BA (Honours) Philosophy for 2017-18 Intake and before

The word ‘philosophy’ comes from ancient Greece, where it meant ‘the love of wisdom’. Philosophy investigates the world and our knowledge of it, and approaches these issues systematically and at a high level of generality and abstraction, The characteristic, though not exclusive, methods that philosophers use in such investigations include reasoning and conceptual clarification as well as careful attention to examples, whether actual or imagined, that may be relevant in particular debates. Many problems discussed in philosophy have a close connection with everyday moral problems or topics discussed in science, which shows that the widespread picture of philosophy as an abstract, dry and irrelevant is misleading.
The Honours Degree Programme in Philosophy at Lingnan is designed to provide students with an introduction to contemporary philosophy and to acquaint them with the history of the discipline. Lingnan’s philosophy programme places an emphasis on training students to do philosophy, that is, to become skilled at understanding, responding to, and developing philosophical arguments. Lingnan philosophy students learn about both Eastern and Western philosophical traditions and become familiar with the topics that define central areas in philosophy, such as logic, philosophy of language, ethics, and the theory of knowledge. The programme trains students to engage in informed reflection and argumentation on a wide range of philosophical questions.
The BA (Hons) Philosophy targets two main outcomes:

  1. Students who study philosophy successfully will have a foundational knowledge of philosophical traditions, arguments, and problems that will enable them to pursue further studies in philosophy in Hong Kong or overseas;
  2. The study of philosophy enhances a variety of skills having applications both within and outside of the university or other educational institutions. These skills fall into three broad types:
    1. analytic and critical thinking abilities, such as the ability to recognize assumptions and conceptual relations, and the ability to gather and organize information; critical thinking involves the ability to detect ambiguity, vagueness, inconsistency, and argumentative fallacies;
    2. interpretative and comprehension skills, such as the ability to understand difficult texts and extract key arguments and issues; and
    3. communicative skills, including the ability to write and speak on complex topics with clarity and precision.
The philosophy major requires 9 required courses and either 7 elective courses (21 credits) or 5 electives (15 credits) in conjunction with a final year project (6 credits). The 9 required courses are deductive logic, 3 courses in the history of philosophy, 3 courses to be chosen from a list of core philosophy courses, and 2 courses in ethics and political philosophy. Regarding electives, the department has identified five elective profiles. Students are free to either specialize in a single profile or choose courses from multiple profiles. These profiles are: Aesthetics, Chinese Philosophy, Continental Philosophy, Ethics and Practical Philosophy, Philosophy of Natural and Human Sciences, and Special Topics.
Traditionally philosophy graduates go into education or the media as specialised cultural workers valued for their knowledge of central cultural traditions. However, there has been an increasing trend in the last fifteen years in the United States and Europe for corporations to hire philosophy graduates for fast track positions as problem solvers. In addition to giving students the knowledge they need to fill relevant positions in publishing, journalism, or teaching, the present programme emphasises the development of analytical ability and critical and creative thinking, preparing students to fulfil with distinction such positions as problem solvers.
English Language: Level 3
Chinese Language: Level 3
Mathemathics: Level 2
Liberal Studies: Level 2
One Elective Subject: Level 2
Please visit this link for the major allocation criteria:
Course Code Course Title No. of Credits
1st Term 1st/ 2nd Term 2nd Term Total
CCC8001 Logic and Critical Thinking (R) 3 3


The Making of Hong Kong (R)
(recoded to CCC8012 from 2017-18)
3 3
LCC1010 Practical Chinese I (R) 3 3
LCE1010 English for Communication I (R) 3 3
LCE1020 English for Communication II (R) 3 3
^ 2 Cluster Courses 6 6
3 Free Electives 9 9
Total number of credits in first year: 30
Course Code Course Title No. of Credits
1st Term 1st/ 2nd Term 2nd Term Total
CCC8003 Understanding Morality (R) 3 3
CCC8004 World History and Civilisations (R) 3 3
LCC2010 Practical Chinese II (R) 3 3
LCE2010 English for Communication III (R) 3 3
ENG2020 Varieties of English (R) 3 3
^ 1-2 Cluster Courses 3-6 3-6
Total number of credits in second year: 18-21
Course Code Course Title No. of Credits
1st Term 1st/ 2nd Term 2nd Term Total
PHI3101 Deductive Logic (R)  3 3
3 History of Philosophy Courses 9 9
3 Core Philosophy Courses 9 9
2 Ethics and Political Philosophy Courses 6 6
5 Programme Electives 15 15
4 Free Electives 12 12
Total number of credits in second to fourth years: 54
Course Code Course Title No. of Credits
1st Term 1st/ 2nd Term 2nd Term Total
^ 1-2 Cluster Courses 3-6 3-6
Course Code Course Title No. of Credits
1st Term 1st/ 2nd Term 2nd Term Total
PHI4301 Directed Research Project or 2 Programme Electives 3-6 3-6
^ 1-2 Cluster Courses 3-6 3-6
Total number of credits in fourth years: 9-12
Minimum credits for Honours Degree: 120

(R) denotes required course(s).

REQUIRED COURSES (Total 9 courses, 27 credits)
Course Code Course Title No. of Credits
Major Programme
HISTORY OF PHILOSOPHY (must take three courses from the following, with one course in each tradition)
PHI2112 History of Chinese Philosophy : From Pre-Qin to Han (Chinese Tradition)* 3
PHI2113 History of Western Philosophy : Ancient Greek Philosophy (Western Tradition) 3
PHI2116 History of Chinese Philosophy : From Wei Jin to Ming (Chinese Tradition)* 3
PHI2117 History of Western Philosophy : From Descartes to Kant (Westerm Tradition) 3
CORE PHILOSOPHY COURSES (must take three courses from the following)
PHI2115 Metaphysics 3
PHI3231 Epistemology 3
PHI3265 Philosophy of Mind 3
PHI4366 Philosophy of Language 3
ETHICS AND POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY (must take one course in each tradition)
PHI3102 Chinese Political Philosophy (Chinese Tradition)** 3
PHI3103 Advanced Western Ethics (Western Tradition) 3
PHI3104 Western Political Philosophy (Western Tradition) 3
PHI3232 Ethics: The Chinese Tradition (Chinese Tradition)** 3
PHI3101 Deductive Logic (R) 3

* In addition to taking PHI2113 and PHI2117, International students or non-Cantonese speakers can choose one course among the Core Philosophy Courses, Ethics and Political Philosophy, or other programme elective courses to substitute PHI2112/PHI2116. The course chosen from the Core Philosophy Courses and the Ethics and Political Philosophy courses in this way do not count to fulfill the other requirements below. Approval of Academic Advisor is required.

** International students or non-Cantonese speakers can choose one course from those Programme Elective courses profiled as Ethics and Practical Philosophy, or from the relevant Special Topics courses to substitute PHI3102/PHI3232. Approval of Academic Advisor is required for choice of courses in the Special Topics list as substitutes for the required course in the tradition.

PROGRAMME ELECTIVE COURSES  (Total 7 courses, 21 credits or 5 courses, 15 credits in conjunction with a 6-credit Directed Research Project)
Students are required to select courses either from the list of electives given below or from the list of required courses (presented under Required Courses Section of this programme structure) that are not yet taken as their required courses.
Course Code Course Title No. of Credits
Major Programme
PHI3264 Philosophy and Literature 3
PHI3271 History of Aesthetics 3
PHI3281 Philosophy of Photography 3
PHI4273 Philosophy of Architecture 3
PHI4363 Analytic Philosophy of Art 3
PHI4373 Cinema and Philosophy 3
CHI4308 Confucianism and Chinese Literature 3
CHI4345 Buddhism and Chinese Literature 3
CHI4346 Daoism and Chinese Literature 3
PHI2001 The Philosophy of Zhuangzi 3
PHI3285 The Philosophy of Mozi 3
PHI4266 Pre-Qin Taoism 3
PHI4334 Contemporary Neo-Confucianism 3
PHI4361 Confucianism and the Modern World 3
PHI4364 Man and Heaven in Chinese Philosophy 3
PHI3270 Continental Aesthetic Theories 3
PHI4261 Contemporary Continental Philosophy 3
PHI4275 Schopenhauer and Nietzsche 3
PHI4369 Post-Modern Philosophy 3
PHI3105 Philosophy of Happiness 3
PHI3201 Applied Ethics 3
PHI3222 Life and Death 3
PHI3223 Bioethics 3
PHI3236 Contingencies and Necessities in Life 3
PHI3263 Philosophical Perspectives on Human Rights 3
PHI3278 Metaethics 3
PHI3280 Philosophy of Religion 3
PHI4324 Utopia 3
PHI4367 Philosophy of Law 3
PHI4372 Theories of Justice 3
PHI4374 Value Theory 3
PHI3001 Causation, Explanation and Causal Inference 3
PHI3279 Philosophy of Technology 3
PHI3282 Philosophy of History 3
PHI3283 Philosophy of Social Science 3
PHI3368 Philosophy of Science 3
PHI3370 Probability and Scientific Method 3
PHI3371 Personal Identity 3
PHI4101 Modal Logic 3
PHI4365 Philosophy of Action 3
PHI4375 Philosophy of Artificial Intelligence 3
PHI4399 Special Topics 3
PHI4399A Existence and Being 3
PHI4399C Freedom, Commitment, and the Self 3
PHI4399D Aesthetics and Philosophy of Art 3
PHI4399E Introduction to Philosophy 3
PHI4399F Philosophical Writing 3
PHI4399G Aesthetic Properties 3
PHI4399H Philosophical Methodology 3
PHI4399J Philosophy of Psychology 3
PHI4399K Scientific Realism 3
PHI4399M Contemporary Metaethics 3
PHI4399P The Nature of Truth 3
PHI4399R The Theory and Practice of Autonomy 3
PHI4399S Buddhism in the Contemporary World 3
PHI4399T Philosophy of Probability 3
Last updated: 20.09.2018