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Philosophy Department Foreign Study Program

Edinburgh, Scotland

FSP 2006 Fall, dinner with Prof Amy Allen

More FSP 2001 Photos, (html link to Prof. James Moor's website)

The Philosophy program offers the opportunity to spend a fall term at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland. Students take a course in philosophy taught by a Dartmouth faculty member (Philosophy 50). In addition, each student will take two courses (Philosophy 60, 61) from faculty of the Philosophy Department at the University of Edinburgh. Students participating in the program must have completed at least two courses in philosophy prior to their participation but not necessarily prior to their application for admission to the program. However, preference will be given to those students who have completed more philosophy courses. A member of the University of Edinburgh philosophy faculty will offer a course at Dartmouth in the summer term. Students going to Edinburgh should consider taking this course. There will be an opportunity to participate in the junior year Honors program while in Edinburgh.

The program provides students with the opportunity to study at one of Great Britain's oldest and finest universities, which has a large and diverse philosophy staff. This staff represents a wide spectrum of approaches to philosophy including both the analytic tradition and the continental tradition. Dartmouth undergraduates should benefit from contact with students doing graduate studies in philosophy. Great Britain has an excellent system of public transportation, so trips to many fascinating sites can conveniently be arranged.


  • Philosophy 50, Special Topics in Philosophy (taught by Dartmouth faculty; see course title and description below)
  • Philosophy 60, Foreign Study in Philosophy I (taught by University of Edinburgh faculty)
  • Philosophy 61, Foreign Study in Philosophy II (taught by University of Edinburgh faculty)

All Philosophy courses taken on the Edinburgh FSP count towards a Philosophy major at Dartmouth.  Depending on the topic, these courses may satisfy specific requirements for the major (e.g., the history of philosophy requirement). Students who want courses taken on the FSP to satisfy specific requirements for the major should petition the chair of the Department of Philosophy at Dartmouth.

Prerequisites: At least two courses in Philosophy

Enrollment: Limited to 15 students

Applications available on-line through the Off Campus Programs office.

Application Deadline: February 1, 2014

Living Accommodations: Students live in University of Edinburgh owned flats.

13F FSP Faculty Director: Professor Jim Moor

PHIL 50: Special Topics in Philosophy: Free Will and Responsibility in the Contemporary World

Course Description: Both free will and responsibility are crucial concepts in how we understand ethics, law, and human behavior. In recent decades these two familiar notions have come under pressure from advances in science and technology. Results from brain science and cognitive science raise questions about free will – whether, for example, we are as free in and aware of our decision-making as we usually believe. Results from technology raise questions about responsibility. Given that only computers can process huge amounts of data rapidly, are we becoming less responsible or even irresponsible in letting computers make decisions, especially those that must be made quickly such as those in the stock market or on the field of battle?

14F FSP Faculty Director: Professor Kenny Walden

PHIL 50: Special Topics in Philosophy: Ethics and Art

Course Description: From novels, films, and television to painting, sculpture, and symphonies, the influence of art on our character, our values, and how we see the world is pervasive. This raises a number of important philosophical questions at the intersection of ethics and the philosophy of art. Do both moral properties like goodness and aesthetic properties like beauty only exist "in the eye of the beholder", or are one or both of them more objective? Can we learn things about what is good and right, or how to be better people from reading great literature or seeing important paintings? How might the moral character of a work of art affect its aesthetic merit; is Birth of a Nation a worse film because of its racism? Edinburgh offers a wealth of world-class art, and taking advantage of this resource will be an important part of the class.

Last Updated: 1/20/14