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PY1901   Morality and Human Nature

Academic year(s): 2023-2024

Key information

SCOTCAT credits : 20

ECTS credits : 10

Level : SCQF level 7

Semester: 2

Availability restrictions: Only available to those enrolling on the MA Combined Studies or already enrolled on the MA/BSc General degree taken in the evening.

Planned timetable: Wed 6.30 - 9.30 pm

This module will address aspects of what it is to be human, and to be a moral agent confronted with particular moral issues in the world. We will consider how aspects of our human nature have a bearing on the nature of moral agency and moral responsibility (e.g. by exploring issues of personal identity and free will), as well as considering some pressing moral problems (such as life-and-death issues like euthanasia and abortion; and issues arising from obligations we have to others - human or nonhuman). This module will provide a useful and stimulating introduction to some of the core questions of philosophy, from metaphysics to ethics.

Relationship to other modules

Anti-requisite(s): You cannot take this module if you take PY1103 or take PY1105 or take PY1801 or take PY1011

Learning and teaching methods and delivery

Weekly contact: 1 x 2.5 hour session: lectures and tutorials.

Scheduled learning hours: 33

Guided independent study hours: 167

Assessment pattern

As used by St Andrews: Coursework = 100%

As defined by QAA
Written examinations : 0%
Practical examinations : 0%
Coursework: 100%

Re-assessment: 1 or more essays totaling no more than 4,500 words


Module teaching staff: Team taught

Intended learning outcomes

  • Understand various perspectives on human nature, the practice of moral theorising, and particular moral questions.
  • Assess and evaluate arguments put forward in favour of, and against, various moral claims.
  • Articulate their own views on moral issues.
  • Provide a rational defence of their views in written work and in discussion.