This Course is Expired

Philosophy Gym: starting to think philosophically

This course is based around some intriguing and exciting philosophical puzzles that have vexed philosophers through the ages.
University of Oxford University Offices Wellington Square Oxford ,OX1 2JD United Kingdom
(4418) 65270000

Course at a Glance

Mode of learning : Online - Instructor Lead(LVC)

Domain / Subject : General/Others

Function : General

Trainer name : Mr Istvan Musza

Starts on : 17th Sep 2014

Duration : 10 Weeks

Difficulty : Advanced

About the course

This course is based around some intriguing and exciting philosophical puzzles that have vexed philosophers through the ages. Designed to get you thinking for yourself by throwing you (and your course-mates) straight into the difficulties so you can puzzle out the answers for yourself (with the guidance of your tutor), the course will soon have you developing basic philosophical skills.

Course aims

To introduce philosophical thinking by marrying modern technology (computers, online discussion) with ancient philosophical puzzles.

Course Objectives:

  • To enable students to grasp a number of basic philosophical skills.
  • To enable students to grasp a number of classic philosophical puzzles.
  • To impart a critical understanding of some of the best-known attempted solutions to these puzzles.

Assessment methods

Assessment for this course is based on two written assignments - one short assignment due half way through the course and one longer assignment due at the end of the course. Students will have about two weeks to complete each assignment.

Teaching methods

  • Guided reading of texts
  • Group discussions of particular issues
  • Questions to be answered in personal folders
  • Debating from positions given rather than from personal belief (to hone skills of debate)

Teaching outcomes

By the end of the course students will be able to:

  • Demonstrate a number of fundamental philosophical skills, including a basic ability to critically analyze an argument.
  • Show an understanding of a range of philosophical puzzles.
  • Show a critical understanding of a number of attempted solutions to these puzzles.

Course eligibility

Course Requirements

This course is delivered online; to participate you must to be familiar with using a computer for purposes such as sending email and searching the Internet. You will also need regular access to the Internet and a computer meeting our recommended minimum computer specification.

Recommended reading

To participate in the course you will need to have regular access to the Internet and you will need to buy the following books: 

  • Stephen Law, The Philosophy Gym (London, Hodder-Headline, 2003)
  • Louis P Pojman, Introduction to Philosophy – classical and contemporary readings (New York, Oxford University Press, 3rd or 4th edition)
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Course Content

The areas you will cover in this course are:

  • Introduction to learning online
  • What is Philosophy
  • The existence of God
  • Consciousness and the mind-body problem
  • Scientific knowledge
  • Is morality relative?
  • Personal identity


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