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Introduction

This unit asks what it is to be a person. You will see that there are several philosophical questions around the nature of personhood. Here we explore what it is that defines the concept. As you work through the unit, you will notice that this area of enquiry has developed its own semi-technical vocabulary. The plural of ‘person’ is, in this area of enquiry, ‘persons’ rather than ‘people’. It is easy to see the reason for this. The question ‘What are people?’ is potentially c
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4.3 Sentences: subject and object

A sentence consists of a number of words which, to make sense, must include a verb. Unless this is the only word in the sentence (as in ‘Run!’), there will normally be a word telling us who or what is doing the action. This doer, whether noun or pronoun, is called the subject of the verb.

Consider these sentences:

The players ran onto the pitch. The referee blew his whistle, and the centre-forward
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4.2.1 Nouns

Nouns are used to name people, places, things or concepts, for example Cicero, Italy, tree, happiness. Most nouns can be singular or plural, for example tree, trees. They each belong to a certain gender, masculine, feminine or neuter (from Latin neuter, neither). In English, nouns have natural gender; for example, boatsman is masculine, woman is feminine, student is of common gender (either masculine or feminine), and university and b
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2.3 After the recording

It follows that sorting MacLean's poems out by ‘themes’ entails the risk of disguising the tight interlocking of ‘Politics’, ‘Love’, ‘Landscape’, ‘War’ and ‘History’ in all his poetry down to 1945. Nevertheless, for convenience's sake, I will do this.


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2.1.2 The poems

Your reading in this unit has already prepared you to some extent, but please read the following poems (both the English and Gaelic versions are given) which are discussed in the recordings, and then listen to the recordings.

 

Kinloch Ainort

A company of mountains, an upthrust of mountains

a great garth of growing mountains

a concourse of summits, of knolls, of hills


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2.1 Before the recording

Now you have the opportunity to listen to the recordings of Sorley MacLean. I hope you will find that it brings to life the poetry that you have looked at on the page, and that it helps you to grasp some of the differences between Gaelic and English that affect MacLean's translation of his own work, as well as elucidating particular references that may have puzzled you. Perhaps the best plan, if you have time, will be to listen to each section once, and then go through them again, stopping an
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3 Studying philosophy

In the final section of this taster unit I want to say something about the process of studying philosophy. We can divide the process up into three components: reading (and listening), discussing, and writing. Let us take them in turn and see what they will involve in A211.

Reading. Reading philosophy is a special skill. You can't read a philosophy book as you would a novel. You will need to approach it carefully and critically, taking much more time than normal. Different
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4.3 Responses to religion

Reasoned responses to religion could take many forms. It was rare for writers to profess outright atheism; even in those cases where we may suspect authors of holding this view, censorship laws made their public expression unlawful. These laws were particularly stringent in France. In many cases reasoned critique was applied to the practices of institutional religion, such as the corruption of the clergy or the rituals of worship, rather than to more fundamental matters of doctrine or faith.
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9 Metre

As we have seen, scansion is the act of mapping out stress patterns in order to ascertain the metre (rhythm). In the accentual-syllabic system, the dominant tradition in English, both accents (stresses) and syllables are measured and counted. In accentual metre, the stresses are counted and the syllables can vary. In syllabic metre, the syllables are counted, while the stresses can vary.

Here is pentameter, the line of f
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4.4 Physicalism and the hard problem

I introduced the hard problem as an explanatory problem – the problem of explaining how consciousness arises. But it can also be presented as a metaphysical problem – the problem of saying what kind of phenomenon consciousness is, and, more specifically, whether it is a physical one. In this section I shall say something about this aspect of the hard problem and its relation to the explanatory one.

The terms ‘physical’ and ‘physicalism’ (the view that everything is ph
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References

Cheney, P. (2004) ‘Introduction: Marlowe in the Twenty-First Century’, in Cheney, P. (ed.) The Cambridge Companion to Christopher Marlowe, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, pp. 1–23.
Healy, T. (2004) ‘Doctor Faustus’, in Cheney, P. (ed.) The Cambridge Companion to Christopher Marlowe, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, pp. 174–92.
Ho
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Introduction

This unit examines the roles of Scots who contributed to the comprehensive transformation of medicine in the nineteenth century. It begins by observing how laboratory practices led to improved techniques of medical diagnosis. This is followed by assessing how Scots contributed to the emerging collective identity of medical practitioners, as well as the improvements in licensing that led to reform of the medical professions. Many new developments in medical education also enabled women to qual
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11 Conclusion

Any assessment of Robert Owen is bound to be partial, because there are some gaps in our knowledge about both the man and his agenda. But we have seen the close links between his personal experience as an enlightened employer and the social philosophy presented in the essays, which found its ultimate expression in the community scheme and mutual cooperation.

Owen's most important ideas about character formation underpinned much of this philosophy. He has rightly been condemned for much
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6.6 Fourth Essay

Having discussed the relationship between environment and character formation in individuals and in society, shown the application of these principles using New Lanark as a test-bed, and described future plans, Owen turns finally to explaining how his reforms can be applied nationally and universally. Much of what follows shows how government might adopt his ideas, highly practical for the most part, but increasingly described in millenialist tones, anticipating a coming golden (or more enlig
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4.2 Apprenticeship in retailing c.1782–c.1789

Owen's apprenticeship coincided roughly with the initial development of New Lanark. Leaving home when he was ten or eleven years old, by his late teens he had already gained extensive experience in textile retailing. He started work at Stamford apprenticed to James McGuffog, a successful draper. McGuffog, a canny Scot, dealt in fine garments for well-to-do customers, to whom Owen no doubt learned to defer, and possibly also to emulate them when he was older. After completing his apprenticeshi
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4.1 Environment and education: Wales 1771–c.1782

Owen had a remarkable career even before he reached New Lanark. His kin and upbringing at Newtown in mid-Wales were highly influential. His parents were shopkeepers and his father was also the postmaster and a churchwarden. So the Owens possessed practical retailing and administrative skills, which they passed on to their offspring, including Robert, a precocious and clever boy. Newtown was located in one of the most profoundly rural parts of southern Britain, yet beginning to be touched by e
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2.1 The cotton industry

Owen personified one of the key Enlightenment notions of belief in progress. Economic progress, as anticipated by Adam Smith's Wealth of Nations (1776), arose partly from industrialisation. Britain was the first country to experience an ‘Industrial Revolution’, which was at its most dynamic during our period. It gradually transformed production from small-scale, craft-based activity to mass manufacture. While many economic activities were subsequently affected, it was in the textil
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Learning outcomes

By the end of this section you should be able to:

  • understand developments in Scotland with regard to the Enlightenment period;

  • give Scottish examples from the community of philosophers and scientists from the Enlightenment period;

  • describe how these Scots helped influence the Industrial Revolution and the American Revolution.


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Acknowledgements

This unit was written by Dr Phil Perkins

Except for third party materials and otherwise stated (see terms and conditions), this content is made available under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Licence

Grateful acknowledgement is made to the following sources for permission to reproduc
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References

A219 course textbooks
Pomeroy, S.B., Burstein, S.M., Donlan, W. and Roberts, J.T. (2004) A Brief History of Ancient Greece: Politics, Society and Culture, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Hornblower, S. and Spawforth, A. (eds) (1998) The Oxford Companion to Classical Civilization, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
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