MA Public Opinion and Political Behaviour
BA Philosophy and Literature options

Year 2, Component 05

CS200-5-AU or (CS712-5-FY and Philosophy option)
AR220-5-AU
Art and Ideas II: More Art, More Ideas - Critique and Historiography in the History of Art
(15 CREDITS)

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.

CS200-5-AU
Social Entrepreneurs, Sustainability and Community Action
(15 CREDITS)

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.

CS201-5-FY
The World in Question: The Social, Cultural, Political & Environmental Legacies of the Enlightenment
(30 CREDITS)

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.

CS712-5-FY
Beyond the BA: Skills for the Next Step
(0 CREDITS)

This module offers you the opportunity to build up a portfolio of experiences, skills, and knowledge that will help prepare you for the graduate job you’re looking for. You learn about future career possibilities, gain an insight into what graduate employers are looking for, and access a range of opportunities for valuable work experience on and off campus.

PY400-5-AU
Knowledge and Reality
(15 CREDITS)

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.

PY404-5-SP
Narrativity, Truth and Flourishing
(15 CREDITS)

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.

PY407-5-AU
Philosophy and Religion
(15 CREDITS)

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?

PY408-5-AU
Ethics
(15 CREDITS)

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 really wrestle with its details and consider the most important criticisms lodged against it. We will also use his work as a springboard to discuss wider issues in ethics, like moral luck and feminist ethics of care.

PY429-5-AU
Capitalism and its Critics
(15 CREDITS)

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?

PY430-5-SP
Topics in Analytic Philosophy
(15 CREDITS)

“Analytic Philosophy” is a (sometimes controversial) term commonly used to describe the dominant philosophical tradition in the English-speaking world from the early 20th century to present day. We will explore prominent themes and authors within this tradition. The focus will vary year-on-year; examples include topics from analytic philosophy of mind and metaphysics (the mind-body problem; personal identity; consciousness and “qualia”…) and topics from analytic philosophy of language (what is meaning? How do names and descriptions refer to objects? Does context make a difference to the meaning of what we say, and does what we say shape the context in return?...)

PY431-5-SP
Ancient Philosophy
(15 CREDITS)

Discover Ancient Greek philosophy and read some of the most influential works in the history of Western Philosophy. In this module we focus on Plato and Aristotle, exploring how ethics, political philosophy, epistemology, metaphysics and psychology are all intertwined. The course begins with an overview of philosophy before Socrates and ends with a short exploration of the philosophical schools that flourished in the Roman empire.

PY437-5-SP
Modern Social and Political Thought
(15 CREDITS)

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.

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