Philosophy, Knowledge, Reality - ARTS1361

Faculty: Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences

School: School of Humanities and Languages

Course Outline: School of Humanities & Languages

Campus: Sydney

Career: Undergraduate

Units of Credit: 6

EFTSL: 0.12500 (more info)

Indicative Contact Hours per Week: 3

Excluded: PHIL1007

CSS Contribution Charge: 1 (more info)

Tuition Fee: See Tuition Fee Schedule

Further Information: See Class Timetable

Available for General Education: Yes (more info)

View course information for previous years.


Subject Area: Philosophy

The course is a broad introduction to some of the most central concepts and issues in philosophy from both a historical and contemporary perspective. The course encourages and provides the skills that will allow you to perform in-depth analyses of individual philosophical problems, arguments and positions but also allows you to understand the broader context in which these arise. The course will provide an introductory level avenue to developing the skills and reasoning ability associated with the discipline of philosophy and is an ideal precursor to advanced courses but these skills are readily transferable to any area of study and to life more generally. Epistemology is the philosophy of knowledge. Metaphysics is the philosophy of reality. Philosophers to be read include Plato, Descartes and Russell, along with many contemporary philosophers. Topics to be discussed are as follows:

  1. Metaphysics: personal identity, free will, god and evil, foreknowledge and fatalism, universals and essences, meaning of life, time-travel, appearance and reality.
  2. Epistemology: truth, evidence, knowledge, empiricism and idealism, rationalism, scepticism, knowledge of other minds, knowledge of the external world.
By the end of the course you will have encountered many of the central concepts, problems and arguments in the above topic areas. You will have had experience in formulating, analysing, and responding critically to these central philosophical ideas. We are confident that the skills you will learn will be readily transferable to many areas of study and to your life in general. Studying philosophy is not just finding out what philosophers think, it is actually doing philosophy yourself.

Study Levels

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