4709375: CF_Fundamentals of Philosophy

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Semester:SS 19
Scheduled in semester:1-6
Semester Hours per Week / Contact Hours:30.0 L / 22.5 h
Self-directed study time:67.5 h

Module coordination/Lecturers


Bachelor's degree programme in Business Administration (01.09.2012)
Master's degree programme in Architecture (01.09.2014)
Bachelor's degree programme in Architecture (01.09.2014)
Master's degree programme in Information Systems (01.09.2015)
Master's degree programme in Finance (01.09.2015)
Master's degree programme in Entrepreneurship (01.09.2015)


Human life has always been a central object of philosophical investigations. By making use of rational argumentation and critical thinking, philosophers raise fundamental questions about human nature and the meaning of life. As an introduction to philosophy, this course proposes to examine the following three fundamental questions: Who are we? How should we live? What is the best political arrangement we should live in?
Embedded in the areas of philosophical anthropology, ethics, and political philosophy, these three questions will be elucidated, on the one hand, through a review of major philosophical authors and theories and on the other hand through an examination of concrete life-situations.
This course will also offer students the opportunity to train critical thinking and to be able to think clearly, rationally, and coherently.

Learning Outcomes

Participants will be able to:

  • Acquire knowledge on philosophy in general and on core philosophical issues in particular;
  • Familiarize with theories of some major past and contemporary philosophers
  • Understand how philosophical-theoretical insights can be used to address practical and concrete life situations;
  • Acquire skills necessary to read and write philosophical works
  • Develop critical thinking


Lectures Method

Lecture, reading assignments, discussions, and presentations.

Admission Requirements

  • A genuine interest in philosophy
  • This course serves also as a good basis for the lecture on "Introduction to Human Rights"


  • Edward Craig, Philosophy. A Very Short Introduction (Oxford: OUP, 2002.)
  • Aloysius P. Martinich, Philosophical Writing. An Introduction, 4. Ed. (Oxford: Wiley Blackwell, 2016)
  • Thomas Nagel, What Does It All Mean? A Very Short Introduction to Philosophy (Oxford: OUP, 1987).
  • Stephen Downes, Edouard Machery, eds. Arguing about Human Nature: Contemporary Debates (New Work, London: Routledge, 2013)

Relevant Web-resources and academic articles will be available on Moodle.

Exam Modalities

Participation in class (30%)
Reading assignments (30%)
Presentations (40%)

Compulsory attendance (min. 80%)

  • Course based on continuous assessment, details see under "assessment".
  • Meeting attendance obligations is an essential pre-requisite for successfully completing a course based on continuous assessment.
  • Attendance must be proven for at least 80% of the stipulated contact time. Responsibility for checking and providing written proof of this obligatory attendance lies with the course lecturer who is required to store this information at least until the end of the semester.
  • In the case of absenteeism that exceeds the specified limits of absence, a medical certificate is required. Responsibility lies with the head of the Coordination Office for Cross-Faculty Elective Subjects to approve the reason for the student's failure to attend.
  • Participation in other activities of the university are not recognized as an excused absence.


Passed / Failed


Cross-faculty elective subject:
Notice the special Multi-stage allocation process.


  • P-FU_Fundamentals of Philosophy (SS 19, in Planung)