Coronavirus (Covid-19) Information

Module VPR-2303:
Immanuel Kant

Module Facts

Run by School of History, Philosophy and Social Sciences

20 Credits or 10 ECTS Credits

Semester 1

Organiser: Dr Toby Betenson

Overall aims and purpose

Few philosophers have had a greater impact on the development of philosophy than Immanuel Kant. His contributions to metaphysics, epistemology, and ethics totally revolutionised how philosophers understood the world and humanity’s place within it. In this module, we will cover the most important aspects of Kant’s thought. We will ask whether we can ever truly perceive the ‘thing in itself’, as opposed to mere appearances. We will ask whether space and time exist in the world, or only in us. We will ask whether reason alone can establish an absolute moral duty, and whether God and immortality are necessary for morality. Finally, we will track some of Kant’s influence, which can be found in every noteworthy philosopher of the past 200 years, and shows no sign of disappearing any time soon!

Course content

This module provides an introduction to the thought of Immanuel Kant. It covers his contributions to metaphysics and epistemology, by discussing his ‘transcendental idealism’. It covers Kant’s significant contributions to ethics, introducing the various formulations of his ‘categorical imperative’. It covers his contributions to the philosophy of religion, in particular his moral argument for belief in God. Throughout the module, I place Kant in the context of the history of philosophy, identifying those key aspects of philosophy to which Kant was responding (i.e., rationalism and empiricism), and those philosophers whose work was shaped by Kant’s legacy. Finally, we reflect on the place Kant’s thought holds in contemporary philosophy, particularly moral philosophy.

Learning outcomes

Assessment Methods

Type Name Description Weight
Essay 50
Exam 50

Teaching and Learning Strategy


Courses including this module