BA Philosophy and History options
Year 2, Component 03
Recommend PY400-5-AU and/or Philosophy option(s) from list or History option(s) from list
Art and Ideas II: More Art, More Ideas - Critique and Historiography in the History of Art
How did our society decide what counts as ‘art’ and what is ‘culture’? Is there really such a thing as high vs low culture? What are the political stakes of these divisions? This module looks at the shift in ideas from ‘art history’ to visual and material cultural studies.
This module will engage with these debates and teach you new methods for seeing, interpreting and understanding art, design, craft, performance, film and games.
These new ways of seeing are often driven by a critical impetus, and allow us to look at culture to draw out new perspectives on social and political issues of activism and social change, sex, technology, memes, police violence, migration, austerity and crisis, state surveillance, and our relation to animals and the environment.
Social Entrepreneurs, Sustainability and Community Action
Did you know that the not-for-profit sector is expanding fast in the UK, and offers meaningful jobs that can contribute to positive social change and ecological sustainability? This module introduces you to this sector and the concept and practice of social entrepreneurship using case studies of initiatives that have helped local communities, disadvantaged people and the environment. It also gives you the opportunity to develop your skills and use your creativity and imagination to design your own project or enterprise.
The World in Question: The Social, Cultural, Political & Environmental Legacies of the Enlightenment
How have contemporary societies been shaped by the legacies of the Enlightenment, colonialism, and the different phases of capitalism? This interdisciplinary module helps you to critically understand some of the key forces and processes that have shaped the challenges we face in the 20th and 21st century. It is divided into three broad themes; Empire, The Self, and Nature. We’ll be examining processes of ‘othering’ that were intrinsic to colonialism; changing conceptions of the self; as well as both the causes of and potential solutions to the ecological crisis we are confronting today. The module is co-taught by academics from Art History, ISC, LiFTs, Philosophy, Psychoanalytic Studies and Sociology.
Britain is a diverse, multicultural society. Yet traditional histories of Britain often ignore the fact that British society has been remade and its culture enriched by people from a wide variety of different cultures, communities and backgrounds.
The module will examine how 'race' became a defining concept for understanding British society, how mass immigration transformed concept of Britishness, and how Black, Asian and other ethnic minorities had to fight in order to exercise their rights as British citizens.
It will also examine the history of Europeans in Britain throughout the twentieth century, from anxieties about Jewish immigration in the 1900s, to uncertain welcome afforded to refugees and migrant workers in the 1930s and 1940s, and finally to contemporary debates about the EU and 'Brexit'.
This is a module that focuses on the agency and experience of the people in Multicultural Britain as much as on their interactions with power, while never downplaying the enormous impact of racism and xenophobia. It highlights the diverse range of cultural experiences which make up the fabric of British history.
Finally, it makes clear that understanding the history of multiculturalism also requires an understanding of its intersections with race, gender, and sexuality. Multiculturalism in Britain has not gone uncontested, but it is made Britain what it is today.
This module gives you a unique opportunity to apply your historical knowledge and research skills to help Colchester Castle Museum connect their collections with the communities that they serve. You will work with Colchester & Ipswich Museum Service’s curatorial team and get a unique behind the scenes look at the work of an important museum. This will give you a valuable insight into the way in which heritage organisations share the material culture of the past with the public of today. We will examine the ways in which curators use objects to tell stories in exhibitions and permanent displays and think critically about the way this has changed over time. You will work as a team to create a virtual exhibition using objects and images from the Colchester Museums collection, including countless things that have never been seen by the public. Working to a theme set by the curators, you will each choose an object from the collection, and use your primary source analysis and research skills to interpret it. Your individual objects and interpretations will be combined into an interactive online exhibition.
This module is a gateway to introduce you to an interdisciplinary approach to China and Chinese history, and you’ll examine significant and complex issues in its modern history. We examine materials that deal with the historical, political, social, and artistic aspects of famous sites and phenomenon, such as Tiananmen Square, the Great Wall and the Yellow River, in order to understand modern China at its politico-cultural core, in its relations with the outside world, its symbolic function in the new global order, as well as its path to modernisation.
Resistance and Rebellion in the World of Atlantic Slavery
Where there was slavery, there was resistance. In most cases, the resistance was covert, but instances of open rebellion were surprisingly common. In this module you’ll examine the phenomenon of slave resistance in the Atlantic World from ca. 1522 (the first recorded rebellion by enslaved Africans in the Americas) to 1888, when slavery was finally abolished in Brazil.
Life in the Three Kingdoms: Societies and cultures in early modern Britain and Ireland
The early modern British Isles were home to four, or even five, nations, six languages, and peoples with vastly differing cultures. You examine the clashes between these different cultures and their hostile perceptions of each other, the different languages and why some survived whilst others disappeared, the conceptions of honour and status, the different ways of maintaining law and order, and the basic social unit of the early modern British Isles: the family.
Between Protection and Control: Policing Europe in the 20th Century
Policing activities are essential for any state and offer an insight into the relationship between state and society. This module explores police activities between state protection and social control in 20th century-Europe. You’ll examine the relations between the state, the police and the public tracing continuities and differences in policing dictatorships and democracies.
What is the nature and limits of human knowledge? What role, if any, does God play in knowledge? Does our common-sense view of the world have a philosophical foundation? Does sensory experience provide the only path to knowledge of the world or can we gain knowledge through the exercise of pure reason? What is the relation between the body and the mind? Study the philosophical texts of the modern era that helped lay the conceptual foundations for these questions and others. We will begin with a close reading of Descartes' Meditations before exploring both rationalist (Spinoza and Leibniz) and empiricist (Locke and Hume) responses.
his module introduces the work of the 19thcentury Danish thinker, Søren Kierkegaard, against the background of debates around ‘the crisis of modernity’. Topics covered include: melancholy, boredom, the limits of reason, subjectivity and truth.
This module explores the relations between philosophy and literature, and specifically the question of how literature might help us discover truth and live a flourishing life. Alongside the philosophical work of Plato, Iris Murdoch, Martha Nussbaum, Richard Rorty and Stanley Cavell, we will read the novel The Black Prince and Nineteen Eighty-Four, and the plays Antigone and Othello.
In this module, we’ll take up a close study of the so-called problem of evil. Roughly, the 'problem of evil' is the objection to belief in a supremely wise, powerful and good God on the grounds of the existence of evil in our world. For how can there be such a God, given the appalling evils we suffer, both natural and human?
This is a module in ethical theory rather than applied ethics – that is, it takes up theoretical questions about the status and justification of morality rather than addressing directly practical moral problems. The exact focus will vary from year-to-year. This year, we will investigate one of the most influential modern theories of ethics, Kant’s moral philosophy. While students might have had a chance to study some aspects of Kant’s view before, this term will be devoted to a focused critical reading of Kant’s ethical theory. We will investigate Kant’s conception of morality, his attempt to derive morality from his conception of freedom, and his attempt to derive a system of property-based political rights from his conception of morality. Our texts will be Kant’s Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals and portions of Kant’s Metaphysics of Morals.
What is the mind? In this module, we consider different ways of understanding the mind, mental states, mental processes, and mental abilities. We will begin with a survey of different positions that have been taken on the so-called mind-body problem, considering various forms of dualism, behaviourism, mind-body identity theory, functionalism, anomalous monism and eliminative materialism. We will consider accounts of the role of the mind in (a) judgment and (b) action. We will use philosophical resources to examine some classic disturbances of the mind such as hallucinations and delusions. We will consider the phenomenon of mind-reading (which is not confined to magic shows and carnivals!), and conclude with a consideration of the laws distinctive interest in the mental – whether in considering a person’s intent to commit a crime, the presence or absence of mental disorder, or what is known in law as mental capacity.
Since the financial crisis of 2008, the social consequences, moral status, and even long-term viability of capitalism have come under renewed scrutiny. Does it foster economic growth and protect individual freedom, as its proponents claim? Or is it a destructive system out of control, as its detractors argue? Should the market be given even freer rein? Or should capitalism be reformed and restricted? Or should it be abolished and replaced altogether? And, if so, what would replace it?
How and why are women oppressed? How might oppression be resisted or overcome? This module will look at some of the main strands in modern feminist theory, and explore the different ways in which they understand the nature, role and objectives of feminism. Along the way, we will discuss the intersection between gender and other axes of oppression, such as race and class.
How and why are women oppressed? What is a “woman”, and should we even use the term? This module will look at some of the main strands in modern feminist theory, and explore the different ways in which they understand the nature, role and objectives of feminism. Along the way, we will discuss the intersection between gender and other axes of oppression, such as race and class.
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