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Undergraduate Module Descriptor

PHL3056: The Nature of Normativity

This module descriptor refers to the 2023/4 academic year.

Module Aims

The aim of this module is to introduce you to core debates surrounding the nature of normativity. It will present, explore and critically evaluate different approaches, positions and theories within these debates, and will elucidate connections between these and theoretical commitments in other areas of philosophy (e.g. philosophy of mind or ethics). You will therefore enrich your thinking not only about the nature of normativity, but also about other areas in philosophy. It will also encourage you to think critically and constructively about current norms policies, in for example, legal and psychiatric contexts.

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

This module's assessment will evaluate your achievement of the ILOs listed here – you will see reference to these ILO numbers in the details of the assessment for this module.

On successfully completing the programme you will be able to:
Module-Specific Skills1. Identify and cogently discuss the key methods, questions, themes and topics surrounding the nature of normativity and draw connections with those in other areas of philosophy
2. Critically distinguish and evaluate different approaches and arguments within core debates surrounding the nature of normativity, and appreciate the consequences that these have for positions in other areas of philosophy.
Discipline-Specific Skills3. Demonstrate a high level of understanding of the interrelation between different positions on the nature of normativity, and their consequences and commitments for all areas of normative practice.
4. Demonstrate sound knowledge of different types of philosophical analysis.
Personal and Key Skills5. Demonstrate a significantly expanded philosophical vocabulary and understanding with respect to key ideas in philosophy of normativity and how this relates to philosophical approaches in other areas of philosophy
6. Conduct research independently, engaging with complex ideas and problems while developing original research insights.
7. Engage in complex and high level argumentation both orally and through writing.