Literature and Philosophy (Q3269)

15 credits, Level 5

Autumn teaching

This module looks at the relationship between literature and philosophy during the Enlightenment, a period equally marked by reason and feeling, by considering how some of the major questions that preoccupy eighteenth-century authors are philosophical questions about the mind, the body, the self, and our responsibility to others.

Literature from this period is full of scenes in which characters find themselves impersonated, or hurt others by accident, or have incomplete control of their bodies. Such scenes explore what are fundamentally philosophical questions, but they do so through fiction, in a narrative manner that is clearly distinct from philosophical argument.

You will discuss works of literature as raising philosophical issues in their own right, and you will also read them alongside short selections from contemporary philosophical writings. You will work across across disciplines, our primary focus will be on the literary works, and this module assumes no prior knowledge of philosophy.


27%: Lecture
73%: Seminar


100%: Coursework (Portfolio)

Contact hours and workload

This module is approximately 150 hours of work. This breaks down into about 22 hours of contact time and about 128 hours of independent study. The University may make minor variations to the contact hours for operational reasons, including timetabling requirements.

We regularly review our modules to incorporate student feedback, staff expertise, as well as the latest research and teaching methodology. We’re planning to run these modules in the academic year 2024/25. However, there may be changes to these modules in response to feedback, staff availability, student demand or updates to our curriculum. We’ll make sure to let you know of any material changes to modules at the earliest opportunity.


This module is offered on the following courses: