-depth discussion of debates about realism and anti-realism, orally, and in writing, both specific to certain domains (e.g. humour, ethics, aesthetics, medium sized dry goods), and in general terms (showing an awareness of the difficulties of engaging with such issues given the limitations of the role of language in discussing such issues;
11.6 demonstrate critical engagement with key texts relevant issues of realism and anti-realism.

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