MA in Philosophy 20-21 Course Outline

MA Philosophy Programme 20-21

Purpose of the Course 

This MA programme is a continuation of the project established by the late Sir Roger Scruton at the University of Buckingham. It is a one-year, London-based programme of ten evening seminars and individual research.

The course consists of three modules which revolve around topics and areas of research that were central to the work of Roger Scruton. Guest lectures are provided by outstanding academics and internationally renowned philosophers.

Each seminar takes place at the Reform Club, Pall Mall, central London and is followed by a dinner during which participants can engage in discussion with the course director and guest lecturer. Due to Covid-19 we have decided to postpone all seminars to 2021, but we start the academic year in October 2020. In the first three months we will be meeting online. Supervisors will guide students in the research for their MA theses, and during the first three months we will also meet for online seminars on three classics of philosophy: Plato’s Symposium, Kant’s Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals and Sartre’s Being and Nothingness.

Examination will be by a research dissertation on an approved philosophical topic chosen by the student, of around 25,000 words. Guidance and personal supervision will be provided.

Course director: Dr. Alicja Gescinska.

Deputy director: Prof. Dr. Raymond Tallis.


1.    The Purpose of Philosophy: the uses Alicja Gescinska & 14-Jan
and point(less)ness of philosophy Raymond Tallis  
Module 1: Key Problems in Philosophy    
2.  Persons and Brains Raymond Tallis 28-Jan
3.  Idealism vs Materialsm James Tartaglia 11-Feb
4.  Truth and Quasi-realism Simon Blackburn  15-Feb
Module 2: Human Nature    
5.  Love: The Ultimate Human Value?  Simon May 11-Mar
6.  God, Value and Nature Fiona Ellis           25-Mar
7.  Guilt and Responsibility Theodore Dalrymple 8-Apr
Module 3: Aesthetics    
8.  Morality in Music  Alicja Gescinska 22-Apr
9.  Kant’s Aesthetics Sebastian Gardner 13-May
10. Taste and Judgement Barry Smith 10-Jun