4909375: CF_Fundamentals of Philosophy: An Introduction to Major Topics and Thinkers (Lecture)

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Semester:SS 20
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)
Cross faculty elective subjects (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)
Master's degree programme in Entrepreneurship and Management (01.09.2018)
Master's degree programme in Information Systems (01.09.2019)
Bachelor's degree programme in Architecture (01.09.2019)
Master's degree programme in Architecture (01.09.2019)


Philosophy deals with fundamental questions about life. As a short introduction to philosophy, this course takes up mainly five major areas of philosophy:
- The nature of philosophy: what is philosophy? What are its objects of investigation? What are its methods? What makes philosophy relevant?
- Ethics: how should we live? Why do we need ethics?
- Aesthetics: What is art? What is an artwork? How do we evaluate artworks? Are moral standards relevant for art?
- Political Philosophy: What is a state? How to justify citizens' duty to obey and states' right to coerce? What is Justice? What does justice require?
- Epistemology: how can we know anything? How can we formulate logical and coherent positions? What is critical thinking and how can we train it?

This course will be an opportunity to introduce and discuss major philosophical positions and theories in the above-mentioned areas. Also relying on practical examples from concrete life-situations, we'll establish the link between theory and practice and show the relevance of philosophy.

Learning Outcomes

Participants will be also 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, mainly in the areas of ethics, aesthetics, political philosophy and epistemology.
  • 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

Lectures, reading assignments, discussions, and presentations

Admission Requirements

A genuine interest in philosophy


  • 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).
  • David Edmonds and Nigel Warburton, Philosophy Bites (Oxford: OUP, 2012
  • Steven M. Cahn, Exploring Philosophy. An Introductory Anthology (Oxford: OUP, 2015), 5th Edition.

Further articles will be available on Moodle.

Exam Modalities

Written examination (100%): Essay exam (2500 - 3000 words, specific criteria will follow, choice of topics will be announced on the 03.06.2020 (sign in till 01.06.2020).
Sign in for the lecture series and the examination, separately.

  • The examination date of this irregular lecture: 03.06.2020 till 08.07.2020
> Sign in till 01.06.2020
> Topic will be announced on 03.06.2020
> Deadline to hand-in your essay: 08.07.2020
  • There will be one repeat testing date - if requested - in Winter Semester 20/21.


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