Key Information

Full-time

3 years

Typical Offer

BBC (112 UCAS Tariff points from a minimum of 3 A levels)

Campus

Brayford Pool

Validation Status

Validated

Fees

View

UCAS Code

V500

Course Code

PHLPHLUB

Key Information

Full-time

3 years

Typical Offer

BBC (112 UCAS Tariff points from a minimum of 3 A levels)

Campus

Brayford Pool

Validation Status

Validated

Fees

View

UCAS Code

V500

Course Code

PHLPHLUB

BA (Hons) Philosophy BA (Hons) Philosophy

Students can explore the works of major figures in the history of philosophy, such as Plato, Aristotle, Descartes, Hegel, and Wittgenstein.

Key Information

Full-time

3 years

Typical Offer

BBC (112 UCAS Tariff points from a minimum of 3 A levels)

Campus

Brayford Pool

Validation Status

Validated

Fees

View

UCAS Code

V500

Course Code

PHLPHLUB

Key Information

Full-time

3 years

Typical Offer

BBC (112 UCAS Tariff points from a minimum of 3 A levels)

Campus

Brayford Pool

Validation Status

Validated

Fees

View

UCAS Code

V500

Course Code

PHLPHLUB

Teaching and Learning During COVID-19

The current COVID-19 pandemic has meant that at Lincoln we are making changes to our teaching and learning approach and to our campus, to ensure that students and staff can enjoy a safe and positive learning experience here at Lincoln.

From autumn 2020 our aim is to provide an on-campus learning experience. Our intention is that teaching will be delivered through a mixture of face-to-face and online sessions. There will be social activities in place for students - all in line with appropriate social distancing and fully adhering to any changes in government guidance as our students' safety is our primary concern.

We want to ensure that your Lincoln experience is as positive, exciting and enjoyable as possible as you embark on the next phase of your life. COVID-19 has encouraged us to review our practices and, as a result, to take the opportunity to find new ways to enhance the Lincoln experience. It has challenged us to find innovative new approaches to supporting students' learning and social interactions. These learning experiences, which blend digital and face-to-face, will be vital in helping to prepare our students for a 21st Century workplace.

Of course at Lincoln, personal tutoring is key to our delivery, providing every student with a dedicated tutor to support them throughout their time here at the University. Smaller class sizes mean our academic staff can engage with each student as an individual, and work with them to enhance their strengths. In this environment we hope that students have more opportunities for discussion and engagement and get to know each other better.

Course learning outcomes are vital to prepare you for your future and we aim to utilise this mix of face-to-face and online teaching to deliver these. Students benefit from and enjoy fieldtrips and placements and, whilst it is currently hard to predict the availability of these, we are working hard and with partners and will aspire to offer these wherever possible - obviously in compliance with whatever government guidance is in place at the time.

We are utilising a range of different digital tools for teaching including our dedicated online managed learning environment. All lectures for larger groups will be delivered online using interactive software and a range of different formats. We aim to make every contact count and seminars and small group sessions will maximise face-to-face interaction. Practicals, workshops, studio sessions and performance-based sessions are planned to be delivered face-to-face, in a socially distanced way with appropriate PPE.

The University of Lincoln is a top 20 TEF Gold University and we have won awards for our approach to teaching and learning, our partnerships and industry links, and the opportunities these provide for our students. Our aim is that our online and socially distanced delivery during this COVID-19 pandemic is engaging and that students can interact with their tutors and each other and contribute to our academic community.

As and when restrictions start to lift, we aim to deliver an increasing amount of face-to-face teaching and external engagements, depending on each course. Safety will continue to be our primary focus and we will respond to any changing circumstances as they arise to ensure our community is supported. More information about the specific approaches for each course will be shared when teaching starts.

Of course as you start a new academic year it will be challenging but we will be working with you every step of the way. For all our students new and established, we look forward to welcoming you to our vibrant community this Autumn. If you have any questions please visit our FAQs or contact us on 01522 886644.

Dr Mark Hocknull - Programme Leader

Dr Mark Hocknull - Programme Leader

Dr Mark Hocknull is Programme Leader and Principal Lecturer in Philosophy at the University of Lincoln. He holds doctorates in both science and religious studies and has a deep seated interest in the interactions between science and religious beliefs. Mark's first academic subject was microbiology and he has worked in the biotechnology industry. He has held research appointments at University College London and the University of Warwick, and has taught at the Universities of Chester and Nottingham.

School Staff List

Welcome to BA (Hons) Philosophy

Philosophers search for knowledge and truth, exploring the fundamental nature of the world and bringing rational and critical inquiry to basic principles.

The Philosophy degree at Lincoln offers students a chance to study one of the world’s oldest disciplines, challenging them to ask some of the most important questions about the world around us and develop their understanding of the place we occupy within it.

The course makes high intellectual demands of students, and aims to develop the ability to think clearly, to construct and defend arguments, and be willing to explore a range of approaches to different topics.

Philosophy challenges students to question everything from apparently simple binaries such as 'right' and 'wrong', and 'good' and 'evil', through to seemingly unanswerable conundrums concerning the existence of God, or how we can actually 'know' anything at all.

Philosophy makes unique intellectual demands of students. This degree provides opportunities to learn how to think clearly, to construct and defend arguments, and to be willing to explore a range of approaches to different topics.

Welcome to BA (Hons) Philosophy

Philosophers search for knowledge and truth, exploring the fundamental nature of reality and some of the most important questions about the world around us such as what is the self? What is a just society? Is free will an illusion? And, does God exist?

The Philosophy degree at Lincoln offers students the opportunity to study these questions and others through the lens of cutting-edge contemporary philosophical research, as well as the writings of the great philosophers, such as Plato, Descartes, Nietzsche, Marx, and Wittgenstein.

The course makes high intellectual demands of students, and aims to develop the ability to think clearly, to construct and defend arguments, and be willing to explore a range of approaches to different topics.

How You Study

Lincoln’s Philosophy programme is designed to give students the tools to think seriously and independently about major philosophical questions.

Students can develop valuable skills in reasoning, analysis, creative problem solving, and communication, which are relevant for a wide range of careers.

Over the duration of the programme, students are introduced to major figures in the history of philosophy, such as Plato, Aristotle, Descartes, Hegel, and Wittgenstein. Studying original texts from great minds both past and present can help students learn to form, develop, and defend their own answers.

Students are also expected to develop an understanding of a range of key areas, including ethics, philosophy of mind, theory of knowledge, political philosophy, and the philosophy of other academic subjects, such as religion or science.

The course will explore these areas using the philosophical method of logical analysis and reasoned argument, and from the outset students will be encouraged to develop their own views, and to critically assess the views of others.

As Philosophy will be a new subject for many students, the first year of the degree offers a chance to study a wide range of modules, with increasing specialisation in years two and three.

The course is mainly delivered through a series of lectures and seminars. Each module usually consists of a lecture in which the topic is introduced for the first time, key concepts and ideas are examined and explained. Lectures also introduce the reading required for seminars.

Seminars are used to support lectures and are an opportunity for students to meet with a tutor in smaller groups and discuss the philosophical topic under consideration in greater depth. Occasionally workshops are used to work through a particular issue, question, or topic. This is particularly true of the first year Introduction to Philosophical Logic module.

What You Need to Know

We want you to have all the information you need to make an informed decision on where and what you want to study. To help you choose the course that’s right for you, we aim to bring to your attention all the important information you may need. Our What You Need to Know page offers detailed information on key areas including contact hours, assessment, optional modules, and additional costs.

Find out More

How You Study

The Philosophy programme at the University of Lincoln prides itself on offering a high level of philosophical training in both the 'analytical' and 'continental' traditions that have dominated the discipline since the early twentieth century, allowing students to find out what best responds to their own aims and interests.

The programme is designed to give students the tools to think seriously and independently about major philosophical questions. Students can develop valuable skills in reasoning, analysis, creative problem solving, and communication, which are relevant for a wide range of careers.

Over the duration of the programme, students are expected to develop an understanding of all the major fields in contemporary philosophy, including ethics, metaphysics, philosophy of mind, epistemology, logic, philosophy of religion, and philosophy of science. Students are also introduced to major figures in the history of philosophy, such as Plato, Aristotle, Descartes, Hegel, and Wittgenstein. Studying original texts from great minds both past and present can help students learn to form, develop, and defend their own answers.

Students will explore these areas using the philosophical method of logical analysis and reasoned argument, and from the outset will be encouraged to develop their own views, and to critically assess the views of others.

As Philosophy will be a new subject for many students, the first year of the degree offers a chance to study a wide range of modules, with increasing specialisation in years two and three.
The course is mainly delivered through a series of lectures and seminars. Each module usually consists of a lecture in which the topic is introduced for the first time, key concepts and ideas are examined and explained. Lectures also introduce the reading required for seminars.

Seminars are used to support lectures and are an opportunity for students to meet with a tutor in smaller groups and discuss the philosophical topic under consideration in greater depth. Occasionally workshops are used to work through a particular issue, question, or topic.

What You Need to Know

We want you to have all the information you need to make an informed decision on where and what you want to study. To help you choose the course that’s right for you, we aim to bring to your attention all the important information you may need. Our What You Need to Know page offers detailed information on key areas including contact hours, assessment, optional modules, and additional costs.

Find out More

An Introduction to Your Modules

Module Overview

This module aims to support students in their adjustment to the demands of higher education by equipping students with the skills necessary to communicate their learning in an academic environment. The core objectives of the module are to develop students’ research and writing skills and to avoid plagiarism by correctly referencing their sources. Skills learned and dispositions developed on this module can prove vital for students' successful study throughout their degrees and afterwards.

Module Overview

The purpose of this module is to enable students to examine claims about the existence of God and the nature of religious faith. Among the major thinkers whose contributions to the philosophy of religion we will consider are Aquinas, Descartes, Leibniz, Hume, Kant, Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Freud, and Wittgenstein. Issues students can consider are whether religious statements are meaningful, whether the existence of evil counts strongly, or even conclusively, against the existence of God, whether religious beliefs are merely a projection of human desires, and whether the idea of life having a meaning stands and falls with the belief in God.

Module Overview

This is a survey module introducing students to the main ideas of some of the key philosophical thinkers of both the pre-modern and modern periods that have helped to shape Western culture and philosophy (e.g., Plato, Aristotle, Descartes, Locke Berkeley, Hume, Kant, Hegel, Nietzsche, Heidegger, Sartre, Wittgenstein). As well as knowledge of what the great philosophers have said about the big questions of metaphysics, epistemology, and philosophy of mind, this module aims to provide students with a map with which to navigate later developments in Western philosophy.

Module Overview

This module is designed to introduce students to the three areas of discussion in contemporary moral philosophy. Metaethics is concerned with the nature of morality itself and questions such as ‘Are there moral facts?’, ‘If there are moral facts, what is their origin?’. Normative ethics is the attempt to provide a general theory that tells us how to live and enables us to determine what is morally right and wrong. Applied ethics involves the application of ethical principles to specific moral issues (e.g., abortion, euthanasia, animal rights) and the evaluation of the answers arrived at through this application. This module aims to introduce students to all three of these branches of ethics.

Module Overview

This module introduces some of the basic ideas and concepts of philosophical logic and the technical vocabulary that is required for understanding contemporary philosophical writing. Students are introduced to logical concepts such as validity, soundness, consistency, possibility, necessity, contingency, inductive and deductive forms of argument, necessary and sufficient conditions, the rudiments of formalisation, and a range of logical fallacies. The emphasis will be on using logic to construct and evaluate arguments.

Module Overview

This module aims to introduce students to some of the central questions in metaphysics and the philosophy of mind. For example: What is the self? What, if anything, makes you the same person you were when you were five years old? To what extent is the world of everyday experience mind-dependent? Is free will compatible with determinism – the view that every event is causally necessitated by a prior event? What is the mind, and how does it relate to the body? Are we just highly complicated physical objects, or is the mind an immaterial or spiritual substance?

Module Overview

This module introduces students to selected seminal works in the history of philosophy. Students will be required to develop a detailed knowledge of two texts and of relevant aspects of their historical background. Sample texts (which are subject to change in line with staff teaching availability) include Plato’s Meno, Descartes’ Meditations on First Philosophy, Berkeley’s Treatise Concerning the Principles of Human Knowledge, Hume’s An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding, Kant’s Prolegomena To Any Future Metaphysics.

Module Overview

Philosophy is not just a fascinating academic subject. It raises profound questions about the human condition and it is not surprising then that a contemporary medium like film frequently deals with philosophical issues. Philosophy through Film is a survey module in philosophy, where popular topics in various sub-fields in the discipline are studied and discussed as they are illustrated in a selection of films. Topics covered come from aesthetics, metaphysics, ethics, and the philosophy of mind. This introductory modules introduces students to some of the most fascinating and fundamental questions of philosophy.

Module Overview

This module is designed to provide students with a broad introduction to some of the key issues in the theory of knowledge (epistemology). The main focus of the module is the nature of knowledge – what is it, and what, if anything, can really be known? This leads on to questions about how knowledge relates to truth, belief, and justification, and to discussion of different kinds of knowledge (e.g., perceptual, religious, moral).

Module Overview

This module introduces students to philosophical questions about the nature of art and beauty. For example: What is art? Can anything be a work of art? Can a pile of elephant dung be art? Is beauty objectively real or only ‘in the eye of the beholder’? Can aesthetic judgements be right or wrong? Is Beethoven better than Beyoncé? Is Shakespeare better than Eastenders? Or are aesthetic disputes like deciding between the merits of different flavours of ice cream?

Students can also consider questions that arise in relation to specific artforms: How is it possible to respond emotionally towards the plight of fictional characters that are known not to exist? Do rock/pop music and classical music require different aesthetic criteria for their appreciation and evaluation? Why do we take pleasure in the aesthetic representation of tragic events? Students will be guided through their reading of various classical and contemporary works on such issues, and encouraged to think for themselves about the problems addressed.

Module Overview

The purpose of this module is to enable students to think critically about a range of issues in animal ethics. Do humans have obligations to other animals and, if so, what arethose obligations? Do animals matter morally or are they just things? Are animals persons? What follows ethically if animals are things? Does the property status of animals entail that animals cannot be anything other than things? What are some of the leading contemporary moral theories about animal ethics? Does the property status of animals make it impossible to apply the principle of equal consideration to animal interests? Can we justify the use of animals in science? Can we justify the use of animals for food? Can we justify the use of animals in other contexts, such as hunting? Is pet-ownership morally justifiable? What is the relationship between animal ethics and environmental ethics? How should we evaluate issues of animal ethics from various religious perspectives? Is the contemporary animal “movement” sound in terms of its methods?

Module Overview

This module aims to prepare students for designing their dissertation (independent study) proposals and for applying to jobs and postgraduate programmes. Students will explore how to prepare for and ensure success in their dissertations, employment, and study/research by identifying and articulating their transferable skills, breadth of knowledge, expertise, and interests. The module will provide information on how to become aware of opportunities, to plan and prepare for the future, and to build on their undergraduate careers.

Module Overview

The aim of this module is to give students a thorough understanding of two intimately related philosophical traditions that came to prominence in the 19th and 20th centuries: existentialism and phenomenology. Each attempts to address the nature and meaning of human existence from the perspective of individual, first-person experience, focusing in particular on fundamental questions of being, meaning, death, nihilism, freedom, responsibility, value, human relations, and religious faith.

The module will examine selected existential themes through the writings of thinkers such as Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Heidegger, Sartre, De Beauvoir, and Camus. Since existentialism is as much a artistic phenomenon as a philosophical one, students will also be given the opportunity to explore existentialist ideas in the works of various literary figures, such as Shakespeare, Dostoyevsky, Kafka, and Milan Kundera.

Module Overview

This module builds on the first-year module ‘Mind and Reality,’ focusing in particular on fundamental questions about the nature of reality and how our thought can connect up with it. What and how do words mean? Must the world be the way it is? Are there non-existent things? And why does anything at all exist?

Module Overview

The purpose of this module is to develop students understanding of some of the major issues in contemporary philosophy of mind and artificial intelligence. What kind of entity is the mind? How does it relate to the brain? Can we explain consciousness in physical terms? Could a machine ever be conscious? Are we headed for the Singularity—the point in the future at which machine intelligence overtakes human intelligence and goes on to design exponentially more intelligent machines? If so, how intelligent can machine intelligence get? Where does the mind stop and machinery start? For example, could a neural implant or even a smartphone form part of your mind? Are we ourselves thinking machines?

Module Overview

This module aims to introduce students to some of the central concepts, issues, theories, and debates in an area of moral philosophy called 'normative ethics', thereby providing them with a framework for thinking seriously about moral matters, and to assist them in developing their philosophical and analytical skills. We will distinguish and evaluate the leading positions on these issues through a range of more specific topics in normative ethics.

Module Overview

This module explores a range of philosophical questions relating to the nature of science. How are scientific theories developed? Are scientific theories discovered through a ‘flash of genius’ or is something more methodical involved? How much of scientific discovery is down to careful observation? Do scientific theories tell us how the world really is? Do the entities scientific theories postulate – atoms, electromagnetic waves, and so on – really exist? Or are scientific theories merely useful models of reality? Is science independent of its social context? To what extent is scientific inquiry affected by gender, race or politics? Is there such a thing as truth that is not relative to a particular culture, social class or historical era? Drawing on accessible examples from a variety of scientific fields and by answering these and related questions, we shall try to reach an understanding of how science works.

Module Overview

This module provides an opportunity for History students to spend a term studying at one of the University’s partner institutions in North America or Europe. Students will be expected to cover their own transport, accommodation and living costs.

Module Overview

This module builds on the first-year module ‘What is Knowledge?’ to provide students with a more in-depth exploration of epistemology. Students can examine a range of issues in contemporary epistemology, including: the nature of epistemic justification (the internalism/externalism debate, the debates between foundationalists and coherentists), the analysis of knowledge, the role of contextual considerations in dealing with scepticism, social epistemology, virtue epistemology, a priori knowledge, and epistemic naturalism.

Module Overview

This module will give students an opportunity to engage in close philosophical study of texts by the most influential ancient philosophers. Texts will be studied in English translation. They will include works by Plato and Aristotle, as well as by less familiar philosophers of the ancient world (c. 500 BC-500 AD Greece and Rome). The focus of the module will be philosophical, not interpretive or historical: students will be expected assess the credibility of the positions and arguments advanced by Plato, Aristotle and others and to develop their own views in dialogue with these thinkers.

Module Overview

This module gives students the opportunity to engage with some key issues and contemporary debates in key areas of philosophy, such as epistemological relativism, the nature of consciousness, the nature of causation in science, the nature of the self. The precise topics addressed will vary from year to year and students will have input into the choice of topics. The aim of the module is to explore in-depth some significant contemporary philosophical issues and to enable students to develop and enhance their key philosophical and debating skills.

Module Overview

The purpose of this module is to enable students to examine claims made about what, if anything, makes life meaningful by some of the major figures in the history of philosophy (e.g., Plato, Aristotle, St Augustine, Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, and Marx). The module begins by considering the Question of Meaning itself. Is it intelligible? What is it to seek meaning in life? Is God necessary for life as a whole to have meaning? If so, and if God doesn’t exist, what is an appropriate response to life’s “absurdity” or lack of meaning? Is suicide an ethically defensible response? Or can individual lives have meaning even if life as a whole has none? Could a life be meaningful even if it were entirely occupied with selfish or vicious activities? Could, for example, the life of a torturer be meaningful? Or must our lives have an ethical resonance to be meaningful? We will also consider nihilist views that the conditions necessary for meaning do not obtain, and metaethical debates about the nature of value in general.

Module Overview

The module will give students practical experience of the workplace. Students will normally define, plan and undertake a specific project. In addition students will gain experience of a range of tasks appropriate to sector-specific professional skills.

Module Overview

This module builds on the second-year module ‘Moral Philosophy’, focusing in particular on the central questions in metaethics: Do moral terms and judgements refer to moral properties, and if so, what are these properties like? Are any moral judgements true, and if so, are they true objectively, in virtue of moral properties that exist in the world? If there are objective moral truths, how can we know what they are? What implications do theories of moral reasoning and moral motivation have for the question of whether there are objective truths in ethics?

Module Overview

This module examines some of the philosophical issues raised by the Newtonian revolution in the natural sciences, such as: What is the nature of Newton’s distinction between ‘absolute’ and ‘relative’ space? In what sense can forces be said to exist? What is the ontology of force? Is it sufficient to provide a mathematical definition of force (e.g., f=ma)? Is gravity a special kind of force with its own unique set of properties? What is the nature of ‘action at a distance’? Is Newton’s view of space metaphysical? This is an interdisciplinary module that situates Newtonian science in its sociocultural context.

Module Overview

Friedrich Nietzsche famously proclaimed that ‘the death of God’ would lead to a period of ‘nihilism’ – the view that life lacks meaning and value. But Nietzsche also saw the death of God as a liberating opportunity to move beyond traditional moral values, which he regarded as life-denying and stifling the potential of human beings.

A central aim of Nietzsche’s philosophy, therefore, is to make his readers question the value of traditional morality. Are kindness, compassion, altruism, charity, and equality really valuable? Do such values promote the cultivation of great cultures and great human beings? Or are they simply what is most useful to, what Nietzsche called, ‘the herd’? All the major themes of Nietzsche’s philosophy will be considered: art, tragedy, ‘genealogy,’ master and slave moralities, guilt, truth, self-creation, the Übermensch (or ‘superman’), the ‘higher’ individual, life-affirmation, and eternal recurrence.

Module Overview

The aim of this module is to examine some interesting puzzles in the ontology, epistemology, and metaphysics of biology. The module will address such questions as: How does natural selection explain the traits of organisms? How does the ‘scientific method’ support biological science’s success? What are the appropriate aims for conservation biology? Can culture evolve? Is there an objective class of conditions that qualify as ‘disease’? Are there laws of evolution; and if not, is evolutionary biology a science? Are there biological natural kinds? Can Darwinism explain anything interesting about human mental and social life?

Module Overview

This is an extended piece of philosophical work that gives students opportunity to demonstrate that they have acquired the skills of critical thinking and philosophical analysis.

Module Overview

This module explores a variety of questions relating to the concept of evil, and introduces students to a range of philosophical theories of the nature of evil. Students can explore the language and ontology of evil, the concepts of ‘radical’ and ‘banal’ evil, and examine how the existence of evil is accounted for by key figures in the history of philosophy. Typically, questions to be considered include: Is evil an irreducibly theological concept? Are notions of evil relative to individuals or cultures? Is evil a positively existing force or is it the absence of some quality, as darkness is the absence of light? Why are humans capable of wickedness?

Module Overview

This module explores a range of philosophical questions that arise in relation to love and sexual desire. Can love be defined, or does it belong to the realm of the ineffable? Is love inherently irrational? Is it reducible to the reproductive or sexual drive? Do we love the other for his/her own sake, or is love always self-serving? Are jealousy and possessiveness really the enemy of successful love? Does all love stem from need or lack? What, if anything, is the difference between love and infatuation? And is, as Plato held, love a form of enslavement?

In this module, students can address such questions through the lens of some of the greatest works in the Western philosophical tradition. We shall mostly consider reciprocal romantic love and investigate, among other things, its capacity to confer meaning and purpose upon life. We shall also explore the Freudian view that love involves regression to a situation in childhood in which we were perfectly safe, the search for love essentially being an attempt to recover this earlier form of security or wholeness. Can this need for wholeness ever be fully and stably fulfilled, or is, as Sartre argued, the project of love impossible? In addition, we shall reflect upon the nature of pornography, sadomasochism, and sexual perversion.

Module Overview

The world as we encounter it in visual perception is a world of coloured objects – red buses, yellow daffodils, blue skies, and the like. Colour raises a variety of perplexing philosophical puzzles concerning the nature of physical reality and our epistemic to the mental states of others. This module serves as an introduction to these issues.

Some of the questions to be explored include: Do objects really have the colours we ordinarily take them to possess? If so, what sort of property is colour? Are colours really just ‘impressions’ that exist only in the mind? If so, what causes these impressions? Do such impressions have representational content? What is the relationship between philosophical and scientific theories of colour? This is an interdisciplinary module that also explores issues relating to colour in art history and the history of science.

Module Overview

This module builds on the first-year module ‘Mind and Reality,’ and the second year module ‘Language, Logic, and Reality’, focusing in particular on fundamental questions about the nature of reality, such as the following. Does time have a direction? How do things exist through time? What, in the most general terms, exists? What more is there to causation than simply one event being followed by another? What more is there to laws of nature, than events of one type regularly being followed by events of another type?

† Some courses may offer optional modules. The availability of optional modules may vary from year to year and will be subject to minimum student numbers being achieved. This means that the availability of specific optional modules cannot be guaranteed. Optional module selection may also be affected by staff availability.

An Introduction to Your Modules

Module Overview

This module aims to support students in their adjustment to the demands of higher education by equipping students with the skills necessary to communicate their learning in an academic environment. The core objectives of the module are to develop students’ research and writing skills and to avoid plagiarism by correctly referencing their sources. Skills learned and dispositions developed on this module can prove vital for students' successful study throughout their degrees and afterwards.

Module Overview

The purpose of this module is to enable students to examine claims about the existence of God and the nature of religious faith. Among the major thinkers whose contributions to the philosophy of religion we will consider are Aquinas, Descartes, Leibniz, Hume, Kant, Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Freud, and Wittgenstein. Issues students can consider are whether religious statements are meaningful, whether the existence of evil counts strongly, or even conclusively, against the existence of God, whether religious beliefs are merely a projection of human desires, and whether the idea of life having a meaning stands and falls with the belief in God.

Module Overview

This is a survey module introducing students to the main ideas of some of the key philosophical thinkers of both the pre-modern and modern periods that have helped to shape Western culture and philosophy (e.g., Plato, Aristotle, Descartes, Locke Berkeley, Hume, Kant, Hegel, Nietzsche, Heidegger, Sartre, Wittgenstein). As well as knowledge of what the great philosophers have said about the big questions of metaphysics, epistemology, and philosophy of mind, this module aims to provide students with a map with which to navigate later developments in Western philosophy.

Module Overview

This module is designed to introduce students to the three areas of discussion in contemporary moral philosophy. Metaethics is concerned with the nature of morality itself and questions such as ‘Are there moral facts?’, ‘If there are moral facts, what is their origin?’. Normative ethics is the attempt to provide a general theory that tells us how to live and enables us to determine what is morally right and wrong. Applied ethics involves the application of ethical principles to specific moral issues (e.g., abortion, euthanasia, animal rights) and the evaluation of the answers arrived at through this application. This module aims to introduce students to all three of these branches of ethics.

Module Overview

This module introduces some of the basic ideas and concepts of philosophical logic and the technical vocabulary that is required for understanding contemporary philosophical writing. Students are introduced to logical concepts such as validity, soundness, consistency, possibility, necessity, contingency, inductive and deductive forms of argument, necessary and sufficient conditions, the rudiments of formalisation, and a range of logical fallacies. The emphasis will be on using logic to construct and evaluate arguments.

Module Overview

This module aims to introduce students to some of the central questions in metaphysics and the philosophy of mind. For example: What is the self? What, if anything, makes you the same person you were when you were five years old? To what extent is the world of everyday experience mind-dependent? Is free will compatible with determinism – the view that every event is causally necessitated by a prior event? What is the mind, and how does it relate to the body? Are we just highly complicated physical objects, or is the mind an immaterial or spiritual substance?

Module Overview

This module introduces students to selected seminal works in the history of philosophy. Students will be required to develop a detailed knowledge of two texts and of relevant aspects of their historical background. Sample texts (which are subject to change in line with staff teaching availability) include Plato’s Meno, Descartes’ Meditations on First Philosophy, Berkeley’s Treatise Concerning the Principles of Human Knowledge, Hume’s An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding, Kant’s Prolegomena To Any Future Metaphysics.

Module Overview

Philosophy through Film is a survey module in which major questions in various sub-fields in Philosophy are studied and discussed as they are illustrated and explored in a selection of mainstream films (e.g. The Matrix, Total Recall, Crimes and Misdemeanours) Topics covered come from aesthetics, metaphysics, ethics, and the philosophy of mind.

Module Overview

This module is designed to provide students with a broad introduction to some of the key issues in the theory of knowledge (epistemology). The main focus of the module is the nature of knowledge – what is it, and what, if anything, can really be known? This leads on to questions about how knowledge relates to truth, belief, and justification, and to discussion of different kinds of knowledge (e.g., perceptual, religious, moral).

Module Overview

This module introduces students to philosophical questions about the nature of art and beauty. For example: What is art? Can anything be a work of art? Can a pile of elephant dung be art? Is beauty objectively real or only ‘in the eye of the beholder’? Can aesthetic judgements be right or wrong? Is Beethoven better than Beyoncé? Is Shakespeare better than Eastenders? Or are aesthetic disputes like deciding between the merits of different flavours of ice cream?

Students can also consider questions that arise in relation to specific artforms: How is it possible to respond emotionally towards the plight of fictional characters that are known not to exist? Do rock/pop music and classical music require different aesthetic criteria for their appreciation and evaluation? Why do we take pleasure in the aesthetic representation of tragic events? Students will be guided through their reading of various classical and contemporary works on such issues, and encouraged to think for themselves about the problems addressed.

Module Overview

The purpose of this module is to enable students to think critically about a range of issues in animal ethics. Do humans have obligations to other animals and, if so, what arethose obligations? Do animals matter morally or are they just things? Are animals persons? What follows ethically if animals are things? Does the property status of animals entail that animals cannot be anything other than things? What are some of the leading contemporary moral theories about animal ethics? Does the property status of animals make it impossible to apply the principle of equal consideration to animal interests? Can we justify the use of animals in science? Can we justify the use of animals for food? Can we justify the use of animals in other contexts, such as hunting? Is pet-ownership morally justifiable? What is the relationship between animal ethics and environmental ethics? How should we evaluate issues of animal ethics from various religious perspectives? Is the contemporary animal “movement” sound in terms of its methods?

Module Overview

This module aims to prepare students for designing their dissertation (independent study) proposals and for applying to jobs and postgraduate programmes. Students will explore how to prepare for and ensure success in their dissertations, employment, and study/research by identifying and articulating their transferable skills, breadth of knowledge, expertise, and interests. The module will provide information on how to become aware of opportunities, to plan and prepare for the future, and to build on their undergraduate careers.

Module Overview

The aim of this module is to give students a thorough understanding of two intimately related philosophical traditions that came to prominence in the 19th and 20th centuries: existentialism and phenomenology. Each attempts to address the nature and meaning of human existence from the perspective of individual, first-person experience, focusing in particular on fundamental questions of being, meaning, death, nihilism, freedom, responsibility, value, human relations, and religious faith.

The module will examine selected existential themes through the writings of thinkers such as Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Heidegger, Sartre, De Beauvoir, and Camus. Since existentialism is as much a artistic phenomenon as a philosophical one, students will also be given the opportunity to explore existentialist ideas in the works of various literary figures, such as Shakespeare, Dostoyevsky, Kafka, and Milan Kundera.

Module Overview

This module builds on the first-year module ‘Mind and Reality,’ focusing in particular on fundamental questions about the nature of reality and how our thought can connect up with it. What and how do words mean? Must the world be the way it is? Are there non-existent things? And why does anything at all exist?

Module Overview

The purpose of this module is to develop students understanding of some of the major issues in contemporary philosophy of mind and artificial intelligence. What kind of entity is the mind? How does it relate to the brain? Can we explain consciousness in physical terms? Could a machine ever be conscious? Are we headed for the Singularity—the point in the future at which machine intelligence overtakes human intelligence and goes on to design exponentially more intelligent machines? If so, how intelligent can machine intelligence get? Where does the mind stop and machinery start? For example, could a neural implant or even a smartphone form part of your mind? Are we ourselves thinking machines?

Module Overview

This module aims to introduce students to some of the central concepts, issues, theories, and debates in an area of moral philosophy called 'normative ethics', thereby providing them with a framework for thinking seriously about moral matters, and to assist them in developing their philosophical and analytical skills. We will distinguish and evaluate the leading positions on these issues through a range of more specific topics in normative ethics.

Module Overview

This module explores a range of philosophical questions relating to the nature of science. How are scientific theories developed? Are scientific theories discovered through a ‘flash of genius’ or is something more methodical involved? How much of scientific discovery is down to careful observation? Do scientific theories tell us how the world really is? Do the entities scientific theories postulate – atoms, electromagnetic waves, and so on – really exist? Or are scientific theories merely useful models of reality? Is science independent of its social context? To what extent is scientific inquiry affected by gender, race or politics? Is there such a thing as truth that is not relative to a particular culture, social class or historical era? Drawing on accessible examples from a variety of scientific fields and by answering these and related questions, we shall try to reach an understanding of how science works.

Module Overview

This module provides an opportunity for History students to spend a term studying at one of the University’s partner institutions in North America or Europe. Students will be expected to cover their own transport, accommodation and living costs.

Module Overview

This module builds on the first-year module ‘What is Knowledge?’ to provide students with a more in-depth exploration of epistemology. Students can examine a range of issues in contemporary epistemology, including: the nature of epistemic justification (the internalism/externalism debate, the debates between foundationalists and coherentists), the analysis of knowledge, the role of contextual considerations in dealing with scepticism, social epistemology, virtue epistemology, a priori knowledge, and epistemic naturalism.

Module Overview

This module will give students an opportunity to engage in close philosophical study of texts by the most influential ancient philosophers. Texts will be studied in English translation. They will include works by Plato and Aristotle, as well as by less familiar philosophers of the ancient world (c. 500 BC-500 AD Greece and Rome). The focus of the module will be philosophical, not interpretive or historical: students will be expected assess the credibility of the positions and arguments advanced by Plato, Aristotle and others and to develop their own views in dialogue with these thinkers.

Module Overview

This module gives students the opportunity to engage with some key issues and contemporary debates in key areas of philosophy, such as epistemological relativism, the nature of consciousness, the nature of causation in science, the nature of the self. The precise topics addressed will vary from year to year and students will have input into the choice of topics. The aim of the module is to explore in-depth some significant contemporary philosophical issues and to enable students to develop and enhance their key philosophical and debating skills.

Module Overview

The purpose of this module is to enable students to examine claims made about what, if anything, makes life meaningful by some of the major figures in the history of philosophy (e.g., Plato, Aristotle, St Augustine, Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, and Marx). The module begins by considering the Question of Meaning itself. Is it intelligible? What is it to seek meaning in life? Is God necessary for life as a whole to have meaning? If so, and if God doesn’t exist, what is an appropriate response to life’s “absurdity” or lack of meaning? Is suicide an ethically defensible response? Or can individual lives have meaning even if life as a whole has none? Could a life be meaningful even if it were entirely occupied with selfish or vicious activities? Could, for example, the life of a torturer be meaningful? Or must our lives have an ethical resonance to be meaningful? We will also consider nihilist views that the conditions necessary for meaning do not obtain, and metaethical debates about the nature of value in general.

Module Overview

The module will give students practical experience of the workplace. Students will normally define, plan and undertake a specific project. In addition students will gain experience of a range of tasks appropriate to sector-specific professional skills.

Module Overview

This module builds on the second-year module ‘Moral Philosophy’, focusing in particular on the central questions in metaethics: Do moral terms and judgements refer to moral properties, and if so, what are these properties like? Are any moral judgements true, and if so, are they true objectively, in virtue of moral properties that exist in the world? If there are objective moral truths, how can we know what they are? What implications do theories of moral reasoning and moral motivation have for the question of whether there are objective truths in ethics?

Module Overview

This module examines some of the philosophical issues raised by the Newtonian revolution in the natural sciences, such as: What is the nature of Newton’s distinction between ‘absolute’ and ‘relative’ space? In what sense can forces be said to exist? What is the ontology of force? Is it sufficient to provide a mathematical definition of force (e.g., f=ma)? Is gravity a special kind of force with its own unique set of properties? What is the nature of ‘action at a distance’? Is Newton’s view of space metaphysical? This is an interdisciplinary module that situates Newtonian science in its sociocultural context.

Module Overview

Friedrich Nietzsche famously proclaimed that ‘the death of God’ would lead to a period of ‘nihilism’ – the view that life lacks meaning and value. But Nietzsche also saw the death of God as a liberating opportunity to move beyond traditional moral values, which he regarded as life-denying and stifling the potential of human beings.

A central aim of Nietzsche’s philosophy, therefore, is to make his readers question the value of traditional morality. Are kindness, compassion, altruism, charity, and equality really valuable? Do such values promote the cultivation of great cultures and great human beings? Or are they simply what is most useful to, what Nietzsche called, ‘the herd’? All the major themes of Nietzsche’s philosophy will be considered: art, tragedy, ‘genealogy,’ master and slave moralities, guilt, truth, self-creation, the Übermensch (or ‘superman’), the ‘higher’ individual, life-affirmation, and eternal recurrence.

Module Overview

The aim of this module is to examine some interesting puzzles in the ontology, epistemology, and metaphysics of biology. The module will address such questions as: How does natural selection explain the traits of organisms? How does the ‘scientific method’ support biological science’s success? What are the appropriate aims for conservation biology? Can culture evolve? Is there an objective class of conditions that qualify as ‘disease’? Are there laws of evolution; and if not, is evolutionary biology a science? Are there biological natural kinds? Can Darwinism explain anything interesting about human mental and social life?

Module Overview

This is an extended piece of philosophical work that gives students opportunity to demonstrate that they have acquired the skills of critical thinking and philosophical analysis.

Module Overview

This module explores a variety of questions relating to the concept of evil, and introduces students to a range of philosophical theories of the nature of evil. Students can explore the language and ontology of evil, the concepts of ‘radical’ and ‘banal’ evil, and examine how the existence of evil is accounted for by key figures in the history of philosophy. Typically, questions to be considered include: Is evil an irreducibly theological concept? Are notions of evil relative to individuals or cultures? Is evil a positively existing force or is it the absence of some quality, as darkness is the absence of light? Why are humans capable of wickedness?

Module Overview

This module explores a range of philosophical questions that arise in relation to love and sexual desire. Can love be defined, or does it belong to the realm of the ineffable? Is love inherently irrational? Is it reducible to the reproductive or sexual drive? Do we love the other for his/her own sake, or is love always self-serving? Are jealousy and possessiveness really the enemy of successful love? Does all love stem from need or lack? What, if anything, is the difference between love and infatuation? And is, as Plato held, love a form of enslavement?

In this module, students can address such questions through the lens of some of the greatest works in the Western philosophical tradition. We shall mostly consider reciprocal romantic love and investigate, among other things, its capacity to confer meaning and purpose upon life. We shall also explore the Freudian view that love involves regression to a situation in childhood in which we were perfectly safe, the search for love essentially being an attempt to recover this earlier form of security or wholeness. Can this need for wholeness ever be fully and stably fulfilled, or is, as Sartre argued, the project of love impossible? In addition, we shall reflect upon the nature of pornography, sadomasochism, and sexual perversion.

Module Overview

The world as we encounter it in visual perception is a world of coloured objects – red buses, yellow daffodils, blue skies, and the like. Colour raises a variety of perplexing philosophical puzzles concerning the nature of physical reality and our epistemic to the mental states of others. This module serves as an introduction to these issues.

Some of the questions to be explored include: Do objects really have the colours we ordinarily take them to possess? If so, what sort of property is colour? Are colours really just ‘impressions’ that exist only in the mind? If so, what causes these impressions? Do such impressions have representational content? What is the relationship between philosophical and scientific theories of colour? This is an interdisciplinary module that also explores issues relating to colour in art history and the history of science.

Module Overview

This module builds on the first-year module ‘Mind and Reality,’ and the second year module ‘Language, Logic, and Reality’, focusing in particular on fundamental questions about the nature of reality, such as the following. Does time have a direction? How do things exist through time? What, in the most general terms, exists? What more is there to causation than simply one event being followed by another? What more is there to laws of nature, than events of one type regularly being followed by events of another type?

† Some courses may offer optional modules. The availability of optional modules may vary from year to year and will be subject to minimum student numbers being achieved. This means that the availability of specific optional modules cannot be guaranteed. Optional module selection may also be affected by staff availability.

How you are assessed

This course use a variety of assessment methods including essays, podcasts, student-led presentations, in-class exams and take-home exams.

The University of Lincoln’s policy is to ensure that staff return assessments to students promptly.

This course use a variety of assessment methods including essays, podcasts, student-led presentations, and in-class exams.

The University of Lincoln’s policy is to ensure that staff return assessments to students promptly.

Fees and Scholarships

Going to university is a life-changing step and it's important to understand the costs involved and the funding options available before you start. A full breakdown of the fees associated with this programme can be found on our course fees pages.

Course Fees

For eligible undergraduate students going to university for the first time, scholarships and bursaries are available to help cover costs. The University of Lincoln offers a variety of merit-based and subject-specific bursaries and scholarships. For full details and information about eligibility, visit our scholarships and bursaries pages.

Course-Specific Additional Costs

Students will be expected to cover their own transport, accommodation, and living costs if studying abroad.

Going to university is a life-changing step and it's important to understand the costs involved and the funding options available before you start. A full breakdown of the fees associated with this programme can be found on our course fees pages.

Course Fees

For eligible undergraduate students going to university for the first time, scholarships and bursaries are available to help cover costs. The University of Lincoln offers a variety of merit-based and subject-specific bursaries and scholarships. For full details and information about eligibility, visit our scholarships and bursaries pages.

Course-Specific Additional Costs

Students will be expected to cover their own transport, accommodation, and living costs if studying abroad.

Entry Requirements 2020-21

United Kingdom

GCE Advanced Levels: BBC

International Baccalaureate: 29 points overall

BTEC Extended Diploma: Distinction, Merit, Merit

Access to Higher Education Diploma: 45 Level 3 credits with a minimum of 112 UCAS Tariff points

Applicants will also need at least three GCSEs at grade 4 (C) or above, which must include English. Equivalent Level 2 qualifications may be considered.


International

Non UK Qualifications:

If you have studied outside of the UK, and are unsure whether your qualification meets the above requirements, please visit our country pages https://www.lincoln.ac.uk/home/studywithus/internationalstudents/entryrequirementsandyourcountry/ for information on equivalent qualifications.

EU and Overseas students will be required to demonstrate English language proficiency equivalent to IELTS 6.0 overall, with a minimum of 5.5 in each element. For information regarding other English language qualifications we accept, please visit the English Requirements page https://www.lincoln.ac.uk/home/studywithus/internationalstudents/englishlanguagerequirementsandsupport/englishlanguagerequirements/

If you do not meet the above IELTS requirements, you may be able to take part in one of our Pre-sessional English and Academic Study Skills courses.

If you would like further information about entry requirements, or would like to discuss whether the qualifications you are currently studying are acceptable, please contact the Admissions team on 01522 886097, or email admissions@lincoln.ac.uk

Entry Requirements 2021-22

United Kingdom

GCE Advanced Levels: BBC

International Baccalaureate: 29 points overall

BTEC Extended Diploma: Distinction, Merit, Merit

Access to Higher Education Diploma: 45 Level 3 credits with a minimum of 112 UCAS Tariff points

Applicants will also need at least three GCSEs at grade 4 (C) or above, which must include English. Equivalent Level 2 qualifications may be considered.


International

Non UK Qualifications:

If you have studied outside of the UK, and are unsure whether your qualification meets the above requirements, please visit our country pages https://www.lincoln.ac.uk/home/studywithus/internationalstudents/entryrequirementsandyourcountry/ for information on equivalent qualifications.

EU and Overseas students will be required to demonstrate English language proficiency equivalent to IELTS 6.0 overall, with a minimum of 5.5 in each element. For information regarding other English language qualifications we accept, please visit the English Requirements page https://www.lincoln.ac.uk/home/studywithus/internationalstudents/englishlanguagerequirementsandsupport/englishlanguagerequirements/

If you do not meet the above IELTS requirements, you may be able to take part in one of our Pre-sessional English and Academic Study Skills courses.

If you would like further information about entry requirements, or would like to discuss whether the qualifications you are currently studying are acceptable, please contact the Admissions team on 01522 886097, or email admissions@lincoln.ac.uk

Facilities

Philosophy at Lincoln sits within the College of Arts and students have access to specialist facilities to help them to develop their skills and knowledge.

The Great Central Warehouse Library provides access to more than 200,000 journals and 600,000 print and electronic books, as well as databases and specialist collections. Students can also access the library at Lincoln Cathedral – a centre for philosophical thinking since the time of the eminent 13th Century theologian, Bishop Robert Grosseteste.

Features

Lincoln is home to the Lincoln Philosophy Salon, which holds monthly talks in a local pub from world-leading professional philosophers. This is a thriving organisation with a membership of around 600 people, which provides a great opportunity for students to interact socially with staff and to discuss cutting-edge ideas with some of the most important living philosophers working today.

In addition, the Undergraduate Philosophy Society, which is run by students, organises talks and social events for students interested in Philosophy. We also hold an Annual Philosophy Lecture, bringing a philosopher of international standing to Lincoln to give a talk on a topic of their choosing.

Study Abroad

Students within the School of History and Heritage have the opportunity to spend a term studying at one of the University’s partner institutions in North America or Europe. Students will be expected to cover their own transport, accommodation, and living costs. Places are allocated competitively, subject to academic criteria.

Career Opportunities

The range of fundamental skills involved in the study of Philosophy, such as critical thinking and the ability to analyse and communicate complex ideas clearly and logically, can equip graduates for a wide range of careers.

The strong research focus in our advanced Philosophy modules, and the fact that students can research and write an independent dissertation during the third year, aim to develop highly transferable research skills.

Virtual Open Days

While you may not be able to visit us in person at the moment, you can still find out more about the University of Lincoln and what it is like to live and study here at one of our live Virtual Open Days.

Book Your Place

Related Courses

The University intends to provide its courses as outlined in these pages, although the University may make changes in accordance with the Student Admissions Terms and Conditions.
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