Skip to main navigationSkip to main content
The University of Southampton

PHIL6054 The Philosophy of Value

Module Overview

The Philosophy of Value offers students the opportunity to explore in detail some central issues and texts in the Western philosophical tradition that address questions in the philosophy of value broadly construed (i.e. including ethics, aesthetics, political philosophy, etc.). The module may focus on an important text, or on a body of significant literature.

Aims and Objectives

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

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

  • the central themes, problems and arguments in the texts studied
  • the relationship between the different texts studied, where appropriate.
  • how to undertake independent research appropriate to the production of an assessed essay
Subject Specific Intellectual and Research Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • understand complex philosophical texts. This involves: - identifying the central themes and problems in a philosophical text - identifying main views and solutions offered by the authors - identifying authors’ arguments in support of the above
  • critically assess complex philosophical texts. This involves: - identifying and explaining solutions to the philosophical questions and problems proposed in the central texts - assessing the cogency and success of the above - identifying and explaining other possible solutions and assessing their relative merits
  • articulate, present and debate philosophical ideas, both orally and in writing, in an open-minded but rigorous way
Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • research a complex topic independently
  • present the outcome of your research orally in a seminar context
  • engage in group discussion, making and taking constructive criticism
  • summarise the central themes, questions, problems and solutions related to that topic
  • critically assess the cogency and success of proposed solutions
  • write a clear and well-structured overview of the main issues, possible problems and solutions relevant to topic being examined
  • manage the time and resources available to you in order to achieve success in the above tasks


The syllabus will vary from year to year, depending on the research interests of the module coordinator. Some recent topics include: - Kant's Critique of Judgment - T.M. Scanlon's What We Owe To Each Other - The Nature and Norms of Blame

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Teaching activities include - Seminars Learning activities include - Reading assigned material - Attending seminars and contributing to discussion - Preparing and giving presentations - Doing research for and writing assessed essays

Completion of assessment task25
Preparation for scheduled sessions40
Follow-up work40
Wider reading or practice25
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

Resources. Module tutors will recommend a range of secondary literature in light of the primary texts selected.



MethodPercentage contribution
Essay  (3000 words) 80%
Presentation  (15 minutes) 20%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

Share this module Share this on Facebook Share this on Twitter Share this on Weibo
Privacy Settings