Undergraduate Module Descriptor

PHL3108: Fundamental Ontology

This module descriptor refers to the 2016/7 academic year.

Module Content

Syllabus Plan

The philosophers listed are indicative. The texts chosen may deviate from those mentioned below.


The problem of change in ancient Greek philosophy – Zeno, Parmenides, Heraclitus, Democritus, Plato

Aristotle on substance – Aristotle

Cartesian dualism and responses – Descartes, Spinoza and Leibniz

Idealism – Berkeley, Kant, Hegel

Materialism – Democritus, Hobbes, Marx

Neutral Monism – Spinoza, Mach

Process and the critique of substance – Whitehead

Physicalism and the place of philosophy – Sandra Mitchell, Quine, Carnapp

Learning and Teaching

This table provides an overview of how your hours of study for this module are allocated:

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

...and this table provides a more detailed breakdown of the hours allocated to various study activities:

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Lectures1111 one hour lectures
Tutorials1111 one hour lectures
Guided independent study33Assigned reading associated with lecture and tutorials
Guided independent study10Preparation for in-class discussion
Guided independent study35Preparation for assigned essay
Guided independent study50Exam Revision and private study

Online Resources

This module has online resources available via ELE (the Exeter Learning Environment).

Aristotle’s Metaphysics (Ross translation available at http://classics.mit.edu/Aristotle/metaphysics.html)