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

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Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2021 to 2022
Autumn Term 6 30 (15) Edward Kanterian checkmark-circle


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%

Indicative reading

Indicative Reading List

Plato, Politeia, (any edition)
Aquinas, T. (1265-1274) Summa Theologica (any edition)
Hobbes, T. (1651) Leviathan (any edition)
Husserl, E. (1900-1901) Logical Investigations (any edition)
Kant, I. (1781) Critique of Pure Reason (any edition)
Locke, J. (1689), Two Treatises on Government (any edition)

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.


  1. Credit level 6. Higher level module usually taken in Stage 3 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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