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PH9E3 - Topics in Moral and Political Philosophy

  • Module code: PH9E3
  • Module name: Topics in Moral and Political Philosophy
  • Department: Philosophy
  • Credit: 20, 30

Content and teaching | Assessment | Availability

Module content and teaching

Principal aims

The main focus of this module will be on the contemporary debate on the justification of normative claims in moral and political contexts. The debate started with Rawls’ A Theory of Justice, which revived contractualism as an alternative to utilitarianism. Rawls’ argument for contractualism included the controversial premise that moral and political theory needs its own method of justification and that progress in this area is largely independent from progress in other areas of philosophy, e.g. metaphysics and epistemology. The module will engage with contributions from both moral and political philosophy to this debate and from both normative (first-order) theory and metaethics. It will cover topics such as the relationship between values, desires, and reasons, factualism about reasons, moral and political constructivism, reflective equilibrium vs. intuitionism, moral contractualism, and moral and political perfectionism.

Principal learning outcomes

By the end of the module, students will have an understanding of key debates concerning the justification of normative claims in moral and political contexts and appreciate their wider significance within moral and political philosophy; be able to participate in debates on an important set of issues in moral and political philosophy, and to articulate arguments and criticisms in an insightful and productive way; be able to engage critically with recent theories and arguments in moral and political philosophy concerning the justification of normative claims, and come to an independent judgement about their relative merits; be able to independently set out a sympathetic account of the main arguments and positions concerning the justification of normative claims in ethics and politics, and to articulate their own views in the area on the basis of an informed critical engagement with these.

Timetabled teaching activities

In this module students are required to attend 9 x 2 hour weekly seminar.

Departmental link

https://www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/soc/philosophy/postgraduate/modules/ph9e3

Module assessment

Assessment group Assessment name Percentage
20 CATS (Module code: PH9E3-20)
A (Assessed work only) 7500 word essay 100%
VA (Visiting students only) 100% assessed (part year) visiting 100%
30 CATS (Module code: PH9E3-30)
A (Assessed work only) 7500 word essay 100%
VA (Visiting students only) 100% assessed (part year) visiting 100%

Module availability

This module is available on the following courses:

Core

N/A

Optional Core
  • Postgraduate Taught Continental Philosophy (V7P2) - Year 2
Optional
  • Postgraduate Taught Philosophy and Literature (V7P7) - Year 2
  • Postgraduate Taught Philosophy (V7PM) - Year 2
  • Postgraduate Taught Philosophy and the Arts (V7PN) - Year 2