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Module Reading List

PPE First Year Seminar - Semester 1, 2021/22, Semester 1
Dr Charlie Crerar
Tutor information is taken from the Module Catalogue

Week 1: The Euthyphro dilemma

Seminar Reading:   

Mark Timmons, ‘Divine Command Theory’, ch. 2 in his Moral Theory: An Introduction  

Further Reading:     

Michael W. Austin, ‘Divine Command Theory’ (IEP)

Plato, Euthyphro, in Reason and Persuasion by John Holbo & Belle Waring (Chapter 6 is Waring’s translation and Chapter 5 is Holbo’s useful commentary)


Week 2: Descartes’ Meditations

Seminar Reading:

René Descartes, Meditations 1-3 (translated by Jonathan Bennett)

Further Reading:

Lex Newman, ‘Descartes’ Epistemology’ (SEP)

Lawrence Nolan, ‘Descartes’ Ontological Argument’ (SEP)


Week 3: Descartes’ Meditations (cont.)

Seminar Reading:   

René Descartes, Meditations 4-6 (translated by Jonathan Bennett) 

Further Reading:

Objections to the Meditations and Descartes’ Replies

Descartes’ correspondence with Princess Elizabeth of Bohemia


Week 4: Locke on knowledge

Seminar Reading:

John Locke, An Essay Concerning Human Understanding, Book IV, chapters i-iv & ix-xi  

Further Reading:

Matthew Priselac, ‘Locke: Knowledge of the External World’ (IEP)


Week 5: Free Will

Seminar Reading:

David Hume, ‘Of Liberty and Necessity’ from An Enquiry concerning Human Understanding                                    

Further Reading:

George Botterill, ‘Hume on Liberty and Necessity’

Paul Russell, ‘Hume on Free Will’ (SEP)


Week 6: Induction

Seminar Reading:

David Hume, sections 4 & 5 from An Enquiry concerning Human Understanding  

Further Reading:

Leah Henderson, ‘The Problem of Induction’ (SEP)


Week 7: Deduction

Seminar Reading:

Tracy Bowell & Gary Kemp, Critical Thinking: A Concise Guide (4th edition), ch. 1 & 3  

Susan Haack, ‘The Justification of Deduction’  

Further Reading:

Lewis Carroll, ‘What the Tortoise said to Achilles’


Week 8: Moral Relativism

Seminar Reading:

Mark Timmons, ‘Moral Relativism’, ch.3 in his Moral Theory: An Introduction  

Further Reading:

Chris Gowans, ‘Moral Relativism’ (SEP)

Miranda Fricker, ‘Styles of Moral Relativism – A Critical Family Tree’


Week 9: Paradox I: Coincident Objects

Seminar Reading:

Penelope Mackie, ‘Coincidence and Identity’  

Further Reading:

Ryan Wasserman, ‘Material Constitution’


Week 10: Paradox II: Time Travel

Seminar Reading:

David Lewis, ‘The Paradoxes of Time Travel’  

Ira Kiourti, ‘Killing Baby Suzy’  

Further Reading:

Nicholas J.J. Smith, ‘Time Travel’


Week 11: Paradox III: Decision-making

Seminar Reading:

R.M. Sainsbury, ‘Acting rationally’, ch. 4 in his Paradoxes  

Further Reading:

R. A. Briggs, ‘Normative Theories of Rational Choice: Expected Utility’ (SEP)

Steven Kuhn, ‘Prisoner’s Dilemma’ (SEP)


Additional resources on historical texts:

Bernard Williams, Descartes: the project of pure enquiry

Gary Hatfield, Routledge philosophy guidebook to Descartes and the Meditations

Kurt Brandhorst, Descartes' Meditations on first philosophy: an Edinburgh philosophical guide

The Blackwell guide to Descartes' meditations, ed. Stephen Gaukroger

The Cambridge companion to Descartes, ed. John Cottingham

Stephen Priest, The British Empiricists

Alan Bailey & Daniel O’Brien, Hume’s enquiry concerning human understanding: reader’s guide

Barry Stroud, Hume

The Cambridge companion to Hume, ed. David Fate Norton & Jacqueline Taylor.

Harold W. Noonan, Routledge philosophy guidebook to Hume on knowledge

This list was last updated on 25/09/2020