1 x 2-hour seminar weekly
9 units of topics
Enrolment not permitted
1 of PHIL2024, PHIL2025 has been successfully completed
Assumed knowledge
Familiarity with the kind of knowledge, conceptual understanding and skill such as can be obtained by completion of at least 9 units of second year undergraduate level topics from the Philosophy major.
Topic description

This topic addresses the most important issues in contemporary metaphysics and the philosophy of science. Questions to be considered include: Why does our universe exist? Are there other possible universes? Do the past and the future exist, or only the present? What is a person? Is free will compatible with the laws of physics?

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 you will be expected to be able to:

  1. Demonstrate that you have read and understood key texts on metaphysics and epistemology
  2. Demonstrate that you have read and understood a range of central arguments in epistemology and metaphysics
  3. Formulate arguments on some important issues in modern literature on epistemology and metaphysics
  4. Clearly express their ideas about and arguments both in writing and orally

Key dates and timetable

(1), (2)

Each class is numbered in brackets.
Where more than one class is offered, students normally attend only one.

Classes are held weekly unless otherwise indicated.


If you are enrolled for this topic, but all classes for one of the activities (eg tutorials) are full,
contact your College Office for assistance. Full classes frequently occur near the start of semester.

Students may still enrol in topics with full classes as more places will be made available as needed.

If this padlock appears next to an activity name (eg Lecture), then class registration is closed for this activity.

Class registration normally closes at the end of week 2 of each semester.

Classes in a stream are grouped so that the same students attend all classes in that stream.
Registration in the stream will result in registration in all classes.
  Unless otherwise advised, classes are not held during semester breaks or on public holidays.