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Early Modern Philosophy B - PHI00002C

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  • Department: Philosophy
  • Module co-ordinator: Prof. Tom Stoneham
  • Credit value: 10 credits
  • Credit level: C
  • Academic year of delivery: 2021-22

Module summary

Early Modern Philosophy introduces students to key themes in C17th and C18th philosophy - important philosophical topics that continue to be discussed today. The module is primarily seminar based; groups will study themed extracts from the work of major philosophers of the period, identifying points of agreement and difference, and understanding the different ways a problem can be addressed.

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching cycle
A Autumn Term 2021-22

Module aims

To teach students to read and closely study passages of original C17th/C18th philosophy, to learn how philosophical arguments are structured and to confront central issues in the subject.

Module learning outcomes

By the end of the module students should have acquired:

  • skills in reading, interpreting, and responding to primary texts in philosophy
  • an understanding of some of the distinctive features of philosophical reasoning as exemplified in passages from the early modern period (17th and 18th centuries)
  • a grasp of some key issues in philosophy
  • the ability to engage in philosophical discussion with others

Module content

This module is primarily taught in seminars. Note that a number of classes listed as 'lectures' may involve other forms of whole-cohort activity. For example: discussion; debate; student presentations; question and answer; recap sessions; skills training.


Task Length % of module mark
Online Exam
PHI00002C Early Modern Philosophy B
8 hours 100

Special assessment rules


Additional assessment information

The formative assessment will consist of a set of answers to three questions from one of the weekly readings from Weeks 2 to 6. The assignment will be no more than 750 words total, with approx. 250 words per answer to each question and will be due in Week 7 of the Autumn Term.


Task Length % of module mark
Online Exam
PHI00002C Early Modern Philosophy B
8 hours 100

Module feedback

Feedback on formative work will be provided within 2 teaching weeks of submission. Feedback on summative work will be provided 4 weeks after the exam .

Indicative reading

Essential seminar reading will be provided in a reading pack. Students are encouraged to read further in the works from which these extracts are taken and other works of the period, for example:

George Berkeley: Principles of Human Knowledge and Three Dialogues

Rene Descartes: Meditations and Discourse on the Method

David Hume: An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding

John Locke: Book 1 of An Essay Concerning Human Understanding

The information on this page is indicative of the module that is currently on offer. The University is constantly exploring ways to enhance and improve its degree programmes and therefore reserves the right to make variations to the content and method of delivery of modules, and to discontinue modules, if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Where appropriate, the University will notify and consult with affected students in advance about any changes that are required in line with the University's policy on the Approval of Modifications to Existing Taught Programmes of Study.