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Foundations of Philosophy and Ethics

Code: 106213 ECTS Credits: 6
Degree Type Year Semester
2504235 Science, Technology and Humanities FB 1 1


David Casacuberta Sevilla

Teaching groups languages

You can check it through this link. To consult the language you will need to enter the CODE of the subject. Please note that this information is provisional until 30 November 2023.


Paula Kuffer Dinerstein



Objectives and Contextualisation

This subject provides the student with the argumentative bases and the basic knowledge necessary to address some central issues and problems of philosophy and ethics, such as knowledge, freedom, good, justice and life.

The objective is for the student to acquire introductory philosophical knowledge, but also to develop the necessary skills to undertake the interdisciplinary study of science, technology and the humanities from a philosophical perspective.


  • Act with ethical responsibility and respect for fundamental rights and duties, diversity and democratic values.
  • Identify the various philosophical, ethical and sociological conceptions of science and technology and recognise their evolution throughout history.
  • Make critical use of digital tools and interpret specific documentary sources.
  • Produce written papers and give effective oral presentations, adopting the appropriate register in different languages.
  • Students must be capable of collecting and interpreting relevant data (usually within their area of study) in order to make statements that reflect social, scientific or ethical relevant issues.
  • Students must have and understand knowledge of an area of study built on the basis of general secondary education, and while it relies on some advanced textbooks it also includes some aspects coming from the forefront of its field of study.

Learning Outcomes

  1. Construct philosophical arguments with rigour.
  2. Correctly, accurately and clearly communicating the acquired philosophical knowledge in oral and written form.
  3. Explain aspects of philosophy and ethics using the terminology specific to the discipline.
  4. Express ideas in specific vocabulary appropriate to the discipline.
  5. Produce organised, correct discourse, oral and written, in the corresponding language.
  6. Recognise the ethical dimension of scientific and technical development.
  7. Recognise the principal philosophical debates on the nature of ethics.
  8. Search for, select and manage information independently, both from structured sources (databases, bibliographies, specialist journals) and from the web.
  9. Use digital tools to collect, classify, analyse and interpret significant data related to philosophy studies.


1. What is philosophy?
2. How do we know something?
3. The problem of freedom.
4. Goodness and happiness.
5. The meaning of life.
6. Justice and the common good.
7. Applied ethics.
8. Ethics and science.


1. Lectures: these are master lectures in which the teacher will present the overall thought of the author of the text and will frame it within the history of philosophical thought. At the same time take the opportunity to comment on the fundamental characteristics of the text to be read.
2. Reading of the texts: it is necessary that the student makes a first individual reading of the texts that will be worked on in class collectively (the day indicated by the teacher), pointing out the ideas that he has understood and the difficulties he has encountered
3. Collective rereading in class of the most relevant fragments, or that have presented some difficulty, and discussion of key concepts. The teacher will guide the class based on the contents and doubts that arise from the reading made by the students.
4. Critical analysis of the fundamental ideas of the global text: the students will present in the classroom a critical analysis of the texts, an activity that will be valued, and which in turn will allow a collective discussion supervised by the teacher. The ability to argue clearly, ordered and with some difficulty will be assessed.
5. Critical thematic debate: the ability to substantiate the arguments themselves will be valued, as well as respect for the diversity of opinions, that is, they must be criticized with respect but with solid reflections.

Details, materials and dates of the various activities proposed throughout the course will be provided on the Campus virtual.

Annotation: Within the schedule set by the centre or degree programme, 15 minutes of one class will be reserved for students to evaluate their lecturers and their courses or modules through questionnaires.


Title Hours ECTS Learning Outcomes
Type: Directed      
Lectures 33 1.32 3, 7, 6
Practicum 16 0.64 8, 2, 1, 5, 3, 4, 9, 7, 6
Type: Supervised      
Tutorials and work supervision 4.25 0.17 8, 2, 4, 9
Type: Autonomous      
Concept work and terminology 30.75 1.23 8, 2, 1, 5, 3, 4, 9, 7, 6
Reading and discussion of texts 35 1.4 8, 2, 1, 5, 3, 4, 7, 6


The evaluation of the subject will consist of four items:

Written tests (x2): Two synthesis activities throughout the course, which will consist of a questionnaire (50%) and a text commentary (50%), one in the middle of the course and the other at the end of the course.
The oral presentations: Identification, analysis and deepening by groups of a concrete thematic in the work of the author worked. The script presented and the realization of the exhibition in class will be evaluated.
The written work: Monograph with cooperative work (by groups).

Final note: you must take all the tests to be evaluated. The final grade will be the result of the sum of all tests. The course will be approved from 5 out of 10.

The reviews of the evaluation activities will be done in class, in sessions designed for this purpose.

On carrying out each evaluation activity, lecturers will inform students (on Moodle) of the procedures to be followed for reviewing all grades awarded, and the date on which such a review will take place.

Recoveries: those students who have not passed some of the four tests, carried out or delivered in the established term can be presented. Only for major reasons (formally justified) will be able to present to the recovery those students that have not presented in or delivered some of the proofs of evaluation. In this case, the average mark must be higher than 3,5. In all other cases, the student will be evaluated of the contents with a not passed.

Remember: in the event that a student has not been able to be evaluated in at least 30% of the tests of this subject, his / her file will include a NON-EVALUABLE one.

Plagiarism: In the event that the student commits any irregularity that could lead to a significant variation in the grade of an assessment act, this assessment act will be graded with 0, regardless of the disciplinary process that may be instructed. . In the event of several irregularities in the evaluation of the same subject, the final grade for this subject will be 0.


At the time of carrying out each assessment activity, the teacher will inform the students (Moodle) of the procedure and the date of review of the qualifications.

Unique assessment

The single assessment will be organized based on three tests that will take place during the same day. The evidence for each test is as follows:

Two partial exams with a value of 35% each

A written assignment worth 30%

Assessment Activities

Title Weighting Hours ECTS Learning Outcomes
Exam 1 25% 3 0.12 2, 1, 5, 3, 4, 7, 6
Exam 2 25% 3 0.12 2, 5, 3, 4, 7, 6
Monograph 25% 15 0.6 8, 2, 1, 5, 3, 4, 9, 7, 6
Oral presentation 25% 10 0.4 8, 2, 1, 5, 3, 4, 9, 7, 6


Ballacci, Giuseppe: Political Theory between Philosophy and Rhetoric, London: Springer, 2018. 
Brugger, Bill: Republican Theory in Political Thought. Virtuos or Virtual?, London: Macmillan, 1999. 
Cattani, Adelino: Los usos de la retórica, Madrid: Alianza, 2003. 
Cattani, Adelino: "Filósofos y oradores. Filosofía en la retórica, retórica en la filosofía : Filosofi e oratori. Filosofia nella retorica, retorica nella filosofia", Rétor. 2011 1(. 2): 119-130.
Charney Colmo, Ann: "The Virtues and the Audience in Aristotle’s Rhetoric", Interpretation, 47 (3), 2021. 
Frogel, Shai: The Rhetoric of Philosophy, Amsterdam: John Benjamins BV, 2005. 
Hamper, Michael: What Philosophy Is For, Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2018. 
Heller, Michael: Philosophy in science : an historical introduction, Heidelberg, Springer, 2011. 
Honohan, Iseult: Civic Republicanism, London: Routledge, 2002. 
Ijsseling, Samuel: Rhetoric and Philosophy in Conflict: An Historical Survey, Dordrecht : Springer, 2012.
Kennerly, Michelle & Smith Pfister, Damien: Ancient Rhetorics and Digital Networks, Tuscaloosa: The University of Alabama Press, 2018. 
Macdonald, Michael J: The Oxford Handbook of Rhetorical Studies. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017. 
Mackie, John Leslie: Ética : la invención de lo bueno y lo malo. Barcelona: Gedisa, 2000.
McGinn, Robert E.: "Culture as Prophylactic: Nietzsche's Birth of Tragedy as Culture Criticism", Nietzsche Studien: Internationales Jahrbuch für die Nietzsche-Forschung; 1975; 4: 75-138. 
Miller, James: Examined Lives. From Socrates to Nietzsche, New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2011. 
Nussbaum, Martha C. Love's Knowledge: Essays on Philosophy and Literature. New York: Oxford UP, 1990.
Patočka, Jan: Platón y Europa, Barcelona: Península, 1991. 
Perelman C. (1979) The New Rhetoric: A Theory of Practical Reasoning. In: The New Rhetoric and the Humanities. Synthese Library (Studies in Epistemology, Logic, Methodology, and Philosophy of Science), vol 140. Springer, Dordrecht. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-009-9482-9_1
Singer, Peter: Applied Ethics, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1986. 
Skinner, Quentin: Visions of Politics (3V), Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002.  

Bibliography on ways of reading philosophical texts
Olivier Abiteboul, Comprendre les textes philosophiques, París, L’Harmattan, 2008.
Jacqueline Russ, Les méthodes en philosophie, París, Armand Colin, 2008.
Philippe Choulet, Dominique Folscheid, Jean-Jacques Wunenburger, Méthodologie philosophique, París, PUF, 2003.
Clare Saunders, David Mossley, George McDonald Ross, Daniele Lamb, Doing Philosophy. A Practical Guide for Philosophers, Continuum, 2008.
Samuel Guttenplan, Jenifer Hornsby, Christopher Janaway, Reading Philosophy. Selected Texts with a Method for Begginers, Wiley Blackwell, 2002.

Reference Manuals 
Bréhier, Émile, (1928) Historia de la filosofia y la ciencia, Madrid: Tecnos, 1998.
Châtelet, François, (1972) La philosophie et l'histoire, 8 Vol. V. Paris: Hachatte, 2000.
Copleston, Frederick., (2001) Manual de filosofia,9 vol. Barcelona: Ariel, 2011.
Geymonat, Ludovico, (1998) Historia de la filosofia y de la ciencia. Barcelona: Crítica, 2005.
Reale, Giovanniet. Al. (1983) Historia del pensamiento filosófico y científico, 3 Vol. Barcelona:Herder, 1995.

Ferrater Mora, Josep, (1979) Diccionario de filosofia, Madrid: Alianza, 1990.


Not applicable.