PHIL30790 Animated Philosophy

Academic Year 2021/2022

The aim of this module is to provide students with an opportunity to take a different approach to learning philosophy: in particular, to use audio/visual creativity, digital competence, humour, and storytelling skills to present philosophical puzzles and theories in non-standard formats such as podcasts; plays; comic books; posters; and short animated 'explainer' videos. By the end of the module, students will have gained invaluable research, design, and team-working skills that they can take into their future careers, as well as evidence of their learning in the form of their own audio/visual project outputs.

The overall approach of the module in terms of teaching, learning, and assessment places an emphasis on discussion and collaboration; teamwork; self-reflection; creativity and design; story-telling and imagination; self-directed learning and goal-setting; and peer-support and peer-feedback.

The learning for the module is drawn from themes in *metaphysics*, the part of philosophy that investigates fundamental questions about reality. Metaphysics is an incredibly broad and exciting area of philosophy, and covers questions as diverse as: what is it for an action to be a morally good/bad one? What is an artwork? What is colour? What is time, and what is change? Is there free will? What is personal identity? What is it for something to exist, and are there different 'grades' of existence? What is for something to be possible? Is there a difference between reality as it appears and as it really is?

Students taking this module will have a chance to determine which questions from metaphysics they wish to explore, and will gain some expertise in a number of areas. They will write a graded 1,500 research essay (worth 30% of the final grade) and will then work on two audio/visual projects (jointly worth 50% of the final grade): one of their own choosing (such as a podcast, comic strip or poster series); and a short, online animated 'explainer' video (see here for an example: https://www.facebook.com/BallyroanLibrary/videos/2777890139164311) Finally, they will submit a Reflective Piece discussing their experience of participating in the module (worth 20% of the final grade).

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Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

As a result of studying this module, students will learn to:

1. CRITICALLY ENGAGE with some classic and contemporary debates in metaphysics
2. IDENTIFY some key concepts and theories in metaphysics
3. INTERPRET and UNDERSTAND some classic and contemporary texts in metaphysics
4. WRITE a well-structured and well-argued philosophical essay that explains and critically assesses some of the key ideas and theories introduced in the module
5. ARTICULATE their own responses to philosophical views, support them with reasons, and defend them in the light of criticism
6. CREATE and DESIGN professional presentations and audio/visual projects (including an online philosophy 'explainer' video) introducing key ideas and theories in metaphysics
7. EXPLAIN complex ideas and theories to a diverse audience
8. COLLABORATE effectively and respectfully with other team members, listen to and learn from others, and make well considered team decisions
9. MANAGE and DIRECT both their own learning and their team's project
10. REFLECT on their own learning, and their strengths and weaknesses

Indicative Module Content:

The content of the module will be drawn from themes in *metaphysics*, the part of philosophy that investigates fundamental questions about reality. (That's not intended as a definition of "metaphysics", by the way -- the best way to understand what metaphysics is is through the kinds of questions metaphysicians ask. For a nice introduction to metaphysics, see here (copy and paste into your browser: https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/metaphysics/)

Metaphysics is an incredibly broad and exciting area of philosophy, and covers questions as diverse as:

What is it for an action to be a morally good/bad one?
What is an artwork?
What is time, and what is change?
What is the relationship between the mind and the brain?
What is the subject-matter of mathematics?
Is there free will?
What is causation?
What is colour?
What is personal identity?
What is it for something to exist, and are there different 'grades' of existence?
What is for something to be possible?
What is it for some things to 'compose' something else?
What is truth?
To what extent is our reality socially constructed?
Is there a difference between reality as it appears and as it "really is"?

In the module we will cover some of these questions -- depending partly on your interests!

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours
Autonomous Student Learning

94

Lectures

24

Tutorial

7

Total

125

Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
Teaching for this module, as for other philosophy modules, is based on 24 lectures (with two one-hour lectures per week from Weeks 1-12) and 7 one-hour tutorials (delivered by a graduate tutor from Weeks 3-10). 

However, the activities we undertake in the lectures and tutorials will be different from many other modules; as well more "traditional" lectures -- in which content is presented by the lecturer and students have the opportunity to raise questions and engage in discussion -- teaching in lectures and tutorials will also take the form of group discussions; feedback; arguments; short tasks; team presentations; reading; drawing; recording; research; conversation; teamwork; and planning.

Learning for this module is centred around two key elements: the philosophical content that we will be studying (and deciding to study); and the audio/visual group projects that you will undertake. Students will be supported in their learning for the module by their lecturer and tutor, in person in both lectures and tutorials; by email; and in set office hours.

The main assessments for the module are a 1,500-word essay (worth 30% of the final grade) and a project involving the design and creation of two audio/visual presentations (worth 50% of the final grade), one of which will be an online animated philosophy 'explainer' video (see here for an example: https://www.facebook.com/BallyroanLibrary/videos/2726288577651303). Grades for the latter component will be based on active participation in lectures and tutorials; participation in, and contribution to, group-work; in-lecture team presentations; and final project outputs.

Students will be supported in their learning for both assessments by both the lecturer and the tutor. 
Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations

Not applicable to this module.


Module Requisites and Incompatibles
Not applicable to this module.
 
Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade
Assignment: Reflective essay/module journal of up to 1,000 words. Due at the end of the trimester. Unspecified n/a Graded No

10

Essay: 1,500 word research essay on a topic covered in the first part of the course. Week 7 n/a Graded No

35

Group Project: Design and creation of two audio/visual philosophy projects (e.g. video-essay, podcast, posters, play, or comic book). One of these will be an online animated philosophy 'explainer' video. Throughout the Trimester n/a Graded No

55


Carry forward of passed components
No
 
Resit In Terminal Exam
Summer No
Please see Student Jargon Buster for more information about remediation types and timing. 
Feedback Strategy/Strategies

• Feedback individually to students, on an activity or draft prior to summative assessment
• Feedback individually to students, post-assessment
• Group/class feedback, post-assessment
• Peer review activities
• Self-assessment activities

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

Not yet recorded.

Name Role
Paraskevi Anastasia Filea Tutor
Timetabling information is displayed only for guidance purposes, relates to the current Academic Year only and is subject to change.
 
Spring
     
Lecture Offering 1 Week(s) - 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32 Thurs 11:00 - 11:50
Lecture Offering 1 Week(s) - 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32 Tues 12:00 - 12:50
Tutorial Offering 1 Week(s) - 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 28, 29, 30 Tues 13:00 - 13:50
Tutorial Offering 3 Week(s) - 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 28, 29, 30 Tues 14:00 - 14:50
Spring