Michaelmas Schedule

Lent Term

Wk Date Topic Reading Due Discussion Questions
0 Friday
5 Jan
No Lecture or Classes   First Summative Essay: Due Fri, 5 Jan by 3pm.
1 9 Jan What are space and time?
Part 1: What is space?
Lecture 11
Primary Reading: The Leibniz-Clarke Correspondence, 1715-1716, Letters 1-3
2 16 Jan What are space and time?
Part 2: What is time?
Lecture 12
Primary Reading: McTaggart (1908) 'The Unreality of Time'
3 23 Jan What are numbers?
Part 1: What is an Integer?
Lecture 13
Primary Reading: Bertrand Russell (1919), Excerpt from Introduction to Mathematical Philosophy, Sections I-II (pgs.160-173) only
4 30 Jan What are numbers?
Part 2: Is Infinity a Number?
Lecture 14
Primary Reading: Thomson (1954) "Tasks and Super-Tasks"
5 6 Feb What's the right thing to do?
Part 1: In theory
Lecture 15 / Handout / Smiling Philosophers
Primary Reading: Choose one:
  1. Immanuel Kant (1785) Groundwork for the Metaphysics of Morals, Section1 (pgs.7-18) AND one intro to Kant: Piers Benn (1998, Ch.4) OR Christopher Bennett (2010, Ch.5) OR Christine Korsgaard (Introduction to Kant's Groundwork)
  2. John Stuart Mill (1863) Utilitarianism Chapters 2 and 4, AND one intro to Mill: Benett (2010, Ch.4 on 'Utilitarianism') OR Benn (1998, Ch.3 on 'Consequentialism')
2nd Formative Essay: Due Mon, 12 Feb by 3pm
6 13 Feb What's the right thing to do?
Part 2: In practice
Lecture 16
Primary Reading: Peter Singer (1972) 'Famine, Affluence and Morality' and Onora O'Neill (1980) 'Kantian Approaches to Some Famine Problems'
7 20 Feb What's the best form of government?
Part 1: For and Against Democracy
Lecture 17 / Handout
Primary Reading: John Stuart Mill (1861) Considerations on Representative Government, Chapter 3
Further Reading:
8 27 Feb What's the best form of govenrment?
Part 2: Are there any alternatives?
Lecture 18 / Handout
Primary Reading: Alexander Guerrero (2014) 'The Lottocracy' AND Jason Brennan (2016) 'Against Democracy'
9 6 Mar What is the meaning of life?
Part 1: Meaning, Happiness, Morality
Primary Reading: Susan Wolf (2010) Meaning in Life and Why It Matters, Chapter/Lecture 1, 'Meaning in Life'
10 13 Mar What is the meaning of life?
Part 2: The absurd
Primary Reading: Thomas Nagel (1971) 'The Absurd'
Further Reading: [N.B. These readings contain some discussion of the topic of suicide]
3rd Formative Essay: Due Thu, 15 Mar by 3pm
11 20 Mar Reading Week
(No Lecture)
ST Friday
20 Apr
No Lecture or Classes   Second Summative Essay: Due Fri, 20 Apr by 3pm.
Michaelmas Schedule