The study of philosophy at Durham does not follow one particular school. The Department is unique in the UK in its wide-ranging expertise in Anglo-American analytical philosophy and Continental philosophy. Each of these has its own distinctive set of issues and approaches to resolving them. We also have special expertise in the philosophy of science, and social science, and the history of science and medicine. So at Durham, you will follow one of the widest-ranging philosophy degrees in the country.
At Durham, you will have the opportunity to study Philosophy as a Single Honours degree, or with another subject including: English, Psychology, Politics or Theology. Philosophy can also be combined in a Joint Honours degree within the Natural Sciences programme or as part of a Combined Honours degree.
Philosophy is a new subject for many students, so in your first year you follow a range of introductory courses, introducing the fundamental philosophical subject areas.
In their first year, all students take the Philosophy core modules of Ethics and Values, and Knowledge and Reality. These concern the two broad divisions of Philosophy, into Metaphysics and Theory of Knowledge on the one hand, and Moral Philosophy on the other. Students also take either Introduction to Logic or Reading Philosophy. Reading Philosophy is a text-based course which examines in depth classic works by writers such as Plato, Hume and Sartre.
In Psychology, students take a number of comparable core modules.
**Years 2 and 3**
In the second year, all students take Philosophy of Mind.
In the second and third years, students have a choice of a wide range of topics. In previous years these have included:
Modern Philosophy I and II
Gender, Film and Society
Issues in Contemporary Ethics
Philosophy of Religion
Language, Logic and Reality
Twentieth Century European Philosophy
Philosophy of Science
The Philosophy of Economics and Politics: Theory, Methods and Values
Victorian Science and Religion
Philosophical Issues in Contemporary Science
History and Philosophy of Psychiatry
Biomedical Ethics Past and Present.
There is a comparable choice within Psychology. You will also have the opportunity to study a subject in depth, by writing a substantial Dissertation of your choice.
Philosophy and Psychology students may wish to take advantage of the Philosophy Department's special expertise in the history and philosophy of science. The study of the history of science involves looking at the development of science as the way of explaining events in the natural world, and considering it critically as a belief system in relation to other belief systems and dogmas. The study of the philosophy of science raises philosophical questions about scientific method and about the various metaphysical assumptions upon which scientific theories depend. Philosophy of Mind is also a subject of cross-disciplinary importance, in which philosophers often engage with contemporary developments in Psychology.
We review course structures and core content (in light of e.g. external and student feedback) every year, and will publish finalised core requirements for 2019 entry from September 2018.
For more information on this course, please see our website.
For more information on the content of this course, including module details, please see our website.
Application deadline details:
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