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Values & Knowledge (MA)
MA ([Philosophy] Values & Knowledge)
College of Arts, Social Sciences, & Celtic Studies
The relation between values and knowledge is a central concern for any society. At present, it is widely assumed that the pursuit of knowledge is valuable only to the degree that it has measurable practical benefits as an outcome. Our MA programme offers a context for detailed consideration of this assumption. We identify and question the issues involved in it at deeper levels of analysis than are available through ordinary discussion.
This high level of critical scrutiny is made possible through the programme’s broad philosophical perspective - engaging with questions arising in other disciplines also. More specifically, our programme provides an in-depth study of different forms of values in terms of both their cognitive basis and their relation to other areas of knowledge and activity. We also consider the way in which knowledge has been defined and theorized since the Enlightenment. The programme combines historical perspectives and contemporary critical debates so as to provide a fund of analytic and argumentative skills that are advantageous for further work in philosophy or for competing in the job market.
- To initiate students into historical and contemporary debates concerning the cognitive basis of values (especially moral and aesthetic ones), and the status of different forms of knowledge .
- To give this initiation a broad scope – embracing personality, gender, political concepts, knowledge in a historical context, and the emotions as such, as well as moral and aesthetic values.
- To explore how the cognitive significance of values may be implicated in the conditions of our knowledge of self and world, and in the grounds on which beliefs are held, and justified.
- To ensure that students are initiated into different methods of philosophical investigation that cross the usual divide between ‘Analytic’ and ‘Continental’ philosophy.
- To open possible overlaps with work done in other disciplines.
Applicants should have or expect to obtain a grade of an overall H2:2 or higher with a H2:1 in Philosophy in their first degree. Applications are welcome from students whose primary degree was in Philosophy or a cognate subject.
1 year full-time;
2 years part-time
Next start date: September 2015
ECTS weighting: 90
Average intake: 12
Closing date: Please view offer rounds website
The full-time programme is completed over one academic year. Students must take modules and complete a minor dissertation to the value of 90 ECTS in total.
|Modules for 2015 - 16||ECTS|
|Research Methods (Core)||10|
Participation & Management (Core)
|Political Values in the Modern World||10|
|Values & Knowledge||10|
|Cultural Philosophy of Globalization||10|
|The Philosophy of Emotion||10|
- Students must take modules and complete a minor dissertation to the value of 90 ECTS in total over two years.
- Students must attain 30 ECTS in year 1 to progress to year 2 and must attain 60 ECTS in year 2.
|Course Structure for Part-time Students||ECTS|
|Research Methods (Core)||10|
|2 optional modules from the list below (options subject to change)||20|
|Political Values in the Modern World|
|Values & Knowledge|
|The Philosophy of Emotion|
|Cultural Philosophy of Globalization|
|Philosophy Seminar: Participation & Management (Core)||10|
|2 optional modules from year 1 list above.||20|
|Minor Dissertation (Core)||30|
Research Methods (Core)
Dr. Felix O' Murchadha and Dr. Heike Felzmann
This course will support students in developing advanced research skills in philosophy. Students will develop familiarity and competence with the advanced use of library resources and electronic databases relevant to philosophy research and will be introduced to the use of reference management programmes. They will discuss basic elements of advanced philosophical writing and will be supported throughout the different stages of developing their MA thesis.
Philosophy Seminar: Participation & Management (Core)
Professor Paul Crowther and Dr. Tsarina Doyle
This module allows students to do a substantial presentation of their research at discipline level, and to receive training and experience in both chairing seminars and contributing to them. Assessment is based on the presented paper in Semester 2.
Each student will write a 15,000 word dissertation, based on research into a topic of their choice, and supervised by a member of staff in Philosophy.
Values & Knowledge (Optional)
Professor Paul Crowther
The module addresses - historically and critically - the relation between values and knowledge from Hume to the present. It's main linking theme is the concept of intrinsic value. Does it make sense to say, for example, that such things as morality and beauty are worth pursuing for their own sake, and does this apply to the pursuit of knowledge as such? The module also considers whether there could be a necessary connection between values and the possibility of self-consciousness and knowledge of an objective world.
The Philosophy of Emotion (Optional)
Dr. Felix O' Murchadha
This course will take a historical and systematic approach to emotion. The first half will trace three main historical periods: the classical and early medieval period; the late medieval and modern period and the contemporary period. The second half will examine the systematic issues which are raised in this historical examination: the cognitive content of emotions, the distinction between primary and secondary emotions, the distinction between emotion and passion and the relation of morality and emotion.
Cultural Philosophy of Globalization (Optional)
Dr. Gerald Cipriani
This module aims to provide students with an insightful understanding and critical grasp of ethical and aesthetic issues related to the phenomenon of globalization.
Political Values in the Modern World (Optional)
Dr. Richard Hull
This course will look at the ways in which political values interact with the modern world. It will begin with an introduction to central political and ethical theories along with exploration of key distinctions that tend to be relied upon, whether impllicitly or explicitly. It will then focus on current issues in political theory, concentrating on themes such as justice, equality, freedom, toleration, and genetics. It will look at how these themes are contested in modern diverse democracies.
Moral Reasoning (Optional)
Dr. Heike Felzmann
Moral reasoning is conceptualised in fundamentally different ways, from being rational and principle-driven, to being based on intuition or affective processes, to being grounded in shared social practices. In this course students will explore different approaches to moral reasoning in relation to both historical and contemporary authors, and address the relation between philosophical analysis and psychological and neuroscientific findings.
Environmental Aesthetics (Optional)
Dr. Gerald Cipriani
This module aims to provide students with an insightful understanding and critical grasp of environmental issues in relation to aesthetics values.
Who teaches this course?
Find out more
Dr. Tsarina Doyle
E: firstname.lastname@example.org | T: 353 91 495 473
Download taught and research
"I chose to study philosophy at NUI, Galway after considerable time and research. I wanted a university that focused as much on my educational and career path as I do. There is no question, the quality of the university and the appeal of the city were also factors. Galway, recently voted the best overall micro city in Europe by the Financial Times, is a student friendly, vibrant and lively city.
Post graduate study is definitely a two way process of engagement, and the lecturers have always shown tremendous interest in my research ideas and interests.
I feel that the MA is unique in the way it encourages the student to examine and question contemporary philosophical concepts of values and knowledge.
The range of optional modules allowed me to focus on subjects I had a direct interest in, while the core modules encourage you to develop skills in research and philosophical writing. The Philosophy Seminar: Participation and Management module in particular, gives an opportunity to research, write and present a paper to the philosophy department. This peer review process is invaluable in developing presentation expertise, which is vital for further academic study and useful in the world of work. I am delighted I chose to study Philosophy at NUI, Galway." Sean Comer