The general aim of this module is to improve students' ability to read, understand and critically assess philosophical texts from a range of historical periods and philosophical traditions. The particular text (or texts) under consideration in any one year will operate as exemplary for the development of philosophical reading skills more generally.
Each year, we look in detail at a classic philosophical text. Close attention will be paid to reading the text on its own terms and developing students' critical and philosophical skills by engaging closely with the arguments and questions raised. We will look at the text not only as a historical document, but also study it with regard to its on-going contribution to philosophical thinking.
In 2020-21 we will study Kierkegaard's Philosophical Crumbs. This short but highly complex text raises fundamental questions about what it means to read philosophical texts well. It also raises questions about various fundamental philosophical topics: including truth, the nature and limits of philosophical inquiry, Socrates, the limits of reason, Christianity, and the metaphysics of change.