Modules

AY 2017-18 Undergraduate Modules

The undergraduate modules offered in AY 2017-2018 are listed below. Please access the individual IVLE 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.

IVLE

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

IVLE

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

IVLE

PH2201/GEM2025 Introduction to Philosophy of Science

by Axel GELFERT


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

Description:

An introduction to a spectrum of philosophical issues concerning modern science. These range from explaining the development of science, including a comparison with traditional approaches, to understanding nature in both the West and the East, to problems of the rationality of science. This will also involve a historical study of the development of philosophy of science in the Western tradition, from Bacon and Hume, through Mill, to Popper, Kuhn and Feyerabend. Sub-area(s): Logic, Science

IVLE

PH2203 Major Moral Philosophers

by Abelard PODGORSKI


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

Description:

Description: This module will introduce students to some of the major moral philosophers in the Western tradition by examining their different approaches to the question of what we should do or how we should be, including deontological, consequentialist and virtue-based approaches. We will critically analyze these philosophers’ approaches using historical and contemporary sources. Sub-area(s): Value Theory

IVLE

PH2206/GEK2028 Founders of Modern Philosophy

by Cecilia LIM


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

IVLE

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

IVLE

PH2213 Metaphysics

by Ben BLUMSON


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

Description:

Broadly speaking, Metaphysics is the study of fundamental conceptual categories, including that of space and time, appearance and reality, mind and body, substance and existence, objects and their properties, and God. These concepts pertain to the structure of “ultimate reality” and generate perplexing philosophical issues, a sample of which will be discussed in this course. Some topics: the problem of universals, paradoxes of the infinite, the concept of God, paradoxes of time travel, problems of cause and effect, free will, fatalism and determinism, the mind-body problem, realism and idealism, existence, identity, and individuation, essentialism, the relation between logic and metaphysics. Sub-area(s): Metaphysics, Epistemology, Mind, Language

IVLE

PH2301/GEK2038 Classical Chinese Philosophy (I)

by LOY Hui-chieh


Modular Credits: 4; Workload: 2-1-0-3-4; Prerequisite(s): Nil; Preclusion(s): GEK2038, PH2205; Cross-listing(s): GEK2038

Description:

This is the first half of a two-part course which offers an introduction to philosophical debate in the Warring States period of ancient China, the Classical Age of Chinese Philosophy and the seedbed from which grew all of the native currents of thought that survived from traditional China. It will begin by considering the intellectual-historical background to the ancient philosophies and focus primarily on the Confucius (the Analects), Mozi, Yang Zhu, Mencius and Laozi, closing with a brief introduction to some of the later developments that will be covered more fully in Part II. The approach of the course will be both historical and critical, and we will attempt to both situate Classical Chinese philosophical discourse in its intellectual-historical context and to bring out its continuing relevance. Sub-area(s): History of Philosophy, Asian, Comparative

IVLE

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

IVLE

PH3241 Consciousness

by CHIN Chuan Fei


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

Description:

One of the main problems of consciousness concerns whether consciousness can be explained solely in terms of brain activity and the like. Some philosophers think so. After all, science has successfully explained various cognitive functions in such terms, and it’s natural to think that its success will eventually extend to consciousness. Other philosophers disagree, find it hard to fathom how consciousness can arise from the purely physical. To help us decide which answer is correct, we shall examine various important positions on the nature of consciousness including physicalism, dualism, eliminativism, and idealism.

IVLE

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): ; 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 restuarant 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.

IVLE

PH3244 Appearance and Reality

by Michael PELCZAR


Modular Credits: 4; Workload: 2-1-0-0-7; Prerequisite(s): PH2113 or PH2241 or PH2242; Preclusion(s): ; Cross-listing(s): Nil

Description:

Plato holds that the world of sensible objects is a mere shadow of an ideal realm that transcends experience. Locke maintains that sensible objects have intrinsic natures that are exhausted by a small number of basic spatial and temporal properties. Kant argues that we can never know the natures of things in themselves, beyond the fact that they give us certain sense-impressions. Mill construes a physical object as a bare propensity for sensations to occur in certain patterns. In this module, students engage with the major metaphysical systems of Western philosophy, examining how each coordinates subjective experience with objective reality.

IVLE

PH3245 Language and Thought

by Robert BEDDOR


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

Description:

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.

IVLE

PH3247 Philosophical Logic

by Ben BLUMSON


Modular Credits: 4; Workload: 2-1-0-0-7; Prerequisite(s): PH2110/GEM2006; Preclusion(s): PH2214; Cross-listing(s): Nil

Description:

In classical logic, every sentence is either true or false, every argument with contradictory permises or a tautologous conclusion is valid, and every conditional with a false antecedent or true consequent is true. In this course, we explore non-classical logics which weaken these assumptions, including but not limited to various many-valued, modal and relevant logics, along with the philosophical questions they raise and answer.

IVLE

PH4207 Phenomenology

by Saranindra Nath TAGORE


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

Description:

This course will deal with the thought of the four major classical phenomenologists: Edmund Husserl, Martin Heidegger, Maurice Merleau-Ponty and Jean Paul Sartre. Readings will be selected from Husserl’s Ideas and Cartesian Meditations, Heidegger’s Being and Time, Merleau-Ponty’s Phenomenology of Perception and Sartre’s Being and Nothingness. Sub-area(s): Metaphysics, Epistemology, Mind, Language

IVLE

PH4211 Issues in Epistemology

by Robert BEDDOR


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

Description:

This module will explore an advanced topic in epistemology in depth. Some possible topics are the problem of scepticism, including realist and anti-realist responses to it, the nature of certainty and the relationship of knowledge to chance and credence, the internalism versus externalism debate about the nature of knowledge and justification, and the definability of knowledge in terms of truth, belief, justification and their cognates. The module may also explore a problem from formal epistemology, such as the lottery paradox, the problem of logical omniscience, or probabilistic approaches to the problem of induction. Sub-area(s): Metaphysics, Epistemology, Mind, Language

IVLE

PH4212/PH6760 Issues in Philosophy of Mind

by Frank JACKSON


Modular Credits: 5; Workload: 0-3-0-0-9.5; 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:

This module will explore in depth an advanced topic in the philosophy of mind. Possible topics are the unity of consciousness, the relationship between consciousness and time and the relationship between phenomenology and intentionality. The course may also focus on alternative conceptions of the mind to physicalism, such as dualism, panpsychism, or phenomenalism, issues from the philosophy of perception, such as the problems of illusion, hallucination, and the inverted spectra, or issues from philosophical psychology and cognitive science, such as the modularity of mind, the nature of tacit knowledge, or the relationship between neural states and mental states. Sub-area(s): Metaphysics, Epistemology, Mind, Language

IVLE

PH4215 Freedom and Moral Responsibility

by Abelard PODGORSKI


Modular Credits: 5; Workload: 0-3-0-3-6.5; Prerequisite(s): Completed 80MC, including 28 MCs in PH, with a minimum CAP of 3.2 or be on the Honours track.; Preclusion(s): PH4210; Cross-listing(s): Nil

Description:

The self image of human beings as morally responsible agents to which praise and blame may be legitimately ascribed and entities to which autonomy and dignity might be attributed appear conditioned upon our having a robust freedom to will and to do. But do we really have such a freedom? And just what is presupposed in the area of free will by our practice of assigning moral responsibility to each other in the first place? Through discussing a series of seminal writings on the topic, the student is introduced to the philosophical controversies in the area of freedom and moral responsibility. Sub-area(s): Metaphysics, Epistemology, Mind, Language, Value Theory

IVLE

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

IVLE

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. (students will apply to Department to read this module and qualified applicants will be selected through an interview).; Preclusion(s): Any other internship module.; 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

IVLE

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

IVLE

PH5430/PH5430R Ethics

by Neil SINHABABU


Modular Credits: 4; Workload: 0-3-0-0-7; Prerequisite(s): Offered to Graduate students only and admission of others by permission of instructor; Preclusion(s): Nil; Cross-listing(s): Nil

Description:

The module will focus on the sustained study of ethical theory involving one or more of the following four theoretical approaches to ethics: Utilitarianism, Deontology, Virtue Theory and Contractarianism. If necessary, the module may additionally study applications of the theory/ theories to a variety of applied issues. Sub-area(s): Value Theory

IVLE

Semester 2

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.

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

IVLE

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.

IVLE

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.

IVLE

PH2207 Hume and Kant

by QU Hsueh Ming


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

IVLE

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

IVLE

PH2212/GEK2030/EU2214 Introduction to Continental Philosophy

by Saranindra Nath TAGORE


Modular Credits: 4; Workload: 2-1-0-2-5; Prerequisite(s): Nil; Preclusion(s): EU2214 & GEK2030; Cross-listing(s): EU2214 & GEK2030

Description: An introduction to some of the main figures and movements of Continental European Philosophy. The purpose is to provide a broad synoptic view of the Continental tradition with special attention paid to historical development. Sub-area(s): History of Philosophy

IVLE

PH2223/GEK2037 Introduction to Philosophy of Technology

by Axel GELFERT


Modular Credits: 4; Workload: 2-1-0-0-7; Prerequisite(s): Nil; Preclusion(s): GEK2037; Cross-listing(s): GEK2037

Description:

This module looks at the philosophical problems arising from technology and its relation to nature and human values. In doing so, it draws on a number of philosophical approaches and traditions. Among the topics to be discussed are the relation between science and technology, the way technology has shaped our perception of nature and human experience, and the ethical challenges posed by technological progress. Potential topics to be discussed will include the concept of risk, issues in environmental ethics, and social-epistemological problems arising from communication technology. Sub-area(s): Logic, Science

IVLE

PH2241 Philosophy of Mind

by Ben BLUMSON


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

IVLE

PH2242 Philosophy of Language

by Robert BEDDOR


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.

IVLE

PH2243 Epistemology

by TANG Weng Hong


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.

IVLE

PH3204/SN3272 Issues in Indian Philosophy

by Saranindra Nath TAGORE


Modular Credits: 4; Workload: 2-1-0-2-5; Prerequisite(s): Nil; Preclusion(s): SN3272; Cross-listing(s): SN3272

Description:

This course is designed to survey developments in Indian Philosophy in post-independence India. Figures may include, among others, Radhakrishnan, K. C. Bhattacharya, Kalidas Bhattacharya, J. N. Mohanty, Bimal Krishna Matilal, J. L. Mehta and Daya Krishna. Two broad topics will be considered: first, the contemporary re-evaluation of the classical Indian tradition; and secondly, the efforts at situating the Indian tradition within the global philosophical discourse. Sub-area(s): Asian, Comparative

IVLE

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

IVLE

PH3216 Comparative Environmental Ethics

by Cecilia LIM


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

Description:

This module examines how various traditions, both East and West, perceive the relationship between humans and the natural world. It will compare how, e.g., Christianity, the secular West, Hinduism, Taoism and Confucianism conceive of this relation. Commonalities and differences in the respective approaches will be discussed and highlighted. Sub-area(s): Value Theory, Asian, Comparative

IVLE

PH3217 Women in Philosophy

by TAN Sor Hoon


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

Description:

This module deals with philosophy by women (e.g. Christine de Pisan, Hildegaard von Bingen, Mary Wollstonecraft, Ban Zhao, Iris Murdoch, Martha Nussbaum) and philosophy about women, to counter the perceived neglect of these in many philosophical discourses. Students are encouraged to reflect critically about their own experiences as men and women who live in a gendered world, to think through the implications of gender: how women’s experience may challenge some fundamental assumptions regarding human nature, femininity and masculinity, sexuality and the body, public and private life, subjectivity and representation. We will explore how these challenges to philosophy may be met. Sub-area(s): History of Philosophy

IVLE

PH3230 Normative Ethical Theory

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 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

IVLE

PH3246 Paradoxes

by TANG Weng Hong


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

Description:

This module is a survey of classic paradoxes, ancient and modern. No mere brain-teasers, these riddles have exercised some of history’s best minds, often with startling results. How is motion possible? What is a gamble at given odds worth? is time travel possible? Why do nations honor their treaty obligations? What are numbers? The contemplation of paradoxes drives the search for answers to these questions and more, and by grappling with the paradoxes, students gain familarity with key techniques and concepts of decision theory and logical analysis which are useful both in philosophy and other fields of inquiry.

IVLE

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.

IVLE

PH3301 Classical Chinese Philosophy (II)

by LOY Hui-chieh


Modular Credits: 4; Workload: 2-1-0-3-4; Prerequisite(s): PH2302; Preclusion(s): Nil; Cross-listing(s): Nil

Description:

This second half of a two-part course on Chinese Philosophical Traditions focuses on Early Modern Chinese Philosophy. This module focuses on the changes in the Confucian tradition between the late Tang through the Qing. We cover the main figures in Neo-Confucianism, and examine in detail the philosophies of Zhu Xi (1130-1200) and Wang Yangming (1472-1529). We close with a discussion of the philological turn in the Qing dynasty. We treat these thinkers and their ideas in their proper historical contexts and evaluate their philosophies critically. We also address and assess the relevance of these ideas to contemporary philosophical debates. Sub-area(s): History of Philosophy, Asian, Comparative

IVLE

PH4203 Issues in Moral Philosophy

by Abelard PODGORSKI


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

Description:

This module examines different issues in meta-ethics or normative ethics. It asks questions such as: Can ought be derived from is? Are there natural laws? Is morality about an agent’s character or actions? Are actions morally justified by consequences or compliance with moral laws or principles? It may also examine and assess different schools of moral philosophy, such as utilitarianism, Kantian ethics or virtue ethics, or a current debate among moral philosophers, for example, the nature and role of intuition, or emotions, in acting morally. Sub-area(s): Value Theory

IVLE

PH4205 / PH6320 Topics in East Asian Philosophy

by TAN Sor Hoon


Modular Credits: 5; Workload: 0-3-0-0-9.5; Prerequisite(s): Completed 80MC, including 28 MCs in PH or 28 MCs in GL/GL recognized non-language modules, with a minimum CAP of 3.2 or be on the Honours track. PH2301 or PH2302.; Preclusion(s): Nil; Cross-listing(s): Nil

Description:

Specific areas of the rich philosophical traditions of China, Japan and Korea will be explored in this module. The precise topics vary from year to year, and may include specific aspects of Confucianism, Daoism, Legalism, Buddhism and Shinto. Attention may also be directed to certain fundamental themes in East Asian philosophy, such as human nature, education, politics and law. Sub-area(s): Asian, Comparative

IVLE

PH4210 Topics in Western Philosophy

by Robert BEDDOR


Modular Credits: 5; Workload: 0-3-0-0-9.5; Prerequisite(s): Completed 80MC, including 28 MCs in PH or 28 MCs in EU/ LA(French/German/Spanish)/recognised modules, with a minimum CAP of 3.2 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. Sub-area(s): Variable

IVLE

PH4241 Issues in Philosophical Logic

by Ben BLUMSON


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

IVLE

PH4262 Nietzsche

by Neil SINHABABU


Modular Credits: 5; Workload: 0-3-0-3-6.5; Prerequisite(s): Completed 80MC, including 28 MCs in PH or 28MCs in EU/LA (French/German/Spanish)/recognised modules, with a minimum CAP of 3.2 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. Sub-area(s): Variable

IVLE

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

IVLE

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. (students will apply to Department to read this module and qualified applicants will be selected through an interview).; Preclusion(s): Any other internship module.; 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

IVLE

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

IVLE