The University of Southampton
Courses

PHIL3011 Kierkegaard

Module Overview

One of the most fascinating thinkers of the nineteenth century, Kierkegaard explores the ancient philosophical question of how one should live by offering responses from an 'aesthetic', 'ethical' and 'religious' perspective. Rather than arguing for a philosophical theory, Kierkegaard challenges the reader to discover which response, if any, is the right one.

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

One of the most fascinating thinkers of the nineteenth century, Kierkegaard explores the ancient philosophical question of how one should live by offering responses from an 'aesthetic', 'ethical' and 'religious' perspective. Rather than arguing for a philosophical theory, Kierkegaard challenges the reader to discover which response, if any, is the right one. The aim of this module is to introduce you to some of the seminal texts and ideas of Kierkegaard’s extensive writings and to enable you to evaluate his views and appreciate their contemporary relevance.

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

Having successfully completed this module, you will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

  • demonstrate knowledge and understanding of central ideas in Kierkegaard’s work.
  • demonstrate knowledge and understanding of important Kierkegaardian notions, such as the aesthetic, ethical and religious “existence spheres”, as well as of the concepts of dread, irony, faith and paradox.
  • be able to relate these ideas to those of other relevant philosophers.
Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • undertake, with adequate supervision, independent work, including identifying and using appropriate resources.
  • work effectively to deadlines.
  • extract key information from difficult texts.
  • take notes from talks and written materials.
Subject Specific Intellectual and Research Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • interpret, synthesise and criticise complex texts and positions.
  • present and debate ideas, both orally and in writing, in an open minded and rigorous way.

Syllabus

The module will introduce you to some of the seminal texts and ideas of Kierkegaard’s extensive writings. It will explore central ideas such as the aesthetic, ethical and religious “existence spheres”, and the concepts of dread, irony, faith and paradox.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Teaching methods - Two lectures weekly - One discussion hour weekly Learning activities include - Attending lectures and discussion hours - Contributing to discussion in lectures and discussion hours - Doing research for and writing assessed essays - Applying techniques and skills learnt to your reading and writing inside and outside the module In the lectures, you will not only be introduced to the philosophical issues central to this module and the ideas of the philosophers studied but also encouraged to think about them for yourself. Your own ideas and any difficulties you encounter can be raised and discussed in discussion hours. The writing of commentaries should involve you in thinking deeply about the relevant issues and texts.

TypeHours
Teaching33
Independent Study117
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

Blackboard. 

Kierkegaard. Either/Or. 

Kierkegaard. Fear and Trembling. 

Assessment

Formative

Commentary

Summative

MethodPercentage contribution
Commentary  (2000 words) 60%
Commentary  (1000 words) 40%

Referral

MethodPercentage contribution
Examination  (120 minutes) 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

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