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Philosophy

Early Modern Philosophy
The purpose of this subject is to enable you to gain a critical understanding of some of the metaphysical and epistemological ideas of some of the most important philosophers of the early modern period, between the 1630s to the 1780s.

This period saw a great flowering of philosophy in Europe. Descartes, Spinoza and Leibniz, often collectively referred to as "the rationalists", placed the new "corpuscularian" science within grand metaphysical systems which certified our God-given capacity to reason our way to the laws of nature (as well as to many other, often astonishing conclusions about the world). Locke wrote in a different, empiricist tradition. He argued that, since our concepts all ultimately derive from experience, our knowledge is necessarily limited. Berkeley and Hume developed this empiricism in the direction of a kind of idealism, according to which the world studied by science is in some sense mind-dependent and mind-constructed.

Knowledge and Reality
The purpose of this subject is to enable you to examine some central questions about the
nature of the world and the extent to which we can have knowledge of it.
In considering knowledge you will examine whether it is possible to attain knowledge of what
the world is really like. Is our knowledge of the world necessarily limited to what we can
observe to be the case? Indeed, are even our observational beliefs about the world around
us justified? Can we have knowledge of what will happen based on what has happened? Is
our understanding of the world necessarily limited to what we can prove to be the case? Or
can we understand claims about the remote past or distant future which we cannot in
principle prove to be true?
In considering reality you will focus on questions such as the following. Does the world really
contain the three-dimensional objects and their properties – such as red buses or black
horses – which we appear to encounter in everyday life? Or is it made up rather of the
somewhat different entities studied by science, such as colourless atoms or four-dimensional
space-time worms? What is the relation between the common sense picture of the world and
that provided by contemporary science? Is it correct to think of the objects and their
properties that make up the world as being what they are independently of our preferred
ways of dividing up reality? These issues are discussed with reference to a variety of specific
questions such as ‘What is time?’, ‘What is the nature of causation?’, and ‘What are
substances?’

Ethics
The purpose of this subject is to enable you to come to grips with some questions which
exercise many people, philosophers and non-philosophers alike. How should we decide what
is best to do, and how best to lead our lives? Are our value judgements on these and other
matters objective or do they merely reflect our subjective preferences and viewpoints? Are
we in fact free to make these choices, or have our decisions already been determined by
antecedent features of our environment and genetic endowment? In considering these
issues you will examine a variety of ethical concepts, such as those of justice, rights,
equality, virtue, and happiness, which are widely used in moral and political argument. There
is also opportunity to discuss some applied ethical issues. Knowledge of major historical
thinkers, e.g. Aristotle and Hume and Kant, will be encouraged, but not required in the
examination.

Philosophy of Mind
The purpose of this subject is to enable you to examine a variety of questions about the
nature of persons and their psychological states, including such general questions as: what
is the relation between persons and their minds? Could robots or automata be persons?
What is the relation between our minds and our brains? If we understood everything about
the brain, would we understand everything about consciousness and rational thought? If not,
why not? Several of these issues focus on the relation between our common sense
understanding of ourselves and others, and the view of the mind developed in scientific
psychology and neuroscience. Are the two accounts compatible? Should one be regarded as
better than the other? Should our common sense understanding of the mind be jettisoned in
favour of the scientific picture? Or does the latter leave out something essential to a proper
understanding of ourselves and others? Other more specific questions concern memory,
thought, belief, emotion, and perception.

Philosophy of Science and Social Science
The purpose of this subject is to enable you to study topics in the philosophy of science in
general, and topics in the philosophy of social science in particular.
In the broadest sense the philosophy of science is concerned with the theory of knowledge
and with associated questions in metaphysics. What is distinctive about the field is the focus
on “scientific” knowledge, and metaphysical questions – concerning space, time, causation,
probability, possibility, necessity, realism and idealism – that follow in their train. As such it is
concerned with distinctive traits of science: testability, objectivity, scientific explanation, and
the nature of scientific theories.
Whether economics, sociology, and political science are “really” sciences is a question that
lay people as well as philosophers have often asked. The technology spawned by the
physical sciences is more impressive than that based on the social sciences: bridges do not
collapse and aeroplanes do not fall from the sky, but no government can reliably control
crime, divorce, or unemployment, or make its citizens happy at will. Human behaviour often
seems less predictable, and less explicable than that of inanimate nature and non-human
animals, even though most of us believe that we know what we are doing and why. So
philosophers of social science have asked whether human action is to be explained causally
or non-causally, whether predictions are self-refuting, whether we can only explain behaviour
that is in some sense rational – and if so, what that sense is. Other central issues include
social relativism, the role of ideology, value-neutrality, and the relationship between the
particular social sciences, in particular whether economics provides a model for other social
science. Finally, some critics have asked whether a technological view of ‘social control’
does not threaten democratic politics as usually understood.

Philosophy of Religion
The purpose of this subject is to enable you to examine claims about the existence of God
and God’s relationship to the world. What, if anything, is meant by them? Could they be true?
What justification, if any, can or needs to be provided for them? The paper is concerned
primarily with the claims of Western religions (Christianity, Judaism and Islam), and with the
central claim of those religions, that there is a God. God is said to be omnipresent,
omnipotent, omniscient, perfectly good, a source of moral obligation and so on. But what
does it mean to say that God has these properties, and are they consistent with each other?
Could God change the past, or choose to do evil? Does it make sense to say that God is
outside time? You will have the opportunity to study arguments for the existence of God – for
example, the teleological argument from the fact that the Universe is governed by scientific
laws, and the argument from people’s religious experiences. Other issues are whether the
fact of pain and suffering counts strongly, or even conclusively, against the existence of God,
whether there could be evidence for miracles, whether it could be shown that prayer “works”,
whether there could be life after death, and what philosophical problems are raised by the
existence of different religions. There may also be an optional question in the exam paper
about some specifically Christian doctrine – does it make sense to say that the life and death
of Jesus atoned for the sins of the world, and could one know this? There is abundant scope
for deploying all the knowledge and techniques which you have acquired in other areas of
philosophy. Among the major philosophers whose contributions to the philosophy of religion
you will need to study are Aquinas, Hume and Kant.

The Philosophy of Logic and Language
The purpose of this subject is to enable you to examine some fundamental questions relating
to reasoning and language. The philosophy of logic is not itself a symbolic or mathematical
subject, but examines concepts of interest to the logician. If you want to know the answer to
the question ‘What is truth?’, this is a subject for you. Central also are questions about the
status of basic logical laws and the nature of logical necessity. What, if anything, makes it
true that nothing can be at the same time both green and not green all over? Is that necessity
the result of our conventions or stipulations, or the reflection of how things have to be
independently of us? Philosophy of language is closely related. It covers the very general
question how language can describe reality at all: what makes our sentences meaningful
and, on occasion, true? How do parts of our language refer to objects in the world? What is
involved in understanding speech (or the written word)? You may also investigate more
specific issues concerning the correct analysis of particular linguistic expressions such as
names, descriptions, pronouns, or adverbs, and aspects of linguistics and grammatical
theory. Candidates taking 102 as well as 108 should avoid repetition of material across
examinations.

Aesthetics and the Philosophy of Criticism
The purpose of this subject is to enable you to study a number of questions about the nature
and value of beauty and of the arts. For example, do we enjoy sights and sounds because
they are beautiful, or are the beautiful because we enjoy them? Does the enjoyment of
beauty involve a particular sort of experience, and if so, how should we define it and what
psychological capacities does it presuppose? Is a work of art a physical object, an abstract
object, or what? Does the value of a work of art depend only upon its long- or short-term
effects on our minds or characters? If not, what sorts of reasons can we give for admiring a
work of art? Do reasons for admiring paintings, pieces of music and poems have enough in
common with one another, and little enough in common with reasons for admiring other kinds
of things, to support the idea that there is a distinctive sort of value which good art of every
sort, and only art, possesses? As well as general questions such as these ones, the subject
also addresses questions raised by particular art forms. For example, what is the difference
between a picture and a description in words? Can fiction embody truths about its subjectmatter?
How does music express emotions? All of these questions, and others, are
addressed directly, and also by examining classic texts, including Plato’s Ion and Republic,
Aristotle’s Poetics, Hume’s essay ‘Of the Standard of Taste’ and Kant’s Critique of Aesthetic
Judgement.

Medieval Philosophy: Aquinas
The purpose of this subject is to introduce you to many of Aquinas’s central ideas and
arguments on a wide variety of theological and philosophical topics. These include the proofs
of the existence of God (the famous “five ways”), the concept of the simplicity of God
(including the controversial issue of the identity of being and essence in God), the concept of
soul in general and of human soul in particular, the proof of the immortality of the human
soul, the nature of perception and of intellectual knowledge, the notion of free will and of
happiness, the theory of human actions. These are studied in translation rather than in the
Latin original, though a glance at Aquinas’s remarkably readable Latin can often be useful.
Candidates are encouraged to carefully read and analyse Aquinas’s texts and to focus on the
philosophical questions they raise. 

Medieval Philosophy: Duns Scotus and Ockham
Duns Scotus and Ockham are, together with Aquinas, the most significant and influential
thinkers of the Middle Ages. The purpose of this subject is to make you familiar with some
fundamental aspects of their theological and philosophical thought. As to Scotus, these
include the proof of the existence and of the unicity of God (the most sophisticated one in the
Middle Ages) and the issues about causality that it raises, the theory of the existence of
concepts common to God and creatures (the univocity theory of religious language), the
discussion about the immateriality and the immortality of the human soul, the reply to
scepticism. As to Ockham, they include nominalism about universals and the refutation of
realism (including the realism of Duns Scotus), some issues in logic and especially the theory
of “suppositio” and its application in the debate about universals, the theory of intellectual
knowledge of singulars and the question of whether we can have evidence about contingent
properties of singulars, the nature of efficient causality and the problem of whether we can
prove the existence of a first efficient cause. These are studied in translation rather than in
the Latin original, though a glance at the Latin can often be useful. Candidates are
encouraged to carefully read and analyse Scotus’s and Ockham’s texts and to focus on the
philosophical questions they raise.

The Philosophy of Kant
The purpose of this paper is to enable you to make a critical study of some of the ideas of
one of the greatest of all philosophers.
Immanuel Kant lived from 1724 to 1804. He published the Critique of Pure Reason in 1781,
and the Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals in 1785. The Critique is his greatest work
and, without question, the most influential work of modern philosophy. It is a difficult but
enormously rewarding work. This is largely because Kant, perhaps uniquely, combines in the
highest measure the cautious qualities of care, rigour and tenacity with the bolder quality of
philosophical imagination. Its concern is to give an account of human knowledge that will
steer a path between the dogmatism of traditional metaphysics and the scepticism that, Kant
believes, is the inevitable result of the empiricist criticism of metaphysics. Kant’s approach,
he claims in a famous metaphor, amounts to a “Copernican revolution” in philosophy. Instead
of looking at human knowledge by starting from what is known, we should start from
ourselves as knowing subjects and ask how the world must be for us to have the kind of
knowledge and experience that we have. Kant thinks that his Copernican revolution also
enables him to reconcile traditional Christian morality and modern science, in the face of their
apparently irreconcilable demands (in the one case, that we should be free agents, and in
the other case, that the world should be governed by inexorable mechanical laws).
In the Groundwork Kant develops his very distinctive and highly influential moral philosophy.
He argues that morality is grounded in reason. What we ought to do is what we would do if
we acted in a way that was purely rational. To act in a way that is purely rational is to act in
accordance with the famous “categorical imperative”, which Kant expresses as follows: “Act
only on that maxim through which you can at the same time will that it should become a
universal law.”

Post-Kantian Philosophy
Many of the questions raised by German and French philosophers of the 19th and early 20th
centuries were thought to arise directly out of Kant’s metaphysics, epistemology and ethics:
Hence the title of this subject, the purpose of which is to enable you to explore some of the
developments of (and departures from) Kantian themes in the work of Hegel, Schopenhauer,
Nietzsche, Husserl, Heidegger, Sartre and Merleau-Ponty. Students typically focus their
study on only two chosen authors.
Hegel and Schopenhauer delineate global, metaphysical systems out of which each
develops his own distinctive vision of ethical and (especially in the case of Hegel) political
life. Nietzsche’s writings less obviously constitute a ‘system’, but they too develop certain
ethical and existential implications of our epistemological and metaphysical commitments.
Husserl will interest those pupils attracted to problems in ontology and epistemology such as
feature in the Cartesian tradition; his work also serves to introduce one to phenomenology,
the philosophical method later developed and refined by Heidegger, Sartre and Merleau-
Ponty.
In Heidegger and Sartre, that method is brought to bear on such fundamental aspects of
human existence as authenticity, social understanding, bad faith, art and freedom. Merleau-
Ponty (who trained as a psychologist) presents a novel and important account of the genesis
of perception, cognition and feeling, and relates these to themes in aesthetics and political
philosophy. While this is very much a text-based paper, many of the questions addressed are
directly relevant to contemporary treatments of problems in epistemology and metaphysics,
in aesthetics, political theory and the philosophy of mind.

Theory of Politics
In order to understand the world of politics, we also need to know which views of politics and
society people have when they make political decisions, and why we recommend certain
courses of action rather than others. This purpose of this subject is to enable you to look at
the main ideas we use when we think about politics: why do we have competing views of
social justice and what makes a particular view persuasive, possibly even right? What
happens when a concept such as freedom has different meanings, so that those who argue
that we must maximise freedom of choice are confronted with those who claim that some
choices will actually restrict your freedom? Is power desirable or harmful? Would feminists or
nationalists give a different answer to that question? Political theory is concerned with
developing good responses to problems such as: when should we obey, and when should
we disobey, the state? But it is also concerned with mapping the ways in which we approach
questions such as: how does one argue in favour of human rights? In addition, you will
explore the main ideologies, such as liberalism, conservatism and socialism, in order to
understand their main arguments and why each of them will direct us to different political
solutions and arrangements.

Plato, Republic, in translation
This is one of Plato’s most famous, and most influential, works. It is primarily concerned with
the questions of the nature of justice and of the best possible kind of life we can live. These
questions prompt discussions of the ideal city (including Plato’s most famous discussions of
art), the nature of knowledge, the Theory of Forms, and the immortality of the soul. The study
of the Republic will thus introduce you to many of Plato’s central ideas and argument. His
thought on all these issues may have developed over time, and the Republic may represent
one stage in a continuous process of reflection and self-criticism rather than a definitive and
self-contained statement of his philosophy. For this reason you will wish to look at some of
the ideas and arguments to be found in other Platonic dialogues as well (e.g., Gorgias,
Meno, and Phaedo).

Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics, in translation
The Nicomachean Ethics is one of the four treatises in the Aristotelian Corpus (the others are
the Eudemian Ethics, the Magna Moralia and the Politics) that examine the moral and
political questions discussed in Plato’s Republic and Laws. Like Plato in the Republic,
Aristotle is concerned with the question, what is the best possible sort of life? In the Ethics he
answers this question by examining s the structure of human action, responsibility, the
virtues, the nature of moral knowledge, weakness of will, pleasure, friendship, and other
related issues. Much of what Aristotle has to say on these is ground-breaking, highly
perceptive, and still important in contemporary debate in ethics and moral psychology. The
examination includes a compulsory question requiring comments on passages in English
translation, as well as essay questions.

Frege, Russell, and Wittgenstein
The purpose of this subject is to enable you to study some classic texts from which emerged
modern logic and philosophy of language. Frege invented and explained the logic of multiple
generality (quantification theory) and applied this apparatus to the analysis of arithmetic.
Russell continued this programme, adding some refinements (the theory of types, the theory
of descriptions), and he applied logic to many traditional problems in epistemology.
Wittgenstein’s Tractatus outlined an ambitious project for giving a logical account of truths of
logic (as tautologies).
The texts are dense and sophisticated, but they are elegant and full of challenging ideas.
Ability to understand logical symbolism is important, and previous work in philosophical logic
would be advantageous.

The Later Philosophy of Wittgenstein
The purpose of this subject is to enable you to study some of the most influential ideas of the
20th century. The main texts are Wittgenstein’s posthumously-published Philosophical
Investigations and The Blue and Brown Books. These writings are famous not just for their
content but also for their distinctive style and conception of philosophy. There is much critical
discussion about the relation between those aspects of Wittgenstein’s work.
Wittgenstein covers a great range of issues, principally in philosophy of language and
philosophy of mind. In philosophy of language, one key topic is the nature of rules and rulefollowing.
What is involved in grasping a rule; and how can I tell, in a new case, what I have
to do to apply the rule correctly? Indeed, what makes it the case that a particular move at this
stage is the correct way of applying the rule; is there any standard of correctness other than
the agreement of our fellows? Other topics include: whether language is systematic; the
relation between linguistic meaning and non-linguistic activities; whether concepts can be
illuminatingly analysed. In the philosophy of mind, Wittgenstein is especially famous for the
so-called “private language argument”, which tries to show that words for sensations cannot
get their meanings by being attached to purely internal, introspective, “private objects”.
Other, equally important, topics include the nature of the self, of introspection and of visual
experience, and the intentionality (the representative quality) of mental states. Most
generally, can we (as Wittgenstein thought) avoid Cartesianism without lapsing into
behaviourism?

Intermediate Philosophy of Physics
The purpose of this subject is to enable you to come to grips with conceptual problems in
special relativity and quantum mechanics. Only those with a substantial knowledge of
physics should offer this subject, which is principally intended for candidates reading Physics
and Philosophy.

Philosophy of Mathematics
What is the relation of mathematical knowledge to other kinds of knowledge? Is it of a special
kind, concerning objects of a special kind? If so, what is the nature of those objects and how
do we come to know anything about them? If not, how do we explain the seeming difference
between proving a theorem in mathematics and establishing something about the physical
world? The purpose of this subject is to enable you to examine questions such as these.
Understanding the nature of mathematics has been important to many philosophers,
including Plato, Aristotle, and Kant, as a test or as an exemplar of their overall position, and
has also played a role in the development of mathematics at certain points. While no specific
knowledge of mathematics is required for study of this subject, it will be helpful to have
studied mathematics at A-level, or similar, and to have done Logic in Prelims/Mods.

Philosophy of Science
Philosophy of science is applied epistemology and applied metaphysics. It is theory of
scientific knowledge and scientific method, including elements in philosophy of language,
philosophy of mathematics, and metaphysics. It deals with metaphysical questions – about
space, time, causation, ontology, necessity, truth – as they arise across the board in the
special sciences, not just in physics.
Questions of method include questions of the theory-observation distinction, testability,
induction, theory confirmation, and scientific explanation. They also include theory-change,
whether inter-theoretic reduction, unification, or revolutionary change. They are at once
questions about scientific rationality, and connect in turn with decision theory and the
foundations of probability. They connect also with metaphysics, particularly realism: theorychange,
scepticism, fictionalism, naturalism, the under-determination of theory by data,
functionalism, and structuralism are all critiques of realism.
The subject also includes the study of major historical schools in philosophy of science. The
most important of these is logical positivism (later logical empiricism), that dominated the
second and third quarters of the last century. In fact, some of the most important current
schools in philosophy of science are broadly continuous with it, notably constructive
empiricism and structural realism.

Philosophy of Cognitive Science
This paper covers some of key questions about the nature of the mind dealt with by a variety
of cognitive scientific disciplines: experimental psychology, cognitive neuroscience,
linguistics and computational modelling of the mind. Studying this paper will provide insight
into the ways that contemporary scientific advances have improved our understanding of
aspects of the mind that have long been the focus of philosophical reflection. It will also
introduce you to a range of theoretical issues generated by current research in the
behavioural and brain sciences.

The lectures will also cover philosophical issues raised by some areas of cutting-edge
research, such as: agency and its phenomenology; attention and neglect; cognitive
neuropsychology; concepts; delusions; dual-process theories; dynamical systems, embodied
and embedded cognition; evolutionary psychology and massive modularity; forward models
and predictive coding; imagery; implicit processing (e.g. blindsight, prosopagnosia);
innateness (e.g. concept nativism); language processing and knowledge of language;
perception and action (e.g. dorsal vs. ventral visual systems); spatial representation; theory
of mind / mindreading; unity of consciousness. Lectures may also cover some historical
background (e.g. the cognitive revolution).

Plato, Republic (in Greek)
This is one of Plato’s most famous, and most influential, works. It is primarily concerned with
the questions of the nature of justice and of the best possible kind of life we can live. These
questions prompt discussions of the ideal city (including Plato’s most famous discussions of
art), the nature of knowledge, the Theory of Forms, and the immortality of the soul. The study
of the Republic will thus introduce you to many of Plato’s central ideas and argument. His
thought on all these issues may have developed over time, and the Republic may represent
one stage in a continuous process of reflection and self-criticism rather than a definitive and
self-contained statement of his philosophy. For this reason you will wish to look at some of
the ideas and arguments to be found in other Platonic dialogues as well (e.g., Gorgias,
Meno, and Phaedo).

Plato, Theaetetus and Sophist (in Greek)
The Theaetetus is a searching analysis of the nature of knowledge – ‘rich, inventive, and
profound’, as Bernard Williams says. Socrates and Theaetetus discuss the idea that
knowledge might be no more than perception; Socrates argues that this would require a
radical relativism of the sort developed by the sophist Protagoras, and a view of the world as
constituted by fleeting perceptions rather than by enduring physical objects. They go on to
discuss and reject the idea that knowledge is true judgement, turn aside from this to discuss
how certain sorts of false judgement might be possible, and finally examine what sort of
theory might underpin the claim that knowledge is true judgement together with a ‘logos’.
Plato’s treatment of these questions laid much of the foundation of subsequent philosophical
enquiry into knowledge. As well as being packed with philosophical argument of great
subtlety, the Theaetetus is also a literary masterpiece, thought by many to be Plato’s finest
dialogue.

Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics (in Greek)
The Nicomachean Ethics is one of the four treatises in the Aristotelian Corpus (the others are
the Eudemian Ethics, the Magna Moralia and the Politics) that examine the moral and
political questions discussed in Plato’s Republic and Laws. Like Plato in the Republic,
Aristotle is concerned with the question, what is the best possible sort of life? In the Ethics he
answers this question by examining the structure of human action, responsibility, the virtues,
the nature of moral knowledge, weakness of will, pleasure, friendship, and other related
issues. Much of what Aristotle has to say on these is ground-breaking, highly perceptive, and
still important in contemporary debate in ethics and moral psychology.

Aristotle, Physics (in Greek)
Aristotle is not concerned in this work to do physics in the modern sense, but to examine a
number of important philosophical issues relating to the study of the natural world in general.
These include the concept of nature itself; the types of explanation required in natural
science (including the issue of the legitimacy of teleological explanation in biology); chance;
the nature of change; time; infinity; a critique of the various atomistic theories; and an
extended argument designed to show that the changes in the natural world must depend in
some way on an unchanging first principle. The Physics is an excellent introduction to
Aristotle’s philosophy in general; his distinctive approach to philosophical method is evident
throughout, and central Aristotelian concepts such as substance, form, matter, and cause
play a central role.

Sextus Empiricus: Outlines of Pyrrhonism (in Greek)
In Outlines of Pyrrhonism Sextus enthusiastically expounds and argues for a thorough-going
scepticism. He thinks that we should suspend judgement about absolutely everything – in
other words, on having weighed up whether P, we should neither believe that P nor believe
that not P (whatever P may be). Most modern sceptics, with their denial of the possibility of
knowledge in this or that domain, look pale by comparison. Many of Sextus’s arguments are
taken over from earlier sceptical philosophers, in a tradition going back to Pyrrho of Elis (c.
360- c. 270 BC). Scepticism was a major force in Hellenistic philosophy, in particular in the
Academy from the 3rd century BC It took various forms, some more sceptical than others.
One of the more extreme (he would have said: more consistent) sceptics was Aenesidemus
(1st century BC), one of Sextus’s principal sources. Sextus discusses how the sceptic can
actually lead a life, given this widespread suspension of judgement, and how the sceptic can
come to suspension of judgement (the ‘Modes of Scepticism’). Books II and III contain his
sceptical attacks on all areas of information about the non-sceptical, ‘dogmatic’ philosophies
of the period, Stoicism and Epicureanism in particular. The diffusion of Sextus’s text in the
sixteenth century was crucial in the revolution in philosophy that produced Descartes’
Meditations, and that set much of the agenda for modern philosophy.

Latin Philosophy (in Latin)
These texts provide an introduction to Stoic ethics, in particular in the form it took in Roman
times. The Stoics claim to defend the central elements of Socrates’ ethical outlook. Their
sophisticated and influential theory combines moral theory with moral psychology (especially
an account of the emotions), and an account of responsibility within a deterministic world
view. They offer an important alternative to the ethical outlook of Plato and Aristotle on (e.g.)
the relation of virtue to happiness, the place of knowledge in virtue, and the connections
between the virtues.
Cicero’s De Finibus offers a critical discussion of Epicurean, Stoic, and Aristotelian ethics.
Book III presents the best extant ancient survey of Stoic moral theory. De Officiis I is based
on an important treatise by the Stoic Panaetius on what it is appropriate to do, covering many
questions in practical ethics, including some moral dilemmas. The texts by Seneca offer a
more detailed treatment of some of the questions raised by Cicero. The examination includes
a compulsory question with passages for translation and critical comment, as well as essay
questions.

Thesis in Philosophy
Candidates offering a thesis in Philosophy must offer at least three other subjects in
Philosophy. This may not be combined with any of I.14, III.16, IV.5 or V.5 (a thesis in Ancient
History, Greek and Latin Literature, Greek and Roman Archaeology, or Philology and
Linguistics).