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Module Specifications

Archived Version 2017 - 2018

Module Title
Module Code

Online Module Resources

NFQ level 8 Credit Rating 15
Pre-requisite None
Co-requisite None
Compatibles None
Incompatibles None

This introductory module in Philosophy seeks to initiate students into philosophical enquiry through a foundation in their own experience and reflection initially, whilst combining a strong but accessible reference to more recent approaches in philosophy with a clear and lively historical survey of the subject. Emphasising depth rather than breadth, this approach to philosophy seeks to familiarise students with the fundamental questions of philosophy through focus on the specific paradigm moments of thought, from the Presocratics through Plato and Aristotle, up to Descartes and modern thoughts and leading up to contemporary thought. With the latter, Existentialism most especially serves as a case study, with its reemphasis on individual experience and reflection, as well as its connection to literature, cinema and politics. The course also strongly foregrounds introductory approaches to philosophy which employ extra-philosophical resources from culture and the arts (particularly in the case of cinema), whilst also culminating in a strong emphasis on the relation between philosophy and education, both in terms of theory but also in terms of applied practice in curriculum and schooling. Students will begin to attain specific Philosophical skills through studying this module, such as formulating strong arguments and identifying mistakes in the arguments of others. The essential study skills that must be attained in order to succeed in studying Philosophy at third level and beyond are also a core focus in this foundation level module.

Learning Outcomes

1. Identify key innovations in the evolution of philosophy from the Pre-Socratic to the Modern period
2. Describe core ideas from major periods and texts in Western philosophy
3. Outline, and describe, different methods of philosophical inquiry, as advocated by central figures in the history of Western philosophy
4. Describe the role played by reason and experience in a range of philosophical inquiries
5. Identify, and describe, philosophical tools, such as logic and conceptual clarification, at work in philosophy
6. Relate ideas in the history of philosophy to contemporary philosophical concerns and debates
7. Develop their academic skills in the light of self-reflection

Workload Full-time hours per semester
Type Hours Description
Tutorial15No Description
Online activity60No Description
Independent Study300No Description
Total Workload: 375

All module information is indicative and subject to change. For further information,students are advised to refer to the University's Marks and Standards and Programme Specific Regulations at: http://www.dcu.ie/registry/examinations/index.shtml

Indicative Content and Learning Activities

Part 1: Introducing Philosophy Through Early Greek Thought

Part 2: Introducing Philosophy Through Modern Thought

Part 3: Introducing the Foundational Areas of Philosophy

Part 4: Introducing Philosophy through Contemporary Thought

Part 5: Philosophy Now

Assessment Breakdown
Continuous Assessment% Examination Weight%
Course Work Breakdown
TypeDescription% of totalAssessment Date
Reassessment Requirement
Resit arrangements are explained by the following categories;
1 = A resit is available for all components of the module
2 = No resit is available for 100% continuous assessment module
3 = No resit is available for the continuous assessment component
Indicative Reading List

  • Jonathan Barnes: 2002, Philosophy, Penguin,
  • Guthrie, W. K: 1972, The Greek Philosophers: from Thales to Aristotle, London: Methuen,
  • Mairet, P.: 1948, Existentialism and Humanism, London: Methuen,
Other Resources

Programme or List of Programmes