Dates: 22/01/2017 - 02/02/2017
Mode of Delivery: Online
Level: 4 (Year 1)
Credit Value: 20 (for regular BA Theology and Religious Study)
This module is part of the BA program for Theology and Religious Study, but it can be taken without special requirements. By clicking “Enroll Now” you will be redirected to Bhaktivedanta College Online Campus, where you will proceed with registration and payment. The Paypal fee for this module is €99 fully inclusive. Once your registration is complete, you will have access to the virtual classroom and all learning materials. Upon successfully completing this module, you will be awarded with a Certificate of Attendance.
Dragana Jagusic (Jahnava Lila Dasi) is a tutor for the Introduction to Western Philosophy and Theories and Methods in the Study of Religion module as well as the Bhakti Shastri modules both online and onsite. She holds an MA in Philosophy and Comparative Religion from the University of Zagreb and Bhakti-Shastri, TTC 1 & 2 and BS TTC certificates from Bhaktivedanta College. At current she is completing her MPhil degree at KU Leuven, specializing in Ancient and Medieval (Western) Philosophy. Her interests are focused on the comparison of Ancient and Medieval philosophical schools with the Vaishnava Vedanta tradition, within the framework of logic, metaphysics and epistemology.
Expected Student Learning Activity and Contact Hours
200 hours notional learning hours of which 32 hours will be contact time. Distance learning students will have access to videoed or recorded lectures and seminars and to a moodle interactive learning environment.
Students are expected to attend all lectures and seminars. Distance learning students will participate in the lectures as explained in section 11 of this module descriptor.
Introduction to Western Philosophy aims to provide students with an understanding of the major themes in philosophy: knowledge, reality, the body-mind-soul triad, good and evil, happiness, determination and free will, love, and God.
The course focuses on the historical development of these issues within the framework of the philosophical disciplines to which they belong: epistemology, metaphysics, philosophical anthropology, theodicy, and ethics. Providing us a tool for philosophical reasoning and argumentation, logic will be given special attention in this course.
Well-argued and scripturally substantiated philosophical discussions inspired by an East-West comparative approach are most welcome in this course. The course is adapted to the beginner’s level, therefore no background in Western philosophy is required.
Students will be introduced to some of the central issues and main thinkers of Western philosophy, and their philosophical, cultural and religious relevance. Topics covered will include:
Lesson 1: History and Divisions of Western Philosophy
Lesson 2: The Nature of Reality
Lesson 3: Rationalism
Lesson 4: Empiricism
Lesson 5: The Arguments for the Existence of God
Lesson 6: The relation of Body, Mind and Soul
Lesson 7: The problem of Good and Evil
Lesson 8: Free will, Determinism and Responsibility
Lesson 9: Philosophical perspectives on Love
Lesson 10: Happiness and the meaning of Life
To provide students with brief and clear overview of the historical development and core issues in Western philosophy.
To provide understanding of some answers Western philosophers have given to the most essential questions of life using logical argumentation.
To develop the ability to grasp the essence of a philosophical argument and evaluate it in a coherent spoken and written form according to various main philosophical standpoints/traditions.
To provide a practical understanding of the function and content of philosophical argumentation in the Western philosophical tradition.
Methods of Learning and Teaching and Formative Assessment
Lectures; group discussion; question and answer sessions; debates; pair and group work; problem solving; practice essay questions; reviews; individual reading and homework; use of hand book for the course; power point presentations; other interactive exercises; videos; useof media.
Appropriate forms of delivery and assessment will be offered to distance learning students to ensure comparability of learning opportunity. Lectures and seminars onsite will be video recorded; within 24 hours the video will be available in the moodle environment. We will also have separate MP3 audio recordings of the class.
By the end of the module the students will demonstrate an ability to:
- Discuss the main issues within western philosophy with reference to specific contributions of important thinkers.
- Logically analyse and evaluate philosophical arguments with reference to the main representatives and theories within Western Philosophy.
- Reflect on the ideas encountered and employ logical arguments to support or question personally held beliefs.
- Undertake academic research of relevant publications and periodicals.
Assessment and Reassessment Components and Weighting
1) A 2,000-word review of a (a) a book, (b) chapter in a book, (c) article, or (d) documentary or other video(50%) [Learning outcome 1, 2, 3].
2) A 2,000-word essay (50%) [Learning outcome 1, 3, 4].
Reassessment: Two 2,000-word essays (50% each).
Botton, A.D. (2001). The Consolations of Philosophy. London: Penguin Books.
Cahn, S.M. (Ed) (2007). Classics of Western Philosophy. Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing Company.
Copleston, F. (2003). A History of Philosophy: Greece and Rome. London: Continuum.
Copleston, F. (2003). A History of Philosophy: Medieval Philosophy. London: Continuum.
Cottingham, J. (ed.), (1996). Western Philosophy. An Anthology. Malden, MA: Blackwell.
Gaarder, J. (1997). Sophie’s World. London: Dolphin PB.
Guttenplan, S., Hornsby, J. & Janaway, C. (2003). Reading Philosophy. Oxford: Blackwell Publishing.
Magee, B. (1987). The Great Philosophers. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Martin, C. (1996). An Introduction to Medieval Philosophy. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.
Pojman, L. P. (2003). Classics of Philosophy. Oxford: OUP.
Primary sources for each section are provided as excerpts in the Module Handbook and as full texts in electronic or printed form.