1 x 2-hour seminar weekly
9 units of topics
Enrolment not permitted
1 of PHIL2024, PHIL2025 has been successfully completed
Assumed knowledge
As a third-year level topic in the Philosophy major sequence, this topic assumes a familiarity with the kind of knowledge, conceptual understanding and skill that would be acquired by completion of at least 9 units of second-year level topics from the Philosophy major sequence.
Topic description
In this topic, a range of views about knowledge and a range of paradoxes and issues in metaphysics are discussed by using texts from ancient and modern philosophers. Topics discussed include: What is knowledge? What relevance does evolution have to epistemology? What sorts of things exist? What is change? Is everything always changing? If so, does anything really exist? Does time exist?
Educational aims
This topic aims to:

  • introduce students to some central issues in epistemology and metaphysics, including the significance of evolution for epistemology and the nature of time and being

  • introduce students to classic philosophical texts, including works by Leibniz, Kant and Russell

  • develop students' reasoning skills by helping them to make careful distinctions between issues and paying close attention to arguments

  • enable students to clearly express their ideas and arguments both in writing and orally
Expected learning outcomes
On completion of this topic students will have:

  • read and understood key texts on metaphysics and epistemology

  • read and understood a range of central arguments in epistemology and metaphysics

  • the ability to formulate arguments on some important issues in modern literature on epistemology and metaphysics

  • be able to clearly express their ideas about and arguments both in writing and orally