The Tragedy of Human Reason: Kant's Critique of Pure Reason - PHIL6250

Looking for a different module?

Module delivery information

This module is not currently running in 2021 to 2022.


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


Also available at Level 6 (PL624)

Method of assessment

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

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

On successfully completing the module Level 5 students will be able to:

Outline and demonstrate understanding through clear expression of important texts on reason and metaphysics in the European philosophy;
Articulate and critically discuss the main arguments for those ideas, using at least two contemporary interpretations of these texts;
Comment on the themes and critically assess these texts' and theories' contributions to contemporary philosophical themes;
Demonstrate understanding of the main intellectual environment in which these texts were written.


  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.
Back to top

University of Kent makes every effort to ensure that module information is accurate for the relevant academic session and to provide educational services as described. However, courses, services and other matters may be subject to change. Please read our full disclaimer.