Francisco Goya,  Fight With Cudgels, 1820-23

Philosophy and English Parts

Although both parts of the course use the same five texts, it is important to remember that the emphasis and, therefore, assessment for each is different:

¤ The Philosophy part will place more emphasis on developing your understanding of the ideas and arguments expressed by each philosopher.

¤ The English part will place more emphasis on developing your ability to read challenging texts and your ability to express yourself verbally and in the written form.

How are the grades for the Philosophy and English parts of the course combined?

Your final grade is the simple average of your score for the Philosophy part and your score for the English part. Click here for more details.

Philosophy Part: Objectives

By the end of the second semester you should be able to: (a) Identify, explain, and discuss key arguments from a range of key texts (b) Read and understand portions of studied texts which have not been discussed in class (c) Write clear and well structured essays which provide close readings of the texts studied together with intelligent and informed critical commentary (d) Respond appropriately and intelligently to feedback from peers and instructors on spoken and written work.

Philosophy Part: Teaching


Given that the primary aim of this course is to develop your ability to read, think and write philosophically, considerable emphasis will be placed on:

(a) Reading and taking notes from the text: Identify the key distinctions that are being made by the author, unpacking the different parts of the author's argument, and identifying potential weaknesses in the author's argument. 

(b) In-class discussion: Using a process of question and response between students to help clarify and assess a problem, meaning or argument in the text.

(c) Drafted essay writing: Writing is viewed as essential because it will push you to clarify and examine each problem or argument in sufficient depth and develop your ability to communicate clearly and persuasively with the reader.

The two drafted essays that you write during each semester represent the cornerstone of the course. Click here for a useful guide to writing a philosophy paper.

English Part 

In the English part of the course you will continue to develop and practice the reading, writing and critical thinking skills that you were introduced to and worked on in first year English (ENG101-102).

Some of the skills we will work on include how to deal with unfamiliar language/ writing styles, how to identify the different parts of arguments, and how to better communicate your own views on the topic being analyzed.

In the second semester you will continue to build upon the language skills you began to develop in Social and Political Philosophy I. As reading, analyzing, discussing and writing on philosophy are no longer new to you, we do expect a higher standard of work in Social and Political Philosophy II.

Click here for a more detailed description of the  objectives for the English part.