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December news

Guy LongworthI’m writing to introduce myself - my name is Guy Longworth, Director of Teaching and Learning in the Department of Philosophy, which puts me in charge of developing new modules and generally ensuring the high quality of our courses.

Over the last year, I’ve had fun working with current students and colleagues to enhance the range of first-year modules that we put on. Part of the aim is to give you a grounding in philosophy that puts you in the best possible position to exploit the wide range of optional modules available in later years of the degree. The first year is now very well designed to help you to develop the skills and knowledge needed to pursue the array of modules that best suits your interests and abilities. An additional benefit of the flexibility of our degree programmes is that you’ll be taught by experts who’ve personally crafted the contents of their modules in light of their world-leading research. (You may know that we were ranked first in the UK for research in the most recent government assessment exercise.)

This week, I’ve been talking with students about truth on my Truth, Consequence, and Paradox module and about justice on Plato and Descartes. On the former, we’ve been having a lively debate about what to do about sentences like “This sentence is false,” which seems to be false if true, and true if false, leading to some passionate discussions about the importance of truth. My own view is that truth—and so dealing with the puzzling sentence—are both important, but that view’s been coming under pressure during seminars. On the latter, I’ve been having fun discussions with new first-year students about Plato’s arguments for the claim that being just is a better way to happiness than being unjust. They’re not wholly convinced.
If you haven't already, do sign up to one of our Offer Holder Open Days - they'll give you a real insight into how the department runs, and you'll get the chance to speak to a variety of students, as well as the staff that may be teaching you if you join us.