Undergraduate Courses - Philosophy

Courses - 2020 for non-Philosophers

Accountancy Ethics

This module examines the ethical theories underwriting formal codes and guidelines such as the King Report on Corporate Governance. The module aims to encourage future leaders to engage in fair and ethical business practices. Case studies relevant to accounting and business students in South Africa are discussed with extensive use of video and other visual aids.
Lecturer: Dr. A. Singh

Ethics for Engineers

This module examines the ethical theories underwriting formal codes and guidelines such as the ECSA Code of Conduct. The module aims to equip future engineers with an ethical toolkit to empower them to conduct their duties in a consistently responsible manner.  Case studies relevant to engineering students in South Africa are discussed with extensive use of video and other visual aids, and assessment methods favouring engineering students' unique skills are used.
Lecturer: Dr. A. Singh

Aesthetics for Engineers

The CPS3A02 Complementary Studies course focuses on aesthetic approaches to engineering. We consider Western and African conceptions of art in dialogue and interrogate each approach as it pertains to how engineers can benefit from them. This course is geared toward encouraging critical thinking around concepts of aesthetics and the value that it holds for engineering.
Lecturer: Ms Devon Bailey

History & Philosophy of Management

This module is aimed at gaining an understanding of the philosophical basis and philosophies underpinning the management theory for practicing managers to reflect on their own managerial approaches to work and organizational life and for future management research. This module will start with subsistence economies, concepts develop by Adam Smith, the various responses to capitalism such as critical management studies up to where we stand today with systems theory and complexity. The philosophical view of management will assist the student to critically evaluate management theory as taught today and create alternatives to current management questions.
Lecturer: D. Scholtz

Undergraduate Courses

First Year - 2020

Philosophy 1A [s1:t1-2]:Critical Thinking Skills

This module introduces students to critical thinking as a core philosophical skill that will also be invaluable for all your other academic studies. After mastering the basics of critical thinking, students apply this skill to fundamental topics in philosophy and practice the art of philosophical argumentation. We address a number of life’s ‘Big Questions’. You will consider arguments for and against the existence of God, the nature of causation and laws of nature, the philosophy of health and disease, and the philosophy of sex and gender.
Lecturers: Dr. C. Harris & Dr B Smart

Philosophy 1B [s2:t1-2]: Critical Thinking in Ethics

The aim of the course is to develop and exercise the skills necessary to critically examine race, ethnicity, and gender. We will wrestle with the following difficult questions as they relate to our obligations, treatment and conceptions of another:   Is there such a thing as black or white people? What is racism, and in particular, can black people be racist? What is intersectionality? How do forms of prejudice and discrimination affect inequalities in health in today? Should we do away with affirmative action? Who owns the land?
Lecturer Ms. Z. Mncube

In this module, we investigate ethical ideals relevant to our shared life in a society. We examine ethical ideals relevant to the struggles of women, workers, and poor people. We ask how we should judge the values of ubuntu and justice as guidelines for our collective life.
Lecturer: Prof. HPP Lotter

Second Year - 2020

Philosophy 2A [s1:t1]: Value Theory

The world of art is subject to conflicting viewpoints of what is ethical and unethical. Artists using live and/or dead animals in their art tread that ethical tightrope. In 2020, this module will focus on one question in the philosophy of art: whether (and/or when) the use of non-human animals in art is ethically justified.
Lecturer: Prof C.F. Botha

Philosophy 2A [s1:t2]: African Philosophy

In this module you will be introduced to ideas and discourse in two areas of African philosophy, metaphysics and African feminism. You will study philosophy that arises from or focuses on African experiences, histories and knowledge. You will be expected to critically engage and debate prescribed philosophical texts. Some of the ideas that we will engage in this course include personhood, community, gender and sexuality. 
Lecturer: Ms Dimpho Takane

Philosophy 2B [s2:t1]: History of Modern Philosophy

In this course, we read together and explore some of the central arguments of Descartes’ Meditations on First Philosophy. We will be considering some of the following questions. Are there good reasons for mistrusting the senses? Does God exist? What can I be certain of? Or is it possible that I am constantly being deceived about the way things are by an evil demon?
Lecturer: Prof. R. Winkler

Philosophy 2B [s2:t2]: Metaphysics and Epistemology

We will explore some of the current theories of knowledge and truth. We will be exploring some of the following questions. Does knowledge have a foundation? What is the nature of truth?
Lecturer: Prof. R. Winkler

Third Year - 2020

Philosophy 3A [s1:t1]: 19th century Philosophy

In 2020, this course provides an in-depth consideration of Friedrich Nietzsche’s philosophy of art. We consider questions like what value could art have for us in our contemporary situation, and whether Nietzsche is right that art is important because it "redeems" us from life.
Lecturer: Prof C.F. Botha

Philosophy 3A [s1:t2]: 20th century Philosophy

In 2020 this course will involve a detailed reading of Saul Kripke’s book Naming and Necessity. It will use the book as a platform for exploration of various topics in metaphysics and epistemology including possible worlds semantics, modal logic, scientific essentialism and others.
Lecturer: Dr. C. Harris

Philosophy 3B [s2:t1]: Animal and Environmental Ethics

In this module, we analyse the various components of the global environmental crisis to determine what ethical challenges this crisis pose. We thereafter examine different theories offered as ethical solutions to avert and mitigate the global environmental crisis.
Lecturer: Prof. HPP Lotter

Philosophy 3B [s2:t2]: Philosophy of Science

In this module a number of issues in the Philosophy of Science are addressed, with a view to applying these to both past and present scientific theories and practices. You will consider historic approaches to the scientific method, and consider whether science is a fundamentally Western discipline, or whether it has been developed independently elsewhere such as in the Global South. You will also consider a number of philosophical questions that arise in the social sciences, with a particular focus on the philosophy of medicine.
Lecturer: Dr B Smart
's'=semester 1st or 2nd half of the year
't'=term 1st or 2nd half of a semester
eg.[s1:t1-2]=semester 1 terms 1 & 2