Kant's Revolution in Philosophy

The details
Philosophical, Historical, and Interdisciplinary Studies (School of)
Colchester Campus
Undergraduate: Level 6
Thursday 05 October 2023
Friday 15 December 2023
19 October 2023


Requisites for this module



Key module for


Module description

This module covers Kant`s epistemology as developed in his Critique of Pure Reason. This is a pivotal text in philosophy. The module concentrates primarily on the Transcendental Aesthetic and the Transcendental Analytic. Particular attention will be given to the formal status of Kant`s epistemology and the assessment of whether this counts as a weakness or a strength.

Students will develop an understanding of the details of Kant`s position in the Critique; a critical grasp of the central arguments of Kant`s position; and an appreciation of the central significance that position has in the history of philosophy. This will be achieved through developing a close familiarity with the text and with relevant secondary literature.

Module aims

No information available.

Module learning outcomes

By the end of this module, students will be expected to have a good understanding of:

  1. Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason, especially those concerning the nature of space, the status and function of the basic categories of our thought and experience, and the contradictions into which reasoning falls when it is divorced from experience.

  2. Kant’s innovations in method, and in particular the procedure of ‘transcendental deduction’.

  3. The thrust of Kant’s critique of traditional metaphysics.

Skills for your Professional Life (Transferable Skills)

By the end of this module, students should also have acquired a set of transferable skills, and in particular be able to:

  1. Define the task in which they are engaged and exclude what is irrelevant.

  2. Seek and organise the most relevant discussions and sources of information.

  3. Process a large volume of diverse and sometimes conflicting arguments.

  4. Compare and evaluate different arguments and assess the limitations of their own position or procedure.

  5. Write a succinct and precise account of positions, arguments, and their presuppositions and implications.

  6. Be sensitive to the positions of others and communicate their own views in ways that are accessible to them.

  7. Think 'laterally' and creatively - see interesting connections and possibilities and present these clearly rather than as vague hunches.

  8. Maintain intellectual flexibility and revise their own position if shown wrong.

  9. Think critically and constructively.

Module information

Erasmus/IP students must have already taken two philosophy modules at their home institutions.

Kant`s epistemological position was a response to the problems of both rationalism and empiricism, and resulted in a radical and lasting change to the shape of our philosophical map. An understanding of Kant`s position and of this text is foundational for any student of modern philosophy (in both the continental and the analytical traditions).

Learning and teaching methods

This module will be delivered via:

  • One 2-hour combined lecture and seminar per week.
  • One 1-hour class per week.

Week 8 is Reading Week.


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

Assessment items, weightings and deadlines

Coursework / exam Description Deadline Coursework weighting
Coursework   Reading Quizzes TOTAL ( 3 of 4)    25% 
Coursework   In Class Reading Quiz - Week 4    0% 
Coursework   In Class Reading Quiz - Week 6    0% 
Coursework   In Class Reading Quiz - Week 7    0% 
Coursework   In Class Reading Quiz - Week 10    0% 
Coursework   Detailed Essay Plan with Bibliography (750 words)  30/11/2023  25% 
Coursework   2500 Word Essay   18/01/2024  50% 

Exam format definitions

  • Remote, open book: Your exam will take place remotely via an online learning platform. You may refer to any physical or electronic materials during the exam.
  • In-person, open book: Your exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may refer to any physical materials such as paper study notes or a textbook during the exam. Electronic devices may not be used in the exam.
  • In-person, open book (restricted): The exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may refer only to specific physical materials such as a named textbook during the exam. Permitted materials will be specified by your department. Electronic devices may not be used in the exam.
  • In-person, closed book: The exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may not refer to any physical materials or electronic devices during the exam. There may be times when a paper dictionary, for example, may be permitted in an otherwise closed book exam. Any exceptions will be specified by your department.

Your department will provide further guidance before your exams.

Overall assessment

Coursework Exam
100% 0%


Coursework Exam
100% 0%
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Dr Fiona Hughes, email:
PHAIS General Office - 6.130;



External examiner

Dr Josiah Saunders
Durham University
Associate Professor
Available via Moodle
Of 27 hours, 27 (100%) hours available to students:
0 hours not recorded due to service coverage or fault;
0 hours not recorded due to opt-out by lecturer(s), module, or event type.


Disclaimer: The University makes every effort to ensure that this information on its Module Directory is accurate and up-to-date. Exceptionally it can be necessary to make changes, for example to programmes, modules, facilities or fees. Examples of such reasons might include a change of law or regulatory requirements, industrial action, lack of demand, departure of key personnel, change in government policy, or withdrawal/reduction of funding. Changes to modules may for example consist of variations to the content and method of delivery or assessment of modules and other services, to discontinue modules and other services and to merge or combine modules. The University will endeavour to keep such changes to a minimum, and will also keep students informed appropriately by updating our programme specifications and module directory.

The full Procedures, Rules and Regulations of the University governing how it operates are set out in the Charter, Statutes and Ordinances and in the University Regulations, Policy and Procedures.