University Of Glasgow Philosophy 1m

By | 7th June 2017

University Of Glasgow Philosophy 1m

Philosophy 1M: Right and Wrong

         This course introduces students to some of the basic problems that arise in trying to understand that specific kind of thinking that is moral thinking. Everyone goes in for moral thinking. They make claims such as: racism is wrong; abortion is impermissible; homosexuality is wrong; compassion makes you a good person; people have a right to education or shelter; there is no right to privacy. But what does it mean to say that something is wrong or good or that people have a right to it? How, if at all, can we find out whether something is wrong or good or that people have a right to it? Are right and wrong ‘all subjective’, ‘just a matter of feeling’, so that child abuse is wrong only in so far as you, or some folk, happen to feel disgusted by it? Are people capable of acting morally or, deep down, is everyone selfish?

Emphasis in the course will be on understanding these issues rather than acquiring any particular response to them. Part of the course will focus on a classsic text; other parts will concentrate on more general questions about moral and political philosophy, and about some contemporary moral issues. No particular moral standpoint is required in students taking the course, nor are students expected to come out of the course with any particular moral standpoint. The aim is to learn think critically and reflectively about the issues.

University Of Glasgow Philosophy 1m

Course convener:  Gareth Young
Semester: 2
Lecture hour: 10-11 and 2-3 (Mon-Thurs)
Lecture venue: See MyCampus.

Recommended texts for 2016-17

  • P. Singer, Practical Ethics 3rd edition (Cambridge University Press, 2011).
  • R. Harrison, Democracy (Routledge, 1995).
  • J. Driver, Ethics: the Fundamentals (Blackwell Publishing, 2007).
  • J. S. Mill, On Liberty (Oxford World Classics — though other editions will be fine)

Teaching resources for this course, including lecture notes and exercises, will be made available on the Philosophy Moodle site.

University Of Glasgow Philosophy 1m

Philosophy 1M: Right And Wrong PHIL1002

  • Academic Session: 2016-17
  • School: School of Humanities
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 1 (SCQF level 7)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes
  • Available to Erasmus Students: Yes

Short Description

This course introduces students to the study of philosophy via the study of issues, theories and types of argument characteristic of moral and political philosophy


Lectures: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday at either 10am or 2pm; and weekly one hour seminar (choice of times) over 9 weeks as scheduled on MyCampus.

Requirements of Entry



Essay 1500 words (40%)

Seminar participation (10%)

90 minute examination (50%)

Main Assessment In: April/May

Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? No

Reassessments are normally available for all courses, except those which contribute to the Honours classification. For non Honours courses, students are offered reassessment in all or any of the components of assessment if the satisfactory (threshold) grade for the overall course is not achieved at the first attempt. This is normally grade D3 for undergraduate students and grade C3 for postgraduate students. Exceptionally it may not be possible to offer reassessment of some coursework items, in which case the mark achieved at the first attempt will be counted towards the final course grade. Any such exceptions for this course are described below. 

Seminar participation is not available for reassessment

University Of Glasgow Philosophy 1m

Course Aims

This course will provide the opportunity to:

■ study issues, theories and types of argument characteristic of moral and political philosophy.

■ develop analytical thinking skills via (a) the identification and clarification of conceptual relationships and (b) the identification and evaluation of assumptions and arguments.

■ interpret and evaluate philosophical writings, classic and modern.

■ develop skills of interpretation, criticism, clarity, relevance, concise expression and sound argumentation.

■ prepare for more advanced studies in philosophy.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

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

■ Explain, with examples, some common forms of argument, good and bad, used in applied ethics.

■ Discuss philosophically some important contemporary moral problems.

■ State and evaluate arguments concerning important issues in political philosophy.

■ Evaluate the main arguments on morality or political philosophy in a classic philosophical text.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course’s summative assessment.