Undergraduate Module Descriptor

ANT3035: Philosophical Anthropology

This module descriptor refers to the 2019/0 academic year.


NQF Level 6
Credits 15 ECTS Value 7.5
Term(s) and duration

This module ran during term 1 (11 weeks)

Academic staff

Professor Lenny Moss (Convenor)





Available via distance learning


Philosophical Anthropology commenced when “natural philosophers” of the 18th century began to realise that understanding humans as natural beings, as organisms, was essential to understanding humans as moral and cognitive agents. Kant famously realized late in his life that all the questions that he felt philosophy could address, and that he had grappled with, could be reckoned under the question “What does it mean to be human?”   While various human, social and biological sciences have calved off from philosophy during and since the time of Kant, Philosophical Anthropology continues to try to put the fragmented pieces of these various empirical sciences back together into a unified whole yet without losing the insights also gained from phenomenological reflection and analysis.  In this class we will be looking at important recent work from cognitive psychology, anatomy, paleo-anthropology, behavioural ecology, evolutionary-developmental biology, neuroscience and phenomenology and asking about its philosophical and ethical significance.  We will ultimately be bringing these studies to bear on an important debate in contemporary philosophy.  

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