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MA Modules

UCL Philosophy Department information about MA Modules.

Below is the list of modules running in the 2019/20 academic year. Click on the titles below to see more information including a module description and sample / provisional syllabus. Module leader email addresses can be found via the staff pages:

For locations and exact times please use the UCL common timetable which will be updated early September.

Term 1

PHIL0043 Special Topics in Political Philosophy

Module Leader: Amanda Greene

Term: 1

Area: B

Shared: MPhil Stud

Assessment: Participation: weekly response papers + oral presentation (18%) Essay Preparation Exercise (including peer review - 18%) Essay 3,000 words (64%)

Day / Time: Friday 4-6pm

This advanced module is intended to provide students with the opportunity for a focused exploration of a variety of topics in political philosophy. In 2019-2020, the topic will be leadership, very broadly construed. We will consider political, economic, social, artistic, philanthropic, and cultural domains. Questions to be considered include:  What is it to lead? What is it to follow? Do all forms of social order require leaders? What responsibilities do leaders have, and to whom should they be held accountable? Does leadership require hierarchy? Does leadership require compromise? When are leaders legitimate? Readings will be a mixture of historical and contemporary meditations on these themes. They are likely to include Plato, Aristotle, Weber, Gandhi, T. Nagel, C.A.J. Coady, and O. O’Neill.

PHIL0057 Topics in German Idealism

Module Leader: Rory Phillips

Term: 1

Area: C

Shared: BA and MPhil Stud

Assessment: Essay 4,000 words

Day / Time: Friday 10-12noon

The course focuses on central issues in the writings of the German Idealists – Fichte, Schelling, and Hegel – with special attention to the ways in which they develop and transform Kant's philosophy. Topics covered include the theory of the self, transcendental and absolute idealism, philosophy of nature, the Hegelian dialectic.

PHIL0059 Philosophy, Politics and Economics of Health

Module Leader: James Wilson

Term: 1

Area: B

Shared: MPhil Stud

Assessment: Essay 4,000 words

Day / Time: Monday 1-3pm

This module examines some central ethical ethical, economic and political problems facing health policy in the UK and abroad, especially in relation to social justice. Topics covered include: how to allocate healthcare resources (e.g. should the NHS cover all new drug treatments, regardless of how expensive they are? Who should decide?); the appropriate role of the state in protecting and promoting health (e.g. should smoking be banned?); when inequalities in health and life expectancy are unfair; and special challenges posed by infectious diseases.

Reading list:

http://readinglists.ucl.ac.uk/modules/phil0059.html

PHIL0061 Metaphysics of Science

Module Leader: Luke Fenton-Glynn

Term: 1

Area: A

Shared: BA and MPhil Stud

Assessment: Essay 4,000 words

Day / Time: Tuesday 12-2pm

In this course, we will cover three central topics in the metaphysics of science: causation, chance and the laws of nature. Questions to be addressed include: What are laws of nature? Are there laws in sciences such as biology, ecology, or economics? If so, how do they relate to the laws of physics? What is objective chance? Do only fundamental physical laws (for example, those of quantum mechanics) generate chances, or do the laws or generalizations of biology, etc. yield chances? What is causation? How does causation relate to chance?

No background in science or probability theory is needed for this course.

Recommended general background reading:

• Paul, L. A. and Hall, N. (2013): Causation: A User’s Guide (Oxford: OUP)

• Psillos, S. (2002): Causation and Explanation (Montreal: McGill-Queen’s University Press).

• Fenton-Glynn, L. (2015): ‘A Simple Introduction to Probability’ < https://www.academia.edu/12094718/A_Simple_Introduction_to_Probability>.

Provisional syllabus

Topic 1. Causation and Counterfactuals

• Lewis, D. ‘Causation’, Journal of Philosophy, Vol. 70, pp. 556-557.

• Lewis, David (1986): 'Postscripts to "Causation"'. In his Philosophical Papers, Vol. II (New York: OUP), pp. 172-213. Postscript E: 'Redundant Causation'.

• Lewis, D. ‘Causation as Influence’, in J. Collins, N. Hall, and L. A. Paul (eds.): Causation and Counterfactuals (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press), pp. 76-106.

Topic 2. Causation and Structural Equations

• Hitchcock, C. (2001): ‘The Intransitivity of Causation Revealed in Equations and Graphs’, Journal of Philosophy, Vol. 98, pp. 273-299.

Topic 3. Causation and Probability

• Hitchcock, C. (2004): ‘Do All and Only Causes Raise the Probability of Effects?’, in J. Collins, N. Hall, and L.A. Paul (eds): Causation and Counterfactuals (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press).

Topic 4. Causation, Probability, and Causal Models

• Hitchcock, C. (2001): ‘A Tale of Two Effects’, Philosophical Review, Vol. 110, pp. 361-396.

Topic 5. Interpretations of Probability

• Hájek, Alan (2012): "Interpretations of Probability", The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

Topic 6. Problems with the Naïve Regularity Theory of Laws

• Armstrong, D. (1983): What is a Law of Nature? (Cambridge: CUP), pp. 11-59.

Topic 7. The Best System Analysis of Laws and Chance

• Lewis, D. (1994): ‘Humean Supervenience Debugged’, Mind, Vol. 103, Sections 2-4 only.

Topic 8. Special Sciences

• Oppenheim, P. and Putnam, H. (1958): 'Unity of Science as a Working Hypothesis', , in H. Feigl et al., eds., Minnesota Studies in the Philosophy of Science, vol. 2 (Minneapolis: Minnesota University Press), pp. 3-36.

• Fodor, J. (1974): ‘Special Sciences (Or: The Disunity of Science as a Working Hypothesis)’, Synthese, Vol. 28, pp. 97-115.

Topic 9. Invariant Generalisations

• Woodward, J. and Hitchcock, C. (2003): ‘Explanatory Generalizations, Part I: A Counterfactual Account’, Noûs, Vol. 37, pp. 1-24.

Topic 10. Special Sciences, Statistical Mechanics, & The Direction of Time

• Loewer, B. (2012): 'Two Accounts of Laws and Time', Philosophical Studies, Vol. 160, pp. 115-137.

• Loewer, B. (2012): 'The Emergence of Time's Arrows and Special Science Laws From Physics', Interface Focus, Vol. 2, pp. 13-19.

Sample questions:

• Are laws of nature mere regularities?

• Are the generalisations of the special sciences (e.g. biology, chemistry, economics) genuine laws of nature?

• Are the special sciences reducible to physics?

• Are there objective probabilities in sciences other than physics?

• Can causation be understood in terms of probabilistic relations between events?

• Can structural equations approaches to causation help us overcome the difficulties facing more traditional philosophical accounts of causation?

• Can the direction of causation and the direction of time be reduced to the direction of entropy increase?

PHIL0067 Free Speech and Theories of Autonomy

Module Leader: Robert Simpson

Term: 1

Area: B

Shared: BA and MPhil Stud

Assessment: Essay 4,000 words

Day / Time: Thursday 10-12noon

This module investigates two complementary topics: (1) theories of autonomy, as they have been developed by philosophers writing about ethics and the self, and (2) defences of free speech, as they have been developed (and criticised) by legal and political theorists. With respect to (1), we’re interested in what it means to be autonomous, how and why the process of desire-formation has a bearing on a person’s autonomy, and whether it is possible for someone to autonomous desire their own subordination. With respect to (2), we’re interested in what kind of conception of autonomy – and of the individual, as such – different theorists have invoked in seeking to defend free speech, and what kinds of theoretical justifications for free speech can be developed in light of different conceptions of autonomy. The insights into the nature of autonomy that we gain from thinking about the topics in part (1), will inform the critical inquiry that we carry out in part (2). Assessment is via a major essay, and there will usually be some kind of minor, reading-related tasks that you’re required to complete during the term. Classes are a mixture of lectures, small-group discussion, and whole group discussion. Representative examples of readings that we look at during the course are John Christman, “Autonomy and personal history” (Canadian Journal of Philosophy 21/1, 1991, pp. 1-24), and Susan Brison, “The autonomy defense of free speech” (Ethics 108/2, 1998, pp./ 312-39).

PHIL0070 Representation and Reality

Module Leader: Matthew Simpson

Term: 1

Area: A

Shared: BA and MPhil Stud

Assessment: Essay 4,000 words

Day / Time: Friday 2-4pm

***This course involves advanced material in philosophy of language and metaphysics. You are strongly recommended to take this course only if you have previously studied philosophy of language, metaphysics, or logic. If you're not sure whether you have the appropriate background please feel free to contact the module leader.***

In this module we will investigate the relationship between the world and our representation of it by our language and thoughts. We will study a number of philosophical debates from the last century, which all center on the idea that our theories about human language and thought will in some way affect what we think about reality. Topics studied will vary from year to year, but typical topics include how we can think and talk about the non-existent, the role of reference and representation in deciding what the world is like, whether we can dissolve metaphysical problems by thinking about ordinary language, and whether any kind of language can mirror reality.

Some texts to give students a flavour of some potential topics: (All are available online)

• Non-Existence: Tim Crane, 'What is the problem of non-existence?' 2012, Philosophia: Philosophical Quarterly of Israel, 40: 417–434.

• Language as a mirror of reality: Elisabeth Barnes & Ross Cameron '‘A Critical Study of John Heil’s From an Ontological Point of View’, in ed. Romano, ‘Symposium on From an Ontological Point of View by John Heil’, SWIF Philosophy of Mind Review 6, 2007.

• Dissolving metaphysics by thinking about ordinary language: Amie Thomasson, ‘Easy Ontology and its Consequences’ in Gary Ostertag (ed.) Meanings and Other Things: Essays on the work of Stephen Schifferm (OUP 2016), 34-53.

• Truth and its relationship with reality: Gonzalo Rodriguez-Pereyra 'Why truthmakers?' in Beebee & Dodd (eds) Truthmakers: The Contemporary Debate, 2005, OUP.

• The role of representation in thought and language: Simon Blackburn, 'The Steps from Doing to Saying’, Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 110, 2010, 1-13

• Deflationary theories of truth and their impact on metaphysics: Paul Horwich, ‘Being and Truth’, Midwest Studies in Philosophy 32 (2008), 258-273

• Representation and its relationship to metaphysics: Huw Price, 2011, Naturalism Without Mirrors, introduction (OUP)

PHIL0075 20th Century Philosophy

Module Leader: Mark Kalderon

Term: 1

Area: C

Shared: BA and MPhil Stud

Assessment: Essay 4,000 words

Day / Time: Wednesday 10-12noon

20th Century Philosophy is dedicated to reading great if neglected texts of the twentieth century. The text varies year by year. This year we shall be reading Iris Murdoch's Sovereignty of the Good. This work was inspired by Someone Weil’s reflections on the ethical significance of attention and in turn inspired aspects of John McDowell’s ethics.

PHIL0079 Advanced Topics on Moral Philosophy: Responsibility, Luck and Excuses

Module Leader: Ulrike Heuer

Term: 1

Area: B

Shared: BA and MPhil Stud

Assessment: Essay 4,000 words

Day / Time: Monday 10-12noon

We will explore theories of responsibility, in particular their explanations of its grounds, its scope and its limits. We will also discuss some fundamental skeptical challenges to the practice of holding ourselves and others responsible. In light of these general considerations, we will then examine more specific topics, such as responsibility for attitudes, moral luck, blameworthiness, excuses and collective responsibility. The aim of the module is to develop an understanding of the nature of responsibility, and the resources and problems of contemporary approaches.

 Introductory readings:

• R. Jay Wallace, Responsibility and the Moral Sentiments, Cambridge (Mass.): Harvard University Press 1996.

• Susan Wolf, Freedom Within Reason, Oxford: Oxford University Press 1990.

• Daniel Statman (ed), Moral Luck, SUNY Press 1993.

PHIL0103 Research Seminar: Philosophy of Mind

Module Leader: Douglas Lavin

Term: 1

Area: A

Shared: MPhil Stud

Assessment: Essay 4,000 words

Day / Time: Tuesday 10-12noon

This module is a research seminar in the philosophy of mind. The module teacher will present some of their recent research. Subject matter can vary year by year, but might include: mental states and events, mental actions, the mind-body problem, consciousness, intentionality, mental causation etc.

PHIL0118 Perception and Its Objects

Module Leader: Mark Kalderon

Term: 1

Area: A

Shared: MPhil Stud

Assessment: One essay 4,000 words

Day / Time: Thursday 12-2pm

This course is intended to take students through key recent contributions within the Philosophy of Perception or the Metaphysics of Sensibilia (such as colour or sound). This year we shall be reading Susanna Schellengerg’s The Unity of Perception. All members of the class are required to prepare the reading each week. One student each week will be responsible for giving a short presentation on the work, and the class as a whole will then discuss any issues raised.

PHIL0129 Worlds, Sentences and Measures

Module Leader: Daniel Rothschild

Term: 1

Area: A

Shared: BA and MPhil Stud

Assessment: Problem Sets 100%

Day / Time: Thursday 10-12noon

This module gives an introduction to set theory, the use of possible worlds in philosophy, probability theory, non-classical logics, and modal logic. Our main text for the logic side of the module is Sider, Logic for Philosophy (2010).  A basic knowledge of first-order (predicate) logic is presupposed and some familiarity with basic metalogical results (e.g. soundness and completeness) will also be helpful.  A main component of the module is weekly problem sets on which collaboration is encouraged.

PHIL0142 Research Preparation in Philosophy 1

Module Leader: James Hutton

Term: 1

Area: N/A

Shared: MA only

Assessment: Essay 4,000 words

Day / Time: Wednesday 1-3pm

This course will introduce UCL Philosophy Masters students to graduate study in philosophy and to philosophical discussion. Each week all students will have read in advance a classic piece of analytic philosophy, and one student will give an oral presentation to initiate a discussion of the reading, which is moderated by the convenor.

PHIL0162 The Self in Classical Indian Philosophy

Module Leader: Nilanjan Das

Term: 1

Area: C

Shared: BA and MPhil Stud

Assessment: (i) attendance and participation (10%), (ii) 5 short fortnightly writing assignments (10%), and (iii) a summative essay (2,500 words)

Day / Time: Tuesday 10-12noon

In this course, we will consider debates about the nature of the self in classical Indian philosophy. We will look at two Buddhist theories of the self: reductionism and anti-realism. We will then examine some arguments that the non-Buddhists---especially, the Nyāya philosophers---gave against these theories. Along the way, we will also discuss some of the questions that these debates raise in epistemology and ethics: for example, whether our memories give us any reason to believe in an enduring self, and whether denying the existence of the self can help us justify altruism.

PHIL0164 Consequentialism, Kantianism, and the Ideal World

Module Leader: Joe Horton

Term: 1

Area: B

Shared: BA and MPhil Stud

Assessment: Essay 4,000 words

Day / Time: Thursday 2-4pm

Consequentialism and Kantianism are two of the most influential theories of morality. In this module, we consider their various formulations, their strengths and weaknesses, and the distance between them. We pay particular attention to a recent argument from Derek Parfit, which holds that the best versions of these theories are extensionally equivalent.

Sample Reading

• Peter Railton, ‘Alienation, Consequentialism, and the Demands of Morality’, Philosophy & Public Affairs 13 (1984): 134–171

• Onora O’Neill, Constructions of Reason (Cambridge University Press, 1989): Chapter 5

• Derek Parfit, On What Matters (Oxford University Press, 2011): Chapter 12

Module Assessment

The module is assessed by a summative essay. For BA students, the maximum length is strictly 3500 words. For MA students, the maximum length is strictly 4000 words. For MPhil students, the maximum length is strictly 4500 words.

Essay questions are provided, but students may also formulate their own questions.

Students are strongly encouraged to write a formative essay, which is due around the end of week 8. The formative essay is intended to serve as a draft of the summative and should therefore answer the same question. The maximum length is strictly 2000 words.

PHIL0175 Gödel's Incompleteness Theorems

Module Leader: Lavinia Picollo

Term: 1

Area: A

Shared: BA and MPhil Stud

Assessment: 5 problem sets in total worth 20% each

Day / Time: Thursday 2-4pm

The course consists in a detailed exposition of Gödel's First Incompleteness Theorem and its proof. Students will be introduced to first-order axiomatic theories, first-order arithmetic, enumerability, recursivity, definability and representability, models of arithmetic and arithmetical truth, the arithmetical hierarchy, Gödel's coding technique, the Diagonal Lemma, and Gödel sentences.

PHIL0178 Research Seminar in Realism and Antirealism

Module Leader: José Zalabardo

Term: 1

Area: A

Shared: MPhil Stud

Assessment: Essay 4,000 words

Day / Time: Friday 12-2pm

We will be discussing current literature on the realism-antirealism debate in its various forms, covering topics in metaphysics, epistemology and philosophical semantics. We will focus on major contributions to the field, from figures such as Michael Dummett, Donald Davidson, John McDowell, Crispin Wright or Huw Price. Our aim will be to gain a detailed understanding of their ideas and to work towards an assessment of their plausibility. Seminars will be based on student presentations of works under discussion.

Recommended reading: H. Price, Naturalism without Mirrors

PHIL0182 Metametaphysics

Module Leader: Tim Button

Term: 1

Area: A

Shared: BA and MPhil Stud

Assessment: Essay 4,000

Day / Time: Tuesday 3-5pm

Our central question is Kant’s: Is metaphysics possible at all, and if so, how? We will focus on the post-Quinean answer: Metaphysics is possible, because it is continuous with science.

We will consider how the orthodoxy came about, looking at Quine and Lewis. We will then explore some criticisms of the orthodoxy, due to Carnap, Putnam, Thomasson, and Hirsch. We will end the course by exploring some contemporary reactions to those criticisms which invoke notions like “structure”, “ground” and “fundamentality”.

PLIN0056 Semantics Research Seminar

Module Leader: Yasutada Sudo & Daniel Rothschild

Term: 1

Area: A

Shared: MPhil Stud

Assessment: Portfolio 100.00%

Day / Time: Friday 3-5pm

We will read current and classic papers in semantics on a variety of topics, to prepare for weekly presentations by participants and staff. The aim is to demonstrate to current research topics, issues and methods, to transition students towards participating in research in semantics.

CMII0076 Illness

Module Leader: James Wilson

Term: 1

Area: B

Assessment: Essay 4,000 words

Day / Time: Thursdays 4-6pm

This interdisciplinary module explores the experience of illness. It focuses in particular on tensions between subjective and objective, examining how rich and socially embedded interpretive responses to the experience of illness, can and should be brought into dialogue with biomedical, philosophical, and sociological understandings of the same phenomena. The first half of the course focuses on the role of narrative in constituting selves and illness experiences. We examine some ways in which those living with illness construct narratives to give expression to their experiences, and what a focus experience and narratives adds to a more biomedical conception of illness. The second half focuses on the intersection between biology, power and culture in constructing responses to illness, examining ideas of care and suffering, disability, stigma, illness experiences that struggle to receive recognition from biomedical science. The sessions will be accompanied by an Illness reading group of four sessions.

Term 2

PHIL0041 Early Wittgenstein

Module Leader: José Zalabardo

Term: 2

Area: C

Shared: BA and MPhil Stud

Assessment: Essay 4,000 words

Day / Time: Wednesday 10-12noon

The purpose of this course is to present some of the central doctrines of Wittgenstein’s Tractatus-: the Tractarian Account of Representation and Reality (TARR). We can characterise TARR as involving three main components.

The first component of TARR is the view that everyday propositions don’t represent the world directly: they represent the world through the mediation of a class of postulated propositions, known as elementary propositions (Elementarsätze). Everyday propositions represent the world by being truth functions of elementary propositions.

The second component of TARR is an account of the nature of elementary propositions and of how they represent the world. On this account, an elementary proposition is a combination of items known as names. Names are referential expressions. An elementary proposition represents the referents of its names as combined with one another in the same way in which the names are combined in the proposition. The proposition is true if the referents are so combined; false if they are not. The referents of names are simple items known as objects. The combinations of objects that elementary propositions represent as obtaining are known as states of affairs (Sachverhalte).

The third component of TARR is an account of the structure of reality, according to which a possible state of the world is constituted by the states of affairs that obtain in it. Two states of the world differ from one another only if there are states of affairs that obtain in one and not in the other. And for every set of states of affairs there is a possible state of the world in which the states of affairs that obtain are precisely the elements of the set.

Thus, according to TARR, elementary propositions and states of affairs provide the interface between language and the world. Propositions represent the world by their truth-functional dependence on elementary propositions. These, in turn, represent states of affairs. This enables propositions to represent the whole of reality, since everything that is the case, and everything that can be the case, consists in the obtaining and non-obtaining of states of affairs—what truth functions of elementary propositions represent.

Taken as an intuitive model, TARR is fairly easy to understand—we can form a conception of what things would have to be like in order for TARR to be correct. A precise, literal understanding of the view is much harder to achieve. And it is even harder to grasp why anyone would think that this is how things are in actuality—that language and reality have the structure that TARR attributes to them and that the former represents the latter as TARR says it does. Specifically, it is hard to understand why Wittgenstein thought this. Addressing these questions is the main goal of this course.

Recommended Reading:

L. Wittgenstein, Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus

J. Zalabardo, Representation and Reality in Wittgenstein’s Tractatus

TOPICS

1. Russell’s dual-relation theory of judgment

2. Russell’s multiple-relation theory of judgment

3. Russell and Wittgenstein on forms

4. Wittgenstein’s picture theory

5. Frege on unity and unsaturatedness

6. Wittgenstein on the unity of the proposition

7. Wittgenstein on the unity of facts

8. Objects and expressions as common structural features

9. Substance and simplicity

READINGS

Primary sources

Wittgenstein

There are two main English translations of the Tractatus, one by by C. K. Ogden (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1922), and one by David Pears and Brian McGuinness (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 2nd ed.1974). I tend to use the Pears and McGuinness, but although they differ in important respects, either would be fine.

I have prepared a hypertext version of the Pears and McGuinness translation. It doesn't work on some browsers.

If you know any German, there is a very useful edition by Joachim Schulte and Brian McGuinness (Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp, 1989), collating sections of the Tractatus with relevant passages from preliminary manuscripts.

Another important primary source is Wittgenstein's Notebooks, 1914-1916 (Oxford: Blackwell, 2nd ed.1979). This volume contains the main extant manuscripts from the period when Wittgenstein was working on the Tractatus.

Frege and Russell

We will be paying close attention to the origin of Wittgenstein's ideas in the work of Russell and Frege. We will be looking mainly at the following texts:

For Frege, "Function and Concept" and "On Concept and Object", both translated in Translations from the Philosophical Writings of Gottlob Frege, edited by Max Black and P. T. Geach, Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1980.

And for Russell:

Chapter 4 of The Principles of Mathematics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1903.

"On the Nature of Truth and Falsehood." In Philosophical Essays, 147-59. London: Longmans, Green, 1910.

Chapter 12 of The Problems of Philosophy . London: Williams & Norgate, 1912.

"Theory of Knowledge: The 1913 Manuscript." In The Collected Papers of Bertrand Russell. Vol 7, edited by Elizabeth Ramsden Eames and Kenneth Blackwell. London: Allen & Unwin, 1984. (Part I, Chapters VII and IX, and Part II, Chapters I and V)

The fourth lecture of The Philosophy of Logical Atomism. LaSalle, Ill.: Open Court, 1985.

Secondary sources

Books

There are many book-length expositions and commentaries of the Tractatus. Many of them make some good points but they all differ in important respects from the interpretation that I'll be presenting. The following might be particularly useful:

Max Black. A Companion to Wittgenstein's Tractatus. Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 1964.

James Griffin. Wittgenstein's Logical Atomism. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1964.

David Pears. The False Prison: A Study of the Development of Wittgenstein's Philosophy. Volume I. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1987.

Articles and book chapters

I will recommend readings on particular topics in the lectures, but here is an unsystematic selection of interesting articles on the issues that we will be discussing:

Candlish, Stewart. "The Unity of the Proposition and Russell's Theories of Judgment." In Bertrand Russell and the Origins of Analytical Philosophy, edited by Ray Monk and Anthony Palmer, 103-35. Bristol: Thoemmes Press, 1996.

Conant, James. "Elucidation and Nonsense in Frege and Early Wittgenstein." In The New Wittgenstein, edited by Alice Crary and Rupert Read, 174-217. London: Routledge, 2000.

----. "The Search for Logically Alien Thought: Descartes, Kant, Frege, and the Tractatus." Philosophical Topics 20 (1992): 115-80.

---. "Two Conceptions of Die Überwindung der Metaphysik. Carnap and Early Wittgenstein." In Wittgenstein in America, edited by Timothy McCarthy and Sean C. Stidd, 13-61. Oxford: Clarendon, 2001.

Geach, Peter T. "Saying and Showing in Frege and Wittgenstein." Acta Philosophica Fennica 28 (1976): 54-70.

Griffin, Nicholas. "Russell's Multiple Relation Theory of Judgement." Philosophical Studies 47 (1985): 213-48.

---. "Wittgenstein's Criticism of Russell's Theory of Judgment." Russell 5 (1986): 132-45.

Hylton, Peter. "The Nature of the Proposition and the Revolt against Idealism." In Philosophy in History, edited by Richard Rorty, J. B. Schneewind and Quentin Skinner, 375-97. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1984.

---. Russell, Idealism, and the Emergence of Analytic Philosophy. Oxford: Clarendon, 1990.

Ishiguro, Hidé. "Use and Reference of Names." In Studies in the Philosophy of Wittgenstein, edited by Peter Guy Winch, 20-50. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1969.

Kremer, Michael. "Contextualism and Holism in the Early Wittgenstein: From Prototractatus to Tractatus ." Philosophical Topics 25 (1997): 87-120.

Linsky, Leonard. "The Unity of the Proposition." Journal of the History of Philosophy 30 (1992): 243-73.

Palmer, Anthony. Concept and Object: The Unity of the Proposition in Logic and Psychology . London: Routledge, 1988. (Chapter 4)

Pears, David. "The Relation between Wittgenstein's Picture Theory of Propositions and Russell's Theory of Judgment." Philosophical Review 86 (1977): 177-96.

Proops, Ian. "Wittgenstein on the Substance of the World." European Journal of Philosophy 12 (2004): 106-26.

Sluga, Hans. "Frege against the Booleans." Notre Dame Journal of Formal Logic 28 (1987): 80-98.

Sommerville, Stephen. "Wittgenstein to Russell (July, 1913). 'I am very sorry to hear ... my objection paralyses you'." In Language, Logic, and Philosophy: Proceedings of the 4th International Wittgenstein Symposium , edited by Rudolf Haller and Wolfgang Grassl, 182-87. Vienna: Holder-Pichler-Tempsky, 1980.

PHIL0044 Aristotle’s Moral Psychology

Module Leader: Fiona Leigh

Term: 2

Area: C

Shared: BA and MPhil Stud

Assessment: Essay 4,000 words

Day / Time: Tuesday 2-4pm

The module focuses on Aristotle's philosophy of mind and moral psychology. After a brief introduction in the first week to the central tenets of his metaphysics and epistemology, the module will cover topics including Aristotle's views human nature and human flourishing, the kinds of cognitive capacities attributable to humans and non-human animals, the emotions, virtue ethics, the doctrine of the mean and learning to be good, weakness of the will, and the role of contemplation in the good life. The central primary texts will be de Anima and the Nicomachean Ethics, although other texts will be consulted.  It is intended that students will learn to read passages from Aristotle’s works in ethics and psychology. They will develop the ability to evaluate the arguments proposed in the sources and to propose and assess different possible interpretations. They will be encouraged to reflect critically on the significance of the material. A sample syllabi, with the relevant primary texts, is as follows:

Week 1

Introduction – overview of life and works, relation to Plato – and Aristotle’s metaphysics: hylomorphism, substance, the four causes, body and soul

Primary Text: Metaphysics, VII.1-4, 6, 10-11, 13, 15, 17; Physics II.1-9; III.1-3, VIII.6; de Anima, book 1

Week 2

Eudaimonia & Function

Primary Text: Nicomachean Ethics, book I (especially chapters 1-5, 7-9, 13)

Week 3

The Soul & Cognition

Primary Text: de Anima, books I-III (especially I.1, I.4, II.1-6, II.11-12, III.1-3), and de Motu Animalium, 6-11

Week 4

Phantasia & Emotion

Primary Text: Rhetoric book II; de Anima, III.3

Week 5

Habituation, Pleasure & Cognition

Primary Text: Nicomachean Ethics, I.13, II.1-3, (II.4-9: optional), X.9

Week 6

Habituation & Action

Primary Text: Nicomachean Ethics, II.4 (in detail)

Week 7

The Doctrine of the Mean

Primary Text: Nicomachean Ethics, books II-III (especially II.1-9, III.5-12)

Week 8

The Mean Relative to Us

Primary Text: (as for last week:) Nicomachean Ethics, books II-III (esp. II.1-9, III.5-12), and VI.1-2, 5-6 (optional)

Week 9

Virtue and Akrasia (weakness of the will)

Primary Text: Nicomachean Ethics, VII.1-10

Week 10

Two kinds of flourishing?

Primary Text: Nicomachean Ethics, book X (especially X.6-8)

PHIL0046 Advanced Philosophy of Mind

Module Leader: James Hutton

Term: 2

Area: A

Shared: BA and MPhil Stud

Assessment: Essay 4,000 words

Day / Time: Monday 11-1pm

This module will focus on philosophy of emotion. We will critically examine the leading theories of emotion found in contemporary philosophy of mind. According to "feeling" theories, emotions are a distinctive kind of felt sensation. According to "judgment" theories, they are a kind of evaluative belief. According "perceptualist" theories, emotions are a kind of perception, akin to visual experience. According to "non-reductivist" theories, the emotions cannot fruitfully be understood in terms of other pre-existing categories in the philosophy of mind, but must be understood in their own right. To what extent can each of these the capture the nature of emotions and the role they play in our mental lives? We will also discuss further issues: do the emotions form a natural kind? What representational content do emotions have? How do emotions relate to values? How do they relate to the body?

Background reading: Deonna & Teroni (2012) The Emotions: A Philosophical Introduction"

PHIL0052 Regulation of Intimacy

Module Leader: Véronique Munoz-Dardé

Term: 2

Area: B

Shared: BA and MPhil Stud

Assessment: Essay 4,000 words

Day / Time: Tuesday 9-11am

This optional course will be taught in seminar format, with one weekly two-hour meeting. It is designed to introduce students to some central questions in political and moral philosophy. The topic of the course is the politics of sex. It focuses on general ethical concerns raised by state regulation of intimate relations e.g. in marriage or prostitution. Should some things not be for sale? Is consent the key to legitimate interaction? What is involved in one person ‘objectifying’ another? Are there circumstances in which paternalism is permissible or even required?

Readings include Anderson, Herman, Langton, Nussbaum, Pallikkathayil, Parfit, O’Neill, Satz, Saul, Scanlon, Scruton, Shiffrin, Thomson, Wedgwood.

This course is intended for students with a range of specializations, but some background knowledge in philosophy (normally a minimum of two philosophy courses passed before taking this module). The course is not suitable for conversion students.

PHIL0065 Philosophy of Art

Module Leader: Rory Phillips

Term: 2

Area: C

Shared: BA and MPhil Stud

Assessment: Essay 4,000 words

Day / Time: Thursday 10-12noon

The course examines issues in aesthetics and the philosophy of art in classical German philosophy. Topics covered include: Kant's account of judgements of taste and his theory of art; Schiller's aesthetic solution to the problem of Freedom and Nature in his Letters on Aesthetic Education; aesthetic absolutism in Schelling and the early German Romantics; Hegel's system of art and thesis of the 'end' of art. The two-hour class combines a lecture with discussion of the set text.

PHIL0068 Metaethics

Module Leader: Matthew Simpson

Term: 2

Area: B

Shared: BA and MPhil Stud

Assessment: Essay 4,000 words

Day / Time: Friday 2-4pm

Metaethics involves questions about the nature of value and of our thought and language about it. In this course students will learn about prominent metaethical theories, and important arguments for and against them. Exact content will change from year to year, but typical topics include: the nature of moral properties, the objectivity of moral truth, how ethical language and thought works, and how we can know about what's right and wrong.

The International Encyclopedia for Ethics, ed. Hugh LaFollette, is a great resource for short introductory articles to topics. You could start by reading the article on metaethics, written by Jonas Olson. Other good articles include those on moral naturalism, non-naturalism, non-cognitivism, quasi-realism, and error theory.

Other good texts include the following collections of essays which cover many topics including those relevant to our course, such as naturalism, non-naturalism, error-theory, expressivism, and moral epistemology. Any handful of the suggested chapters will be useful:

Geoffrey Sayre-McCord, ed. Essays on Moral Realism Cornell University Press 1988 (chs 5, 6, 9, 10)

Copp, David, ed. The Oxford Handbook of Ethical Theory. Oxford University Press, 2007. (chs 1, 3, 4, 5)

LaFollette, Hugh, ed. The Blackwell Guide to Ethical Theory. Oxford: Blackwell, 2000. (chs 1, 3, 6).

LaFollette, Hugh, ed. The Blackwell Guide to Ethical Theory. Oxford: Blackwell, 2000.

Simon Blackburn, Ruling Passions (Oxford University Press 1998)

Russ Shafer-Landau, ed. Oxford Studies in Metaethics (several volumes available, all contain relevant material.)

PHIL0078 Formal Epistemology

Module Leader: Luke Fenton-Glynn

Term: 2

Area: A

Shared: BA and MPhil Stud

Assessment: Exercise Set 1 (Approx. 6 hours work), Exercise Set 2 (Approx. 6 hours work) & Essay (2,500 words)

Day / Time: Tuesday 11-1pm

Our strength of beliefs influence our decision making. But how should we measure strength of belief, and what rational constraints are there on one's strength of belief? How should one's strengths of belief change in response to evidence? And how exactly ought one's strength of beliefs feed through into rational decision making?

These are the central questions that will be tackled in this module, where students will be introduced to the probabilistic representation of strength of belief, arguments for the rationality of probabilistic degrees of belief, arguments for various rational constraints on those beliefs - including constraints concerning belief updates in response to evidence - and to decision theory.

Formal epistemology is an increasingly important area of philosophy, and its influence on other areas of philosophy (traditional epistemology, philosophy of mind, philosophy of action, metaphysics, ethics, and political philosophy) has been profound. The field is also strongly interdisciplinary, with cross-overs into economics, statistics, computer science, and political science.

Key Text

Bradley, D. (2015): A Critical Introduction to Formal Epistemology (Bloomsbury).

Background Reading

Bradley, D. (2015): A Critical Introduction to Formal Epistemology (Bloomsbury).

Fenton-Glynn, L. (2015): ‘A Simple Introduction to Probability’ < https://www.academia.edu/12094718/A_Simple_Introduction_to_Probability>.

Nozick, R. (1970): 'Newcomb's Problem and Two Principles of Choice', in N. Rescher et al. (eds.) Essays in Honor of Carl G. Hempel (Dordrecht: Reidel).

Topic 1: Overview & Introduction to Probability

Topic 2: The Probabilistic Representation of Degrees of Belief

Topic 3: Conditionalization

Topic 4: Prior Probabilities

Topic 5: Chance and Credence

Topic 6: Reflection & Disagreement

Topic 7: The Problem of Old Evidence

Topic 8: Knowledge & Probability

Topic 9: Epistemic & Causal Decision Theory

Topic 10: Imprecise Probabilities

PHIL0081 Topics in Moral Psychology

Module Leader: Douglas Lavin

Term: 2

Area: B

Shared: BA and MPhil Stud

Assessment: Essay 4,000 words

Day / Time: Thursday 3-5pm

Investigation of a familiar and puzzling elements of moral life, e.g., promising, forgiveness, authority, pride/shame, pleasure, respect/humiliation, self-control, love and friendship, competitiveness. Topics and texts may differ year to year.

For more information please email d.lavin@ucl.ac.uk

PHIL0086 Research Seminar: Practical Reasons and Agency

Module Leader: Ulrike Heuer

Term: 2

Area: B

Shared: MPhil Stud

Assessment: Essay 4,000 words

Day / Time: Thursday 10-12noon

We will read papers and chapters of books published in recent years. The topics may include questions regarding the nature of practical reasons and their relation to values, what it is to act for a reason, and how doing so relates to acting intentionally, as well as questions about the nature and the normativity of practical rationality.

PHIL0088 Special Topics in Ancient Philosophy C

Module Leader: Keeling Scholar - Prof. Sarah Broadie

Term: 2

Area: C

Shared: MPhil Stud

Assessment: Essay 4,000 words

Day / Time: Monday 2-4pm

This module is a research seminar in ancient Greek philosophy. The module teacher will present some of their recent research. Subject matter can vary year by year, but might include: Plato’s Sophist, Theaetetus, Republic, Aristotle’s ethics, metaphysics and political philosophy.

PHIL0093 Research Seminar: 19th Century Philosophy

Module Leader: Tom Stern

Term: 2

Area: C

Shared: MPhil Stud

Assessment: Essay 4,000 words

Day / Time: Monday 11-1pm

This module is a research seminar in 19th Century Philosophy. Subject matter can vary year by year, but might include: the philosophy of Nietzsche, Hegel, Schopenhauer and related figures in the history of philosophy. In 2017/18, the focus of the class was on Hegel's account of 'self-consciousness' in his Phenomenology of Spirit. This includes his account of recognition and the famous 'master-slave dialectic'. In 2018/19, the focus of the class was on Nietzsche’s moral philosophy and this is also the planned focus of the module in 2019/20.    

Nietzsche, Friedrich. On the Genealogy of Morality. Edited by Keith Ansell-Pearson. Translated by Carol Diethe. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1997.

Schopenhauer, Arthur. The World as Will and Representation, Volume 1. Translated by Christopher Janaway, Judith Norman, and Alistair Welchman. Cambridge University Press, 2014.

Gjesdal, Kristin. Debates in Nineteenth Century Philosophy: Essential Readings and Contemporary Responses. London: Routledge, 2015.

PHIL0097 Graduate Studies in Kant

Module Leader: Rory Phillips

Term: 2

Area: C

Shared: MPhil Stud

Assessment: Essay 4,000 words

Day / Time: Friday 10-12noon

The course aims to provide graduate Philosophy students with a detailed and thorough understanding of central concepts and issues in the philosophy of Kant. Students will be assumed to have prior familiarity with Kant's philosophy, and will be required to study key selected sections from Kant's writings, including the three Critiques, and to engage with the contemporary anglophone Kant literature. Special attention will be paid to the historical context of Kant's philosophical project, to the inter-relations between the different parts of Kant's philosophical system, and to the relation of Kant to contemporary philosophical developments. This year, the course will be on Kant's philosophy of religion, including his critique of traditional natural theology, the moral argument for God, and his theory of the source of evil.

PHIL0109 The Self in Early Analytic Philosophy

Module Leader: Rory Madden

Term: 2

Area: C

Shared: MPhil Stud

Assessment: Essay 4,000 words

Day / Time: Monday 12-2pm

Questions about the existence and nature of the ego, the possibility of self-acquaintance, and the meaning of 'I' occupied many influential figures in analytic philosophy in the first half of the twentieth century.  The aim of this module is to reach a critical understanding of some of the key texts and philosophical issues.The core readings range from Russell 1910-11 to Strawson 1959. More recent secondary readings will also be identified, as well as earlier empiricist influences such as Hume, Mach, and James

Reading for Week 1: Russell, B. ‘Knowledge by Acquaintance and Knowledge by Description’ *Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society* 1910-11

Further reading:

* McTaggart, J. M. E. 1927 *The Nature of Existence Volume 2* ch. 36

* Broad, C.D. 1925 *Mind and Its Place in Nature* chs. 6 and 13.

* Wittgenstein, L. 1958 *The Blue and Brown Books* pp. 44-74

* Schlick, M. 1936 ‘Meaning and Verification’ in *Philosophical Review*

* Grice, H.P. 1941 ‘Personal Identity’ in *Mind*

* Strawson, P.F. 1959 *Individuals* ch. 3

PHIL0133 Graduate Studies in Ethics and Political Philosophy

Module Leader: Véronique Munoz-Dardé

Term: 2

Area: B

Shared: MPhil Stud

Assessment: Essay 4,000 words

Day / Time: Wednesday 11-1pm

The course aims to provide graduate Philosophy students with an understanding of some central themes, theories and arguments in ethics, society and political philosophy. We’ll address abstract questions about the intersection of the good life, the social world, and the role of the state. Syllabus varies by year, but the themes for this course are centered on some of the following topics: paternalism, consent, manipulation and coercion, the significance of freedom, tolerance, free speech, the ideal of equality, contractualism, utilitarianism, authority, needs and well-being, responsibility, …

This course is intended for students with a range of specializations, but some background knowledge in philosophy (normally a minimum of two philosophy courses passed before taking this module). The course is not suitable for conversion students.

PHIL0143 Research Preparation in Philosophy 2

Module Leader: Matthew Simpson

Term: 2

Area: N/A

Shared: MA only

Assessment: Unseen two-hour written examination

Day / Time: Wednesday 1-3pm

This course builds on Research Preparation in Philosophy 1 and continues to train UCL Philosophy MA students in the critical interpretation and analysis of philosophical texts, and in the practice of philosophical discussion. Each week is devoted to a different topic or problem, drawn from a variety of areas. Students are expected to complete the reading - usually two items, which may be classic papers or short historical texts - and to prepare their thoughts in advance. Two students give an oral presentation to initiate the discussion, which is moderated by the convenor, and to which all are expected to contribute.

PHIL0160 Philosophy of Space and Time

Module Leader: Luke Fenton-Glynn

Term: 2

Area: A

Shared: BA and MPhil Stud

Assessment: Essay 4,000 words

Day / Time: Tuesday 2-4pm

Students will study the key philosophical issues relating to space and time. When it comes to the philosophy of space, the module will focus upon the longstanding debate between absolutists and relationalists about space, considering the key arguments on both sides of what has been a key philosophical debate ever since Early Modern times. We'll look at various conceptions of the nature of space, from the Euclidean conception of space to the Galilean, Special Relativistic, and finally General Relativistic conceptions of spacetime. Next, we'll move on to discuss how contemporary physics bears upon philosophical questions about the nature of time (e.g. Does only the present exist?). Finally, we'll examine the direction of time and the possibility of time travel.

Key Reading

Maudlin, T. (2012): Philosophy of Physics: Space and Time (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press)

Further Readings

Dainton, B. (2014): Space and Time, 2nd Ed. (Abingdon: Routledge)

Sider, T. (2001): Four-Dimensionalism (Oxford: OUP)

Norton, J. (2007): Einstein for Everyone (Pittsburgh: Nullarbor Press)

Albert, D. (2000): Time and Chance (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press)

Alexander, H. (1977): The Leibniz-Clarke Correspondence (Manchester: Manchester University Press)

Topic 1: Absolute Space and the Bucket Experiment

Topic 2: The Leibniz-Clarke Debate

Topic 3: Galilean Relativity

Topic 4: Special Relativity I

Topic 5: Special Relativity II

Topic 6: General Relativity & the Hole Argument

Topic 7: The Metaphysics of Time

Topic 8: Special Relativity & The Metaphysics of Time

Topic 9: Time Travel

Topic 10: The Direction of Time

Sample Questions: Could there be space without anything in it? Could there be time without change? Is it possible that the whole material universe should have been located 1 mile away from where it actually is? Does Special Relativity imply that spacetime is not absolute? Is the possibility of time travel a matter for physics or for philosophy? What accounts for the direction of time?

PHIL0174 Agency and Responsibility

Module Leader: John Hyman and Prof. M. Alvarez (KCL)

Term: 2

Area: B

Shared: MPhil Stud

Assessment: Essay 4,000 words

Day / Time: Tuesday 4-6pm

Two-hour seminar each week, convened by Prof. Hyman and Prof. M. Alvarez, KCL.

Weekly readings will be announced at the end of Term One.

We shall study a wide range of research relevant to philosophical debates about determinism, responsibility and free will, including research in legal theory concerning the relationships between responsibility, liability and culpability, and research in the philosophy of action concerning the physical, psychological, ethical and intellectual dimensions of human agency.

PHIL0177 Recent Work in Moral Philosophy

Module Leader: Joe Horton

Term: 2

Area: B

Shared: MPhil Stud

Assessment: Essay 4,000 words

Day / Time: Thursday 1-3pm

This module introduces students to recent work in moral philosophy. Three topics are covered, with seminars divided evenly across them. Likely topics include:

Moral Aggregation

Is there any number of people you should save from a moderately large burden, such as paralysis, rather than saving one person from a very large burden, such as death? Is there any number of people you should save from a very small burden, such as a headache, rather than saving one person from a very large burden, such as death? Many people answer these questions ‘yes’ and ‘no’, respectively. Can this position be defended?

Sample Reading: Alex Voorhoeve, ‘How Should We Aggregate Competing Claims?’, Ethics 125 (2014): 64–87

Normative Uncertainty

You have a slight preference for the burger, but the salad also sounds nice. You stare hard into the distance, wondering whether the vegetarians are right. You cannot decide—it seems just as likely they are right as that they are wrong. What should you do?

You give up on assessing vegetarianism and reason as follows: If the vegetarians are wrong, it is slightly better for you to choose the burger, for that is what you prefer. If they are right, it is much better for you to choose the salad, for choosing the burger would be morally very bad. So, taking both prudential and moral considerations into account, the expected value of the salad is greater than that of the burger. So, you should choose the salad.

Your reasoning seems plausible. But it assumes that what you should do is sensitive to your normative uncertainty—to your credences across different normative theories. Is this assumption correct? What are its consequences?

Sample Reading: Jacob Ross, ‘Rejecting Ethical Deflationism’, Ethics 116 (2006): 742–768

Collective Harm

Many of our choices collectively inflict grave harms on humans, animals, and the environment. Think of buying clothes from sweatshops, eating meat, or driving gas-guzzling cars. But taken individually, these choices seem to make very little difference, and maybe even no difference at all. That makes it difficult to explain why we ought to choose differently. Is there a plausible explanation?

Sample Reading: Julia Nefsky, ‘Fairness, Participation, and the Real Problem of Collective Harm’, Oxford Studies in Normative Ethics 5 (2015): 245–271

Module Assessment

The module is assessed by a summative essay. For MA students, the maximum length is strictly 4000 words. Essay questions are provided, but students may also formulate their own questions.

Students are strongly encouraged to write a formative essay, which is due around the end of week 8. The formative essay is intended to serve as a draft of the summative and should therefore answer the same question. The maximum length is strictly 2000 words.

PHIL0087 Research Seminar in Legal Philosophy

Module Leader: Robert Simpson

Term: 2 and 3

Area: B

Shared: MPhil Stud

Assessment: Essay (4,000 words) 76%, Written commentary and oral presentation on reading (500 words) 12%, Peer review of commentary 12%

Day / Time: TBC

This module is intended to introduce students to contemporary research in legal and political philosophy. It has an unusual format. The most distinctive feature of the format is a series of meetings that will run in conjunction with the UCL Colloquium in Law, Philosophy, and Politics (LPP). The LPP Colloquium is a joint enterprise between the Philosophy Department, the Faculty of Law, and the School of Public Policy Each, and it runs from January to May each year (across terms 2 and 3). At the LPP Colloquium, a series of high-profile visiting speakers discuss a recent paper of theirs in political, legal, or moral philosophy. The papers are not on any set theme, beyond being current work in these disciplinary areas. Papers are pre-circulated, so the whole meeting is devoted to discussion, and after the workshop there are normally drinks with attendees (which gives you a chance to meet the speaker in person, if you like). There will normally be six of these sessions, held from January to May. For each of them you have a one-hour pre-meeting to discuss the paper as a small group, with the module convenor, before joining the with the speaker and a larger audience for a two-hour Q&A session. In addition to the LPP Colloquium meetings, there will be some additional meetings scheduled to discuss background work in the philosophy of law, and to discuss assessment requirements. Further reading will be assigned for these meetings as well. Assessment is via a major essay, and there are a few other minor, reading-related tasks that you’re required to complete during the term. The schedule can be a little haphazard, but – to a rough approximation – you will be required to attend a meeting for this module slightly more often than once a fortnight, through terms 2 and 3.