Modules

AY 2019-20 Undergraduate Modules

The undergraduate modules offered in AY 2019-2020 are listed below. Please access the individual LumiNUS course pages for more details, and plan your timetable using the following tools:



Semester 1

GEK1067/GET1029 Life, the Universe, and Everything

by LOY Hui Chieh


Modular Credits: 4; Workload: 2-1-0-0-7; Prerequisite(s): Nil; Preclusion(s): PH1102E; Cross-listing(s): GET1029

Description:

GEK1067/GET1029 offers an opportunity to grapple with some of the most enduring challenges to human thought. Our starting point is a conception of ourselves as free and conscious beings equipped with bodies that allow us to observe and explore a familiar external world. Successive lectures investigate alternative conceptions of the human condition, such as ones in which we are unfree, or non-spirituous, or inhabit a world whose fundamental nature is hidden from our view. Different conceptions bear differently on the further question of what we should value and why. Discussion is both argument-driven and historically informed.

*GEK1067/GET1029 replaces PH1102E as the essential introductory module for the PH major and minor from AY2016-17.

LumiNUS

GEK2041/GET1025 Science Fiction and Philosophy

by John HOLBO


Modular Credits: 4; Workload: 2-1-2-1-4; Prerequisite(s): Nil; Preclusion(s): PH2225; Cross-listing(s): GET1025

Description:

This module considers science fiction as a mode of philosophical inquiry. Science fiction stories are used to examine fundamental questions of metaphysics, epistemology and ethics. Topics include the nature of time, space, religion, nature, mind, and the future. Specific topics may include such issues as genetic enhancement, environmental ethics, and implications of encounters with non-human life forms.

Sub-area(s): Metaphysics, Epistemology, Mind, Language

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GEK2048/GET1026 Effective Reasoning

by LEE Wang Yen


Modular Credits: 4; Workload: 2-1-0-0-7; Prerequisite(s): Nil; Preclusion(s): PH2111; Cross-listing(s): GET1026

Description:

What is good reasoning? We will try to answer this question by studying the mechanics of reasoning. Students will learn what an argument is, what the difference between validity and soundness is, and what it means to say that an argument is valid in virtue of its form. They will also be introduced to various strategies and pitfalls in reasoning. In addition, to hone their analytical skills, students will be given arguments—drawn from philosophy and other areas—to unpack and evaluate. It is hoped that in the process of learning what counts as good reasoning, one will become a better reasoner.

Sub-area(s): Metaphysics, Epistemology, Mind, Language

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GEM2006/GET1028 Logic

by Ben BLUMSON


Modular Credits: 4; Workload: 2-1-0-0-7; Prerequisite(s): Nil; Preclusion(s): PH2110, CS3234 and MA4207; Cross-listing(s): GET1028

Description:

An introduction to classical logic. The first half of the course introduces propositional logic, using the techniques of truth-tables and linear proof by contradiction. The second half of the course extends the use of linear proof by contradiction to predicate logic. Emphasis is placed on applying the techniques to philosophical arguments.

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GES1041 Everyday Ethics in Singapore

by CHIN Chuan Fei


Modular Credits: 4; Workload: 2-1-0-2.5-4.5; Prerequisite(s): Nil; Preclusion(s): Nil; Cross-listing(s): Nil

Description:

This module examines the ethical dimensions of everyday life in Singapore. It focuses on moral dilemmas that arise in the nation’s pursuit of ‘happiness, prosperity, and progress’. We will explore how moral reasoning from multiple perspectives applies to local concerns such as equality, meritocracy, multiculturalism, immigration, and marriage. This will challenge us to identify moral problems created by social and technological changes, combine ethical principles with practical constraints, and balance the interests of individuals and communities. We will also consider how moral dialogue can be cultivated in Singapore’s multicultural society, so as to manage diverse traditions and divergent values.

LumiNUS

PH2206/GEK2028 Founders of Modern Philosophy

by Fatema AMIJEE


Modular Credits: 4; Workload: 2-1-0-0-7; Prerequisite(s): Nil; Preclusion(s): GEK2028; Cross-listing(s): GEK2028

Description:

This module looks at the beginnings of modern Western philosophy in the seventeenth century, when philosophers conceived of themselves as breaking away from authority and tradition. It will deal with central themes from the thought of Descartes, Locke, Berkeley, Leibniz and Spinoza; in particular, the attempt to provide foundations for knowledge and science. Sub-area(s): History of Philosophy, Metaphysics, Epistemology, Mind, Language

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PH2211 Philosophy of Religion

by Saranindra Nath TAGORE


Modular Credits: 4; Workload: 2-1-0-0-7; Prerequisite(s): Nil; Preclusion(s): Nil; Cross-listing(s): Nil

Description:

This module will introduce students to the main issues in contemporary philosophy of religion. Topics covered will be selected from the following (other topics may also be considered): arguments for the existence of God (cosmological, ontological, teleological), argument for atheism (problem of evil), religious pluralism, nature of mystical experiences, the nature of miracles, the nature of religious language. Sub-area(s): Metaphysics, Epistemology, Mind, Language

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PH2222/GEK2036 Greek Philosophy (Socrates and Plato)

by Abelard PODGORSKI


Modular Credits: 4; Workload: 2-1-0-3-4; Prerequisite(s): Nil; Preclusion(s): GEK2036 & PH3209; Cross-listing(s): GEK2036

Description:

Socrates and Plato stand at the source of the Western Philosophical tradition. Alfred Whitehead said that “the safest general characterisation of the European philosophical tradition is that it consists of a series of footnotes to Plato.” Through a close reading and analysis of several representative Platonic dialogues, this module introduces the student to the philosophy of Plato and Socrates (Plato’s teacher and main interlocutor in his dialogues), and prepares him/her for PH 3222 on Aristotle’s philosophy and the Honours seminar on Greek Thinkers. The module may include material on earlier Philosophy forming the background to Socrates and Plato. Sub-area(s): History of Philosophy

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PH2224/GEK2040 Philosophy and Film

by John HOLBO


Modular Credits: 4; Workload: 2-1-2-1-4; Prerequisite(s): Nil; Preclusion(s): PH2880A & GEK2040; Cross-listing(s): GEK2040

Description:

"Philosophy and Film" means, in part, philosophy of film, in part, philosophy in film. Philosophy of film is a sub-branch of aesthetics; many questions and puzzles about the nature and value of art have filmic analogues. (Plato's parable of the cave is, in effect, the world's first philosophy of film.) Philosophy in film concerns films that may be said to express abstract ideas, even arguments. (Certain films may even be thought-experiments, in effect.) Questions: are philosophical films good films? Are they good philosophy? The module is intended for majors but - film being a popular medium - will predictably appeal to non-majors as well. (This module is offered as special topics only)

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PH2241 Philosophy of Mind

by TANG Weng Hong


Modular Credits: 4; Workload: 2-1-0-0-7; Prerequisite(s): Nil; Preclusion(s): PH3212; Cross-listing(s): Nil

Description:

What is the nature of mind and its relation to physical body? The mental realm is among the last great unknowns in the modern view of sentient beings and their place in the Universe and is a fertile field of philosophical inquiry. This module examines central conceptual issues surrounding the idea of mind and its relation to physical body. These include the distinction between the mental and the physical, the nature of consciousness, personal identity, disembodied existence, mental representation, and the attempt to tame the mental in purely physical terms.

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PH2243 Epistemology

by Robert BEDDOR


Modular Credits: 4; Workload: 2-1-0-0-7; Prerequisite(s): Nil; Preclusion(s): PH3211; Cross-listing(s): Nil

Description:

Epistemology is the study of knowledge. Epistemologists want to know what knowledge is, how we acquire it, and how we should respond to arguments for philosophical scepticism, according to which there is very little that we know. We shall read the works of philosophers who have grappled with such perennial issues in philosophy, and explore and discuss various theories of knowledge. Along the way, we shall also discuss related issues having to do with justification, rationality, and the reliability of memory, testimony, intuition, sensory perception, and inductive reasoning.

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PE3101P Decision Theory and Social Choice

by Zachary BARNETT


Modular Credits: 4; Workload: 2-1-0-0-7; Prerequisite(s): GEM2006/GET1028; Preclusion(s): PH3249; Cross-listing(s): Nil

Description:

This course is an introduction to decision and social choice theory. The first half introduces the theory of expected utility, according to which rational actions maximise the probability of desirable consequences. The second half introduces utilitarianism, according to which the right action is one which maximises the satisfaction of desire for the population at large. Both theories are controversial for their highly quantitative nature, their demanding conception of rationality and rightness, their insensitivity to risk and inequality, their prioritization of ends over means, and their tenuous relationship to actual human behaviour and morality. These controversies are discussed.

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PH3203 Moral Philosophy

by Neil SINHABABU


Modular Credits: 4; Workload: 2-1-0-0-7; Prerequisite(s): Nil; Preclusion(s): Nil; Cross-listing(s): Nil

Description:

This module is concerned with an area in Moral Philosophy called ‘meta-ethics’. Meta-ethics is a discussion of the nature of ethics. It is a second-order, reflective activity about ethics, and not a first-order discussion of the rights and wrongs of particular issues within ethics. Beginning with non-naturalism, the module proceeds to discuss emotivism, prescriptivism, descriptivism or naturalism, culminating in current discussion of moral realism. Sub-area(s): Value Theory

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PH3206 Recent Philosophy

by CHIN Chuan Fei


Modular Credits: 4; Workload: 2-1-0-0-7; Prerequisite(s): Nil; Preclusion(s): Nil; Cross-listing(s): Nil

Description:

This module looks at the development of twentieth century analytic philosophy through the works of some of its major exponents. These include Frege, Russell, Wittgenstein, Moore, Austin and Quine. The fundamental assumption in analytic philosophy is the idea that all philosophical problems are really problems of language and may be solved either by reformulating them in a perfect language or by a better understanding of the language that we actually speak. One of the aims of this course is to show how certain problems in ethics, metaphysics and epistemology may be solved (or dissolved) through the careful analysis of language and meaning. Sub-area(s): Metaphysics, Epistemology, Mind, Language

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PH3213 Knowledge, Modernity and Global Change

by Joel CHOW


Modular Credits: 4; Workload: 2-1-0-0-7; Prerequisite(s): Nil; Preclusion(s): Nil; Cross-listing(s): Nil

Description:

This module focuses on the ways in which modern science and technology impact on the forms-of-life which cultures and societies have built up for their collective self-understanding and biological survival. Issues in epistemology and how changes in the concept of "reason" have contributed to the project of modernity will be explored. The role of technology in its simultaneous creation and destruction of social-material wealth will also be considered. This discussion will be tied to an examination of certain key issues in environmental ethics, social theory, and cultural studies.

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PH3245 Language and Thought

by Ethan JERZAK


Modular Credits: 4; Workload: 2-1-0-0-7; Prerequisite(s): PH2241/PH3212 or PH2242/PH3210.; Preclusion(s): ; Cross-listing(s): Nil

Description:

Topics at the intersection of philosophy of mind and language, such as whether thought depends on talk or vice versa, whether we think in words or images, whether those words are words of English or a sui generis mental language just for thinking, whether animals which can’t talk can think and whether the mind is like a computer. These questions are central to contemporary philosophy and language and are also an important case study in the relationship between the methods of analysis, experiment and introspection in philosophical psychology.

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PH4210/PH6760 Topics in Western Philosophy

by TANG Weng Hong


Modular Credits: 5; Workload: 0-3-0-0-9.5; Prerequisite(s): Cohort 2012-2014: Completed 80 MCs, including 28 MCs in PH, or 28MCs in PS, or 28 MCs in EU/LA(French/German)/recognised modules, with a minimum CAP of 3.20 or be on the Honours track. Cohort 2015 onwards: Completed 80 MCs, including 28 MCs in PH, or 28 MCs in PS, or 28 MCs in EU/LA(French/German/Spanish)/recognised modules, with a minimum CAP of 3.20 or be on the Honours track.; Preclusion(s): Nil; Cross-listing(s): Nil

Description:

This module deals with specific topics of current interest and controversy in Western philosophy. The topics to be discussed may be in, but are not limited to, philosophy of science, philosophy of language, philosophy of psychology, epistemology, metaphysics, ethics, or social and political philosophy.

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PH4241 Issues in Philosophy Logic

by Ben BLUMSON


Modular Credits: 5; Workload: 0-3-0-0-9.5; Prerequisite(s): Completed 80 MCs, including 28 MCs in PH, with a minimum CAP of 3.2 or be on the Honours track. PH2110/GEM2006; Cross-listing(s): Nil

Description:

This module will explore in depth some advanced topics in philosophical logic. Possible topics include extensions to classical logic, such as modal logics and higher order logics, non‐classical logics, such as intuitionistic, many‐valued and relevant logics, or philosophical questions about logic.

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PH4242/PH6540 Issues in Philosophy of Language

by Ethan JERZAK


Modular Credits: 5; Workload: 0-3-0-0-9.5; Prerequisite(s): Cohort 2012-2014: Completed 80 MCs, including 28 MCs in PH, with a minimum CAP of 3.20 or be on the Honours track. Cohort 2015 onwards: Completed 80 MCs, including 28 MCs in PH or 28 MCs in EL, with a minimum CAP of 3.20 or be on the Honours track.; Cross-listing(s): Nil

Description:

This module will explore in depth some advanced topics in philosophy of language. Possible topics are the nature of truth, Dummettian anti-realism, contextualism, relativism, or two-dimensionalism. We may also consider the application of philosophy of language to issues in other areas of philosophy, such as the debate between cognitivists and non-cognitivists in metaethics, or the question of whether metaphysical disputes are merely verbal.

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PH4262 Nietzsche

by Neil SINHABABU


Modular Credits: 5; Workload: 0-3-0-3-6.5; Prerequisite(s): Cohort 2012-2014: Completed 80 MCs, including 28 MCs in PH, or 28MCs in PS, or 28 MCs in EU/LA(French/German)/recognised modules, with a minimum CAP of 3.20 or be on the Honours track. Cohort 2015 onwards: Completed 80 MCs, including 28 MCs in PH, or 28MCs in PS, or 28 MCs in EU/LA(French/German/Spanish)/recognised modules, with a minimum CAP of 3.20 or be on the Honours track.; Preclusion(s): Nil; Cross-listing(s): Nil

Description:

This module will focus on the philosophy of the 19th Century German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche. It will proceed chronologically through Nietzsche's most significant writings, such as The Gay Science; Thus Spoke Zarathustra; Beyond Good and Evil; On the Genealogy of Morality. Most of the attention will be on primary sources. All materials will be in English.

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PH4401 Honours Thesis


Modular Credits: 15; Workload: 0-1-0-0-36.5; Prerequisite(s): Cohort 2015 and before: Completed 110MCs including 60MCs of PH major requirements with a minimum CAP of 3.5. Cohort 2016 onwards: Completed 110MCs including 44MCs of PH major requirements with a minimum CAP of 3.5.; Preclusion(s): PH4660; Cross-listing(s): Nil

Description:

A dissertation on an approved research topic not exceeding twelve thousand words. Please register PH4401 manually with the Department. Please refer to http://www.fas.nus.edu.sg/philo/academic_requirements.html for more information on the PH major requirement. Sub-area(s): NA

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PH4550 Internship: Philosophy for Teaching


Modular Credits: 5; Workload: 3-3-2-1-3.5; Prerequisite(s): Completed 80MC, including 28 MCs in PH, with a minimum CAP of 3.2 or be on the Honours track. Preclusion(s): Nil.; Cross-listing(s): Nil

Description:

Students will intern in an educational organisation approved by the Department. (e.g. Logic Mills, which specialises in courses on analytical thinking skills to schools and other educational organisations). During the internship, they will learn to use their philosophical skills to teach, and through practice, reflect on the usefulness of Philosophy in education practice and intellectual development. Sub-area(s): NA

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PH4660 Independent Study


Modular Credits: 5; Workload: 0-0-0-0-12.5; Prerequisite(s): Cohort 2015 and before: To be offered subject to the agreement of the Supervisor and Department. Completed 100 MCs, including 60 MCs in PH, with a minimum CAP of 3.2. Cohort 2016 onwards: To be offered subject to the agreement of the Supervisor and Department. Completed 100 MCs, including 44 MCs inPH, with a minimum CAP of 3.2.; Preclusion(s): PH4401; Cross-listing(s): Nil

Description:

The Independent Study Module is designed to enable the student to explore an approved topic within the discipline in depth. The student should approach a lecturer to work out an agreed topic, readings, and assignments for the module. A formal, written agreement is to be drawn up, giving a clear account of the topic, programme of study, assignments, evaluation, and other pertinent details. Head’s and/or Honours Coordinator’s approval of the written agreement is required. Regular meetings and reports are expected. Evaluation is based on 100% Continuous Assessment and must be worked out between the student and the lecturer prior to seeking departmental approval. Please register PH4660 manually with the Department. Sub-area(s): NA

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Semester 2

GEK1067/GET1029 Life, the Universe, and Everything

by Michael PELCZAR


Modular Credits: 4; Workload: 2-1-0-0-7; Prerequisite(s): Nil; Preclusion(s): PH1102E; Cross-listing(s): GET1029

Description:

GEK1067/GET1029 offers an opportunity to grapple with some of the most enduring challenges to human thought. Our starting point is a conception of ourselves as free and conscious beings equipped with bodies that allow us to observe and explore a familiar external world. Successive lectures investigate alternative conceptions of the human condition, such as ones in which we are unfree, or non-spirituous, or inhabit a world whose fundamental nature is hidden from our view. Different conceptions bear differently on the further question of what we should value and why. Discussion is both argument-driven and historically informed.

*GEK20167/GET2019 replaces PH1102E as the essential introductory module for the PH major and minor from AY2016-17.

LumiNUS

GEM1004/GET1027 Reason and Persuasion

by John HOLBO


Modular Credits: 4; Workload: 3-1-0-2-4; Prerequisite(s): Nil; Preclusion(s): GEM1004, PH1101E, [Students majoring in Philosophy can still take the module, as our exposure module is now numbered GET2018.]; Cross-listing(s): Nil

Description:

For the first six weeks, students read three dialogues by the ancient Greek philosopher, Plato: Euthyphro, Meno, and Republic, Book I. These readings touch on a wide range of topics: mind and morals; politics and psychology; metaphysics and science. For the second six weeks, students will meet with the same problems, ideas and arguments, but as they manifest in the writings of various contemporary figures – philosophers and non-philosophers: psychologists, political scientists, public policy experts.

‘Reason and Persuasion’ is a generic title. But it indicates a specific concern. Reason without persuasion is useless; persuasion without reason is dangerous. Plato worried about this; so will we.

LumiNUS

GEM2006/GET1028 Logic

by LEE Wang Yen


Modular Credits: 4; Workload: 2-1-0-0-7; Prerequisite(s): Nil; Preclusion(s): PH2110, CS3234 and MA4207; Cross-listing(s): GET1028

Description:

An introduction to classical logic. The first half of the course introduces propositional logic, using the techniques of truth-tables and linear proof by contradiction. The second half of the course extends the use of linear proof by contradiction to predicate logic. Emphasis is placed on applying the techniques to philosophical arguments.

LumiNUS

GES1041 Everyday Ethics in Singapore

by CHIN Chuan Fei


Modular Credits: 4; Workload: 2-1-0-2.5-4.5; Prerequisite(s): Nil; Preclusion(s): Nil; Cross-listing(s): Nil

Description:

This module examines the ethical dimensions of everyday life in Singapore. It focuses on moral dilemmas that arise in the nation’s pursuit of ‘happiness, prosperity, and progress’. We will explore how moral reasoning from multiple perspectives applies to local concerns such as equality, meritocracy, multiculturalism, immigration, and marriage. This will challenge us to identify moral problems created by social and technological changes, combine ethical principles with practical constraints, and balance the interests of individuals and communities. We will also consider how moral dialogue can be cultivated in Singapore’s multicultural society, so as to manage diverse traditions and divergent values.

LumiNUS

PE2101P Introduction to Philosophy, Politics, and Economics

by Abelard PODGORSKI


Modular Credits: 4; Workload: 2-1-0-0-7; Prerequisite(s): Nil; Preclusion(s): Nil; Cross-listing(s): Nil

Description:

This module will introduce students to PPE as a multidisciplinary endeavour, by showing them how social and political philosophy can be done in a way that is strongly informed by the findings of social science. The course will be organized around discussing a few specific issues – such as inequality, nudging, climate change, and the formation of the state. Analysing these issues will introduce students to the methods and results of philosophy, political science, and economics, and show how they could be integrated to better understand and tackle social and political phenomena.

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PH2112 Non-Classical Logic

by Ben BLUMSON


Modular Credits: 4; Workload: 2-1-0-0-7; Prerequisite(s): GET1028; Preclusion(s): Nil; Cross-listing(s): Nil

Description:

Non-classical logic builds on classical logic in two ways. First, classical logic can be extended with modal operators, to reason about necessity and possibility, obligation and permission, and past and future. Classical logic can also be weakened, to accommodate vagueness, paradox, failures of relevance and circular reasoning. In this course, non-classical logic is explored in both these directions.

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PH2113 Computation and Philosophy

by Zachary BARNETT


Modular Credits: 4; Workload: 2-1-0-5-2; Prerequisite(s): Nil; Preclusion(s): Nil; Cross-listing(s): Nil

Description:

This module introduces students to the basic principles of computation, particularly as they pertain to philosophy and related fields. Along the way, students will develop fluency with Python, a popular and easyto-learn programming language. Although the course will contain philosophical themes, it may serve as a general introduction to computation for students in all disciplines.

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PH2201/GEM2025 Introduction to Philosophy of Science

by LEE Wang Yen


Modular Credits: 4; Workload: 2-1-0-0-7; Prerequisite(s): Nil; Preclusion(s): GEM2025; Cross-listing(s): GEM2025

Description:

This module provides a broad overview of the major philosophical issues related to natural science to students of both science and humanities without a background in philosophy. It introduces the views on the distinctive features of science and scientific progress espoused by influential contemporary philosophers of science such as Popper and Kuhn. There is also a topical treatment of core issues in philosophy of science, including causation, confirmation, explanation, scientific inference, scientific realism, and laws of nature.

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PH2207 Hume and Kant

by Fatema AMIJEE


Modular Credits: 4; Workload: 2-1-0-0-7; Prerequisite(s): Nil; Preclusion(s): Nil; Cross-listing(s): Nil

Description:

Two major philosophers are studied in this module: David Hume, in the first half, and Immanuel Kant, in the second. We will try to determine what each philosopher’s fundamental approach to philosophy consists in, and how it gives rise to his views on the nature of causation, the external world, the self, and the limits of knowledge. As Kant’s first Critique was a response to Hume’s philosophical scepticism, we will pay close attention to his diagnoses of Hume’s difficulties and his proposed solutions. Sub-area(s): History of Philosophy, Metaphysics, Epistemology, Mind, Language

LumiNUS

PH2208/GEK2029 Applied Ethics

by Abelard PODGORSKI


Modular Credits: 4; Workload: 2-1-0-0-7; Prerequisite(s): Nil; Preclusion(s): GEK2029; Cross-listing(s): GEK2029

Description:

This module considers some of the significant normative ethical theories in the history of moral philosophy and examines how their principles may be applied to ethical issues of practical concern. There is a wide range of topics that are typically understood to come under the category of applied ethics. These include ethical issues pertaining to the family, food, race relations, poverty, punishment, conduct in war, professional conduct in general, and so on. The specific topics to be dealt with may vary from semester to semester, and the selection will be announced at the start of the semester in which the module is offered. Sub-area(s): Value Theory

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PH2242 Philosophy of Language

by Ethan JERZAK


Modular Credits: 4; Workload: 2-1-0-0-7; Prerequisite(s): Nil; Preclusion(s): Nil; Cross-listing(s): Nil

Description:

Topics in the philosophy of language, especially concerning truth, meaning and reference. In particular, we will consider questions such as but not limited to whether language is mediated by convention or intention, whether understanding a language is tacitly knowing a theory of that language, whether the meaning of a name is simply its referent, whether mathetmatical and moral statements are true in virtue of meaning and whether sentences such as “breaking promises is wrong” are statements of moral fact or simply expressions of emotion.

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PH3201 Philosophy of Social Science

by CHIN Chuan Fei


Modular Credits: 4; Workload: 2-1-0-0-7; Prerequisite(s): Nil; Preclusion(s): Nil; Cross-listing(s): Nil

Description:

The founding of social science as a special discipline for the study of social phenomena in the late nineteenth century and its development through the twentieth century will be examined in this module. The critique of the physical science model, which was originally used to ground the theory of social science research, will be considered. This course guides students through the various philosophical debates, which shaped the development of modern social science. Attention will also be given to how social science research bears, directly or indirectly, on social practices. Sub-area(s): Logic, Science

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PH3207/EU3227 Continental European Philosophy

by Saranindra Nath TAGORE


Modular Credits: 4; Workload: 2-1-0-1-6; Prerequisite(s): Nil; Preclusion(s): EU3227; Cross-listing(s): Nil

Description:

Using Existentialism as a springboard, the module discusses recent movements in Continental Philosophy. Objectives: (1) Introduce major movements in Continental Philosophy, (2) Promote understanding of the characteristics of Continental Philosophy, (3) Encourage further study in Continental Philosophy. Topics include existentialism, structuralism and post-structuralism. Target students include all those wanting to major in philosophy and those wanting to have some knowledge of European philosophy.

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PH3230 Normative Ethical Theory

by Zachary BARNETT


Modular Credits: 4; Workload: 2-1-0-0-7; Prerequisite(s): Nil; Preclusion(s): Nil; Cross-listing(s): Nil

Description:

This module is a study of the main contending contemporary views about goodness and virtue, principles of moral evaluation, and moral decision-making. These include deontological, consequentialist, and contemporary virtue-based and contractarian theories. Emphasis will be placed on securing a thorough understanding the arguments used to derive fundamental moral principles and to justify claims about our moral obligations. Such study aims to reveal the kinds of issues that are involved in analyzing what constitutes rational considerations for moral action, and the strengths and weaknesses of the rival theories. Sub-area(s): Value Theory

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PH3243 Chance and Uncertainty

by TANG Weng Hong


Modular Credits: 4; Workload: 2-1-0-0-7; Prerequisite(s): PH2110/GEM2006 or PH2201/GEM2025 or PH2243 or PH3211; Preclusion(s): Nil; Cross-listing(s): Nil

Description:

We often appeal to probabilistic notions in everyday life. We say things such as ‘It’ll probably rain later’, ‘It’s unlikely that an asteroid will collide with Earth any time soon’, and ‘There’s a chance that the restaurant will be open’. But what exactly is probability? We shall investigate various answers to this question by looking at various theories of probability, including the subjective theory, the epistemic theory, the frequency theory, and the propensity theory. Along the way, we’ll see how issues in the philosophy of probability bear on issues in the philosophy of science, metaphysics, and epistemology.

LumiNUS

PH3261 Kant's Critique of Pure Reason

by QU Hsueh Ming


Modular Credits: 4; Workload: 2-1-0-0-7; Prerequisite(s) Must have completed a minimum of 4 MC in PH.; Preclusion(s): Nil; Cross-listing(s): Nil

Description:

Kant is widely regarded as one of the greatest philosophers, if not the greatest, and his Critique of Pure Reason is widely considered his greatest work. This course will delve into this work, entering into the intricate framework of Kant’s Transcendental Idealism. Major topics include Space and Time, the Categories, the Analogies (focusing on causation) and the Antinomies (focusing on the issue of freedom). Although the course focuses primarily on Kant’s metaphysics and epistemology, this grounding is expected to improve one’s understanding of the basis of Kant’s ethics, particularly when dealing with the Transcendental Dialectic.

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PH4202/PH5420 Political Philosophy

by Neil SINHABABU


Modular Credits: 5; Workload: 0-3-0-0-9.5; Prerequisite(s): Completed 80 MCs, including 28 MCs in PH or 28 MCs in PS, with a minimum CAP of 3.2 or be on the Honours track.; Preclusion(s): Nil; Cross-listing(s): Nil

Description:

This module will discuss some of the central issues in political philosophy such as the basis and limits of toleration and individual liberty, the importance of a shared morality, and the role of the state in meeting the claims of different conceptions of what a worthwhile life should be. In plural societies, with a diversity of different values, what would be a fair basis for social co-operation? Sub-area(s): Value Theory

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PH4240/PH6240 Issues in Metaphysics

by Fatema AMIJEE


Modular Credits: 5; Workload: 0-3-0-0-9.5; Prerequisite(s): Completed 80 MCs, including 28 MCs in PH, with a minimum CAP of 3.2 or be on the Honours track.; Preclusion(s): ; Cross-listing(s): Nil

Description:

This module will explore in depth some advanced topics in metaphysics. Some possible topics include whether similar things have universals in common, whether time flows, whether past and future exist, whether a whole is something over and above the sum of its parts, whether chance is objective, whether there are other possible worlds, and whether numbers, gods, or chairs and tables exist.

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PH4243/PH6243 Issues in Aesthetics

by John HOLBO


Modular Credits: 5; Workload: 0-3-0-0-9.5; Prerequisite(s): Completed 80 MCs, including 28 MCs in PH, with a minimum CAP of 3.2 or be on the Honours track.; Preclusion(s): Nil; Cross-listing(s): Nil

Description:

This module will explore in depth an advanced topic in aesthetics. Possible topics are the ontology of art, the nature of the imagination, the definition of art, subjectivism about beauty, relativism about taste, or the appreciation of nature. Alternatively, we may consider the aesthetics of a particular artform, such as music, film, fiction, painting or dance, or of a particular philosopher, such as Immanuel Kant or Nelson Goodman. Finally, we may consider issues that arise at the intersection of aesthetics and other areas in philosophy, such as the debate over fictionalism in metaphysics.

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PH4401 Honours Thesis


Modular Credits: 15; Workload: 0-1-0-0-36.5; Prerequisite(s): Cohort 2015 and before: Completed 110 MCs including 60 MCs of PH major requirements with a minimum CAP of 3.5. Cohort 2016 onwards: Completed 110 MCs including 44 MCs of PH major requirements with a minimum CAP of 3.5.; Preclusion(s): PH4660; Cross-listing(s): Nil

Description:

A dissertation on an approved research topic not exceeding twelve thousand words. Please register PH4401 manually with the Department. Please refer to http://www.fas.nus.edu.sg/philo/academic_requirements.html for more information on the PH major requirement. Sub-area(s): NA

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PH4550 Internship: Philosophy for Teaching


Modular Credits: 5; Workload: 3-3-2-1-3.5; Prerequisite(s): Completed 80 MCs, including 28 MCs in PH, with a minimum CAP of 3.2 or be on the Honours track. Preclusion(s): Nil.; Cross-listing(s): Nil

Description:

Students will intern in an educational organisation approved by the Department. (e.g. Logic Mills, which specialises in courses on analytical thinking skills to schools and other educational organisations). During the internship, they will learn to use their philosophical skills to teach, and through practice, reflect on the usefulness of Philosophy in education practice and intellectual development. Sub-area(s): NA

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PH4660 Independent Study


Modular Credits: 5; Workload: 0-0-0-0-12.5; Prerequisite(s): Cohort 2015 and before: To be offered subject to the agreement of the Supervisor and Department. Completed 100 MCs, including 60 MCs in PH, with a minimum CAP of 3.2. Cohort 2016 onwards: To be offered subject to the agreement of the Supervisor and Department. Completed 100 MCs, including 44 MCs inPH, with a minimum CAP of 3.2.; Preclusion(s): PH4401; Cross-listing(s): Nil

Description:

The Independent Study Module is designed to enable the student to explore an approved topic within the discipline in depth. The student should approach a lecturer to work out an agreed topic, readings, and assignments for the module. A formal, written agreement is to be drawn up, giving a clear account of the topic, programme of study, assignments, evaluation, and other pertinent details. Head’s and/or Honours Coordinator’s approval of the written agreement is required. Regular meetings and reports are expected. Evaluation is based on 100% Continuous Assessment and must be worked out between the student and the lecturer prior to seeking departmental approval. Please register PH4660 manually with the Department. Sub-area(s): NA

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