Topics in Analytic Philosophy

The details
Colchester Campus
Undergraduate: Level 5
Thursday 07 October 2021
Friday 17 December 2021
29 September 2021


Requisites for this module



Key module for


Module description

"Analytic Philosophy" is a (sometimes controversial) term that is commonly used to describe the dominant philosophical tradition in the English-speaking world for much of the 20th century. This module shall introduce students to some of the classic texts from this tradition and explore the philosophical techniques, arguments, and positions that were developed within it.

The specific focus of the module will vary year-on-year; examples include topics from analytic philosophy of mind and metaphysics (the mind-body problem; personal identity; consciousness and "qualia"…), and topics from analytic philosophy of language (what is meaning? How do names and descriptions refer to objects? Does context make a difference to the meaning of what we say, and does what we say shape the context in return?...)

Module aims

The aims of the module are:

1. to develop a familiarity with some of the major figures and themes of analytic philosophy;
2. to undertake a close assessment of selected classics from the analytic tradition;
3. to gain a precise understanding of at least one major theme or problem in analytic philosophy of mind or in analytic metaphysics;
4. to gain familiarity with some of the characteristic techniques of the analytic tradition, including (for example) conceptual and linguistic analysis, ordinary language philosophy, the use of thought experiments;
5. to develop the ability to critically analyse writings in the analytic tradition, and to produce argumentatively precise and robust critical analysis.

Module learning outcomes

By the end of the module, students should be able to:

1. identify major problems, themes and positions developed within the analytic tradition;
2. provide critical reconstructions of arguments and disputes associated with the analytic tradition;
3. write essays which provide both synopsis and critical assessment of positions and arguments from the analytic tradition;
4. explain select central concepts in analytic philosophy of mind and metaphysics;
5 follow and analyse the characteristically dense form of argumentation used in analytic philosophical writings;
6. construct clear argumentative essays analysing arguments and positions in the assigned readings.

Module information

Erasmus/IP students must have already taken an introductory module in Philosophy at their home institution.

Please note that this module will require a high level of commitment from the students enrolled. This will include keeping up with the pace of weekly readings, as assessed by an in-class test.

Learning and teaching methods

1 x 2-hour lecture and 1 x 1-hour seminar each week. The two-hour weekly lectures will typically be interactive: you are expected to have read the key text(s) for each week in advance, and to be active during class. In addition, you will be expected to prepare for an extended class discussion of the week's topic and readings during a one-hour seminar session each week. It is expected that you will read the essential texts at the pace of the lectures and as part of your weekly preparation work for the seminars.


This module does not appear to have a published bibliography for this year.

Assessment items, weightings and deadlines

Coursework / exam Description Deadline Weighting
Coursework   Reading quizzes TOTAL    25% 
Coursework   Essay plan with annotated bibliography and questionnaire (1600 words)  26/11/2021  25% 
Coursework   Essay (2000-words)  17/01/2022  50% 

Overall assessment

Coursework Exam
100% 0%


Coursework Exam
100% 0%
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Dr Karl Egerton, email:



External examiner

No external examiner information available for this module.
Available via Moodle
Of 811 hours, 36 (4.4%) hours available to students:
775 hours not recorded due to service coverage or fault;
0 hours not recorded due to opt-out by lecturer(s).


Further information

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