This module examines the development of historical writing and debates around the meaning of history. Overall, the framework is chronological, taking you on a journey from Herodotus and other historians of the ancient world, through to the development of history as a professional discipline in the nineteenth century, and finally on to more recent debates about ‘postmodernism’. Both western and non-western history-writing traditions are discussed for comparative purposes. On the way, in both lectures and in small tutorial groups, you will need to think about the nature of historical ‘truth’ and objectivity, and will be asked to reflect upon your own status and practice as historians.
History has never been so popular. This course explores the development in recent years of ‘public history’, or the ways in which the past is used and written about by academic and popular historians, the heritage industry, journalists, the state, and the wider public. The module examines the nature of ‘public history’ through a series of case-studies, including topics such as how history is presented on the television and in film; history in museums and heritage sites; community and oral history; the memory of the Holocaust; debates in European societies about ‘making amends’ for slavery and the colonial past; and the uses of history in contemporary South Asia. You will be given the opportunity to make your own contribution to the field through your own ‘public history’ project.
The ‘new philosophy’ of the seventeenth century set the modern philosophical agenda by asking fundamental questions concerning knowledge and understanding and the relation between science and other human endeavours, which became central to the European Enlightenment. This module aims to familiarise you with the work of some of the most ground breaking philosophers of the period, such René Descartes and John Locke, and explores how later philosophers such as Gottfried Leibniz and David Hume took up and expanded their ideas.
This module aims to introduce you to some of the key problems that have preoccupied contemporary philosophers. You will look at logical questions relating to the structure of arguments, epistemological questions about the sources and limits of knowledge, and metaphysical questions exploring the relationship between minds and bodies and the possibility of human freedom.
This module aims both to inform you about ancient philosophical ideas and to introduce you to the ways in which philosophical arguments are presented and analysed. It will provide you with a brief survey of the principal ancient philosophers, from the Presocratics to Aristotle, as well as allowing you to analyse in more depth selected texts on the topic of courage, including Plato’s ‘Laches’.
This module allows yous to undertake a small research project of your own. You will sign up for one of approximately twenty-five advertised thematic ‘workshops’ run by academics within the department, and through a series of seminars will explore key themes and debates that allow you to identify a project of your own choosing. The course also includes training in research and writing skills, and is excellent preparation for your final-year dissertation.
This module will ensure that you have a cogent, practicable and interesting research topic to write your independent essay, and that you are equipped with the appropriate skills and a timetable for undertaking and producing research and writing in a timely manner. You will be encouraged to consult with the module leader and your supervisors to develop your research topic.
This module introduces you to aspects of key texts by eighteenth and nineteenth century philosophers Immanuel Kant and Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, which form the foundation of the major debates in both European, and some Anglo-American philosophy. You will explore major issues concerning epistemology, ethics, and aesthetics, and different approaches to these issues, which will be central to the rest of your philosophical and other studies in the humanities and social sciences.
This module examines some of the major metaphysical and epistemological problems that arise when attempting to understand how the mind and language interact with and in the world. It centres on attempts to conceptualise, solve, or avoid mind-body related problems in the analytic tradition and aims to contrast these with phenomenological and existential investigations of related problems.
You will write a 10,000 word dissertation on a topic of your own choosing, with an academic supervisor vho will provide regular consultation.
In addition to these mandatory course units there are a number of optional course units available during your degree studies. The following is a selection of optional course units that are likely to be available. Please note that although the College will keep changes to a minimum, new units may be offered or existing units may be withdrawn, for example, in response to a change in staff. Applicants will be informed if any significant changes need to be made.
History: Gods, Men and Power - An Introduction to the Ancient World from Homer to Mohammed
History: Republics, Kings and People - The Foundations of European Political Though from Plato to Rousseau
History: The Rich Tapestry of Life - Early Modern England, Europe and the Wider World, 1453 to 1789
History: Conflict and Identity in Modern Europe, 1770 to 2000
History: Mao to Mandela - Tentieth Century Leaders of the Non-Western World
History: Rome to Renaissance - An Introduction to the Middle Ages
Philosophy: Introduction to Logic
This module aims to introduce you to the formal study of arguments through the two basic systems of modern logic: sentential or propositional logic and predicate logic. As well as showing you how to present and analyse arguments formally, you will look at the implications and uses of logical analysis by considering Bertrand Russell’s formalist solution to the problem of definite descriptions, before discussing the broader significance of findings in logic to philosophical inquiry.
Philosophy: Mind and Conciousness
What is the relationship between the mind and the brain? Is the mind inside the brain? Are we any more than highly sophisticated computers? What is consciousness? This module aims to introduce these and related questions, which are central to modern philosophical debates about the nature of mind and consciousness.
Philosophy: Introduction to Aesthetics and Morals
This module aims to provide you with a broad understanding of many of the central problems and debates within moral philosophy and aesthetics. These include questions relating to both metaphysical and ethical relativism, the different ways we might understand our moral commitments within the world, how the individual is related to society, and the value and nature of the work of art. The module presents you with approaches from the history of philosophy, from the Anglo-American tradition, and from recent European philosophy.
History: The Rise and Fall of the Roman Republic
History: The Persuit of Power - Europe, 1000 to 1250
History: The Flowering of the Middle Ages - Politics, Pestilence and War, 1300 to 1500
History: The European Crucible, 1914 to 1947 - Politics, Culture and Society
History: New World, Lost World - The Tudor Monarchy 1485 to 1603
History: The Georginas - Politics, Society, and Culture 1688 to 1832
History: Nineteenth-Century Europe - Society and Culture, 1789 to 1905
History: Twentieth-Century World History - The Middle East, Africa and Latin America
History: Medicine from Antiquity to the Medieval Near East
History: The Victorians - British History, 1837 to 1901
History: History of the USA, 1787 to 1877
History: Spain, 1898 to 1939
History: Spain from Dictatorship to Democracy, 1939 to 1989
History: Awakening China - From the Opium Wars to the Present Day
History: Science in Greek and Roman Antiquity
History: Mutiny to Modi - the Indian Subcontinent from the 19th Century to the Present
Classics: The Dialogues of Plato
Classics: Body and Soul in Ancient Philosophy 1
Classics: The Good Life in Ancient Philosophy
Politics and International Relations: Contemporary Political Theory
Philosophy: The Critique of Idealism
Philosophy: Philosophy and the Arts
Philosophy: Philosophy of Psychology
Philosophy: Practical Ethics
Philosophy: The Varieties of Scepticism
Philosophy: The Philosophy of Religion
History: Faith and Fire - Religious Culture in England, 1375 to 1525
History: The Origins and Impact of the Second Crusade, 1145 to 1149
History: Modernity and the Victorians - The Intellectual Response
History: Berlin - A European Metropolis from Kaiser to Kohl
History: The History and Historiography of the Holocaust
History: The Clash of Powers and Cultures - Sino-American Relations during the Cold War
History: Christians and Pagans - From Constantine to Augustine
History: Victorian Babylon - Life, Work and People in London, 1840 to 1890
History: Comparing Religious Fundamentalisms in the 19th and 20th Centuries
History: Migration, Identity and Citizenship in Modern Britain
History: The Age of Terror - Terrorism from 1945 to Present
History: Talking Cures and Troubles: The Oral History of Health and Medicine in Britain, 1948 to 2000
History: Drawing the Line - Independence, Partition, and the Making of India and Pakistan
History: Progress and its Discontents - European Culture, 1890 to 1914
Politics and International Relations: Radical Political Theory
Politics and International Relations: The Politics of Toleration
Politics and International Relations: Social Justice - From Theory to Practice
Politics and International Relations: Issues in Democratic Theory
Classics: Body and Soul in Ancient Philosophy 2
Classics: The Good Life in Ancient Philosophy 2
Philosophy: Modern European Philosophy 1 - Husserl to Heidegger
Philosophy: Modern European Philosophy 2 - Critical Theory and Hermeneutics
Philosophy: Modern French Philosophy
Philosophy: The Philosophy of Psychology
Philosophy: The Philosophy of Religion
Philosophy: Practical Ethics
Philosophy: Recovering Reality
Philosophy: The Varieties of Scepticism
The dissertation presents you with the opportunity to demonstrate your skills as an independent learner by embarking upon a substantial (8,000 to 10,000 words) piece of written work. You will be guided by a dissertation supervisor, but will choose your own topic, approach, and philosophical sources. It allows you to demonstrate all of the skills you have learned throughout your studies, and marks the culmination of your undergraduate studies in Philosophy.