The Global Search for Meaning - RSST3500

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Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2021 to 2022
Spring Term 4 15 (7.5) Nicole Graham checkmark-circle


This module provides a thematic introduction to selected topics and debates that span global philosophical, religious and cultural traditions. It will explore issues such as the nature of reality, of the self, and of goodness or value, the foundations of ethics and the ideal society, and the goals of life in a variety of worldviews. Cross-referencing cultural traditions with broader theoretical and philosophical debates, it seeks to provide a foundation for understanding key concepts and themes found within the world's traditions of philosophy and religion, and exploring their implications for fundamental debates about truth, society, psychology and the good life.


Contact hours

Total Contact Hours: 20

Method of assessment

Annotated bibliography (1,000 words) – 30%
Essay (2,500 words) – 70%

Indicative reading

Indicative Reading List

Cooper, D (2002). World Philosophies: An Historical Introduction (second edition). Chichester, Sussex: John Wiley and Sons.
Cooper, D (2009). Philosophy: The Classic Readings. Chichester, Sussex: Wiley-Blackwell.
Hadot, P (1995). Philosophy as a Way of Life, trans. M. Chase. Oxford: Blackwell.
Midlgeley, M (2004). The Myths We Live By. London: Routledge.
Smart, N (2017) World Philosophies (second edition). London: Routledge.
Tofhigian, O (2016) Myth and Philosophy in Platonic Dialogues. London: Palgrave-Macmillan.

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

Demonstrate an appreciation for key themes that shape a variety of philosophical, cultural and religious traditions across the globe;
Describe and present discussions and debates surrounding these key concepts, ideas, and practices;
Understand and contrast approaches to key themes across more than one culture, comparing different views and practices;
Demonstrate an appreciation of the intercultural challenges of comprehending, comparing and contrasting different cultural traditions;
Apply a variety of methodological, hermeneutical and historiographical perspectives relevant to the study of philosophical and theoretical ideas explored in the module.


  1. Credit level 4. Certificate level module usually taken in the first stage 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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