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PH133-30 Introduction to Philosophy

Undergraduate Level 1
Module leader
Kirk Surgener
Credit value
Module duration
23 weeks
74% coursework, 26% exam
Study location
University of Warwick main campus, Coventry
Introductory description

PH133 Introduction to Philosophy

Module web page

Module aims

This module is team taught by a number of academic staff from the Philosophy department to provide a wide-ranging introduction to some of the most important issues and works in philosophy.

The areas covered will be:
Term 1: Ancient Philosophy, Continental Philosophy, Moral Philosophy, Political Philosophy
Term 2: Epistemology, Metaphysics, Philosophy of Mind, Aesthetics
Term 3: Logic

Outline syllabus

This is an indicative module outline only to give an indication of the sort of topics that may be covered. Actual sessions held may differ.

The following subject areas and approaches will be covered:

Terms 1 and 2:
Ancient Philosophy
Moral Philosophy
Political Philosophy
Continental Philosophy
Philosophy of Mind

Term 3:

Learning outcomes

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

  • Understand main debates in key subject areas of philosophy, such as moral and political philosophy, epistemology and metaphysics, aesthetics, and continental philosophy.
  • Articulate their own view of the relative merits of different positions in key debates and engage critically with other points of view.
  • Critically analyse and evaluate philosophical arguments in different subject areas of philosophy.
  • Recognise the distinctive contributions made by various texts that are central to the history of philosophy and critically engage with the arguments presented therein.
  • Understand the notion of logical validity and related logical notions. Use formal techniques to show the validity of arguments. Translate between a formal first-order language and English.
Indicative reading list

See electronic bibliography.

View reading list on Talis Aspire

Subject specific skills

Knowledge and understanding of core philosophical topics; philosophy essay writing skills; logical analysis and methods.

Transferable skills

Critical evaluation, persuasive writing, logical analysis, critical discussion.

Study time

Type Required
Lectures 23 sessions of 2 hours (15%)
Seminars 21 sessions of 1 hour (7%)
Private study 233 hours (78%)
Total 300 hours
Private study description

No private study requirements defined for this module.


No further costs have been identified for this module.

You do not need to pass all assessment components to pass the module.

Assessment group D4
Weighting Study time
Written Assignment 1 (1000 words) 10%
Written Assignment 2 (1000 words) 10%
Written Assignment 3 (1750 words) 27%
Written Assignment 4 (1750 words) 27%
In-person Examination 26%
  • Answerbook Green (8 page)
Feedback on assessment

Feedback on essays will be provided via Tabula, addressing standard areas of evaluation and individual content. Feedback on examinations will be provided in the form of a summary report.

Past exam papers for PH133

Anti-requisite modules

If you take this module, you cannot also take:

  • PH136-15 Logic 1: Introduction to Symbolic Logic
  • PH142-15 Central Themes in Philosophy
  • PH144-15 Mind and Reality
  • PH145-15 Plato and Descartes
  • PH149-15 Key Debates in Moral and Political Philosophy


This module is Core for:

  • Year 1 of UPHA-L1CA Undergraduate Economics, Psychology and Philosophy
  • Year 1 of UPHA-VQ72 Undergraduate Philosophy and Literature
  • UPHA-V7ML Undergraduate Philosophy, Politics and Economics
    • Year 1 of V7ML Philosophy, Politics and Economics (Tripartite)
    • Year 1 of V7ML Philosophy, Politics and Economics (Tripartite)
    • Year 1 of V7ML Philosophy, Politics and Economics (Tripartite)
  • UPHA-V7MW Undergraduate Politics, Philosophy and Law
    • Year 1 of V7MW Politics, Philosophy and Law
    • Year 1 of V7MW Politics, Philosophy and Law

This module is Optional for:

  • Year 1 of UHIA-V1V5 Undergraduate History and Philosophy