PHIL1017 Philosophical Study Skills

PHIL1017 Philosophical Study Skills: Reading, Understanding, and Essay Writing
2017, Spring Term. University College London.
C.M. Lim (

Information about meetings
Every Wednesday at B01, 19 Gordon Square. No meetings during Reading Week (13 to 19 Jan).
Attendance is compulsory. Attendance of less than 70% will lead to you being barred from assessment.
Discussion log (combined) on page 2.

Close reading; Small-group discussions; Presentations; Essay-writing practice with detailed feedback.

In the first half of the term, we discuss several forms of injustice. In the second half, we look at suggestions for addressing injustice.

You will have to complete three writing assignments for this module. (More details about requirements here)

  • The first is a presentation handout (300-500 words; 10min presentation) on one of the texts that we will be discussing in the first half of the term. You should present a brief summary of the text, together with at least two questions you had while reading it. The presentations will take place from Meetings 2 to 5. You have to submit your writing (via email) by 5pm on the Monday of the week that you are presenting.
  • The second is a short essay (less than 1000 words), to be submitted (via email) by 5pm on Monday, 6 March 2017. You will receive feedback from me via email. Ideally, this should be the draft of the third essay.
  • The third is the final essay (less than 2000 words) to be submitted on the first day of the following term. You should confirm your essay title and topic by 5pm on Monday, 20 March 2017.

Meeting 1 (11 Jan). Introduction.
Recommended reading: Robert Nozick. 1981. Introduction, in Philosophical Explanations, 1-24. Cambridge: The Belknap Press.

Meeting 2 (18 Jan). Oppression.
Student presentations 1: Jakub (G15); Hanning (G16); Alice (G17)
Young, Iris Marion. 1990. Five faces of oppression, in Justice and the Politics of Difference, 39-65. Princeton: Princeton University Press.

Meeting 3 (25 Jan). Testimonial injustice.
Student presentations 2: Ava (G15); Helena (G16); Priscilla (G17)
Fricker, Miranda. 2007. Testimonial injustice, in Epistemic Injustice: Power and the Ethics of Knowing, 9-29. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Meeting 4 (01 Feb). Ethical loneliness.
Student presentations 3: Maeve (G15); Ginny (G16); Thomas (G17)
Stauffer, Jill. 2015. Ethical loneliness, in Ethical Loneliness: The Injustice of Not Being Heard, 9-33. New York: Columbia University Press.

Meeting 5 (08 Feb). Moral failure.
Student presentations 4: Ed (G15); Vittoria (G17)
Tessman, Lisa. 2014. Moral dilemmas and impossible moral requirements, in Moral Failure: On the Impossible Demands of Morality, 11-56. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Term Break (13 to 19 Feb)
No meetings scheduled.

Meeting 6 (22 Feb). Independence.
Student presentations 5: Sasha (G16)
List, Christian & Valentini, Laura. 2016. Freedom as independence. Ethics 126: 1043-1074.

Meeting 7 (01 Mar). Integration.
Anderson, Elizabeth. 2010. The imperative of integration, in The Imperative of Integration, 112-135. Princeton: Princeton University Press.

Meeting 8 (08 Mar). Education.
Second writing assignment due at the start of this week.
Okin, Susan Moller & Reich, Bob. 2010. Families and schools as compensating agents in moral development for a multicultural society. Journal of Moral Education 28(3): 238-298.

Meeting 9 (15 Mar). Objection.
Langton, Rae. 2017. Blocking as counter-speech. In New Work on Speech Acts, eds., Daniel Harris, Daniel Fogal, and Matt Moss. New York: Oxford University Press.

Meeting 10 (22 Mar). Compromise.
To confirm final essay title and topic by the start of this week.
Lepora, Chiara. 2012. On compromise and being compromised. The Journal of Political Philosophy 20(1): 1-22.