Courses - Faculty of Arts


Philosophy

Stage I

PHIL 100
15 Points

Mind, Knowledge, and Reality

Metaphysics deals with fundamental problems about the nature of the world and human beings, for example, questions about the existence of God, the nature of time, the relationship between mind and body and the nature of identity and the self. The theory of knowledge studies the sources, limits and justification of human knowledge and understanding as distinct from opinion or belief.

PHIL 101
15 Points

Introduction to Logic

Logic is the study of argument. This course aims to provide an understanding of central logical notions, such as consistency and inconsistency, logical truth, and, most importantly, what it means for an argument to be valid or invalid, sound or unsound. The course examines two main logical systems, propositional and predicate logic, and shows how these formal systems are used to analyse and evaluate arguments.

PHIL 104
15 Points

Ethics and Justice

How should we live? And how do we live well together? This course examines practical questions of ethics and justice at the personal, professional, social and global levels. The course reflects on these topics in the light of philosophical theories about justice, liberty, rights, and different approaches to ethics that emphasise roles, rules, virtues and consequences.

PHIL 105
15 Points

PHIL 105G
15 Points

Critical Thinking

An introduction to reasoning, argument, and explanation that emphasises the development of practical skills and their use in everyday life. The course introduces different forms of reasoning and explains techniques to evaluate them. It will enable students to distinguish good arguments and explanations from bad ones, to explain the difference, and thereby to improve critical thinking abilities.

Stage II

PHIL 200
15 Points

Philosophy of Mind

There are many philosophical problems concerning mental lives (in particular, human mental lives), how they are constituted, and what makes them possible – problems which have generated a vast literature and diverse important philosophical theories. Theories introduced and critically examined will include dualisms, but will mainly comprise forms of physicalism such as philosophical behaviourism, the identity theory and especially functionalist theories.

Prerequisite: 30 points in Philosophy or 60 points

Restriction: PHIL 320

PHIL 204
15 Points

Greek Philosophy

An introduction to some of the important figures in ancient philosophy and the issues with which they were concerned. The work of the Presocratics, Plato, and Aristotle will be explored, with a detailed discussion of the philosophical system of either Plato or Aristotle and its importance in the history of philosophy.

Prerequisite: 60 points from BA courses at Stage I

PHIL 207
15 Points

Philosophy and Religion

Examines the relationship between philosophy and religion from the perspective of different philosophical and religious traditions. Topics include: the nature of ultimate reality, arguments for and against the existence of God or gods, competing philosophical and religious accounts of life after death, religious pluralism and diversity.

Prerequisite: 30 points in Philosophy

Restriction: PHIL 327

PHIL 209
15 Points

19th-Century European Philosophy

Examines key figures in nineteenth-century European philosophy, including Arthur Schopenhauer, Friedrich Nietzsche, Søren Kierkegaard, and Karl Marx. Considers alternative reactions to the human condition, either by minimising suffering and seeking tranquillity, by embracing the pain that life contains and continuing to struggle for greatness, by aiming to experience one’s true individuality, or by working to establish a non-exploitative social community.

Prerequisite: 30 points in Philosophy or EUROPEAN 100 and 15 points in Philosophy

Restriction: PHIL 329

PHIL 216
15 Points

Modal Logic

An introduction to modal logic, which is a variation of the system of predicate logic studied in PHIL 101. Modal logic is well-suited for studying philosophically important concepts such as necessity, time, knowledge, vagueness, action and obligation. It is also used in computer science for studying the behaviour of programs and is recommended as preparation for studying logic at Stage III.

Prerequisite: PHIL 101

PHIL 218
15 Points

Problems in Epistemology

Epistemology is the study of knowledge, rationality, belief and related topics. This course will give an overview of epistemology but will focus on three main issues: foundationalism versus coherentism, internalism versus externalism and replies to scepticism.

Prerequisite: 30 points in Philosophy

Restriction: PHIL 338

PHIL 222
15 Points

Intermediate Logic

Natural deduction for propositional and predicate logic; introductory metalogic and related topics in formal logic.

Prerequisite: PHIL 101

Restriction: PHIL 201

PHIL 225
15 Points

Power, Critique and Emancipation

What is power? When are relations of power are legitimate and illegitimate? How is power structured in the modern world? How can illegitimate structures of power can be resisted and reordered to promote justice and human flourishing? This course examines and analyses cultural, economic, political and epistemic structures of power, including gender, race, and class.

Prerequisite: 30 points in Philosophy or 60 points passed

Restriction: PHIL 345

PHIL 226
15 Points

Special Topic

Prerequisite: 30 points in Philosophy

PHIL 228
15 Points

Special Topic

Prerequisite: 30 points in Philosophy

PHIL 231
15 Points

Indigenous Philosophy

An exploration of concepts and ideas from a range of Indigenous philosophies, critically examining these with a view to understanding their theoretical underpinnings, conceptual migrations, and contemporary significance in both local and global contexts.

Prerequisite: 30 points at Stage I in Philosophy or 60 points passed

Restriction: PHIL 331

PHIL 250
15 Points

Philosophy and the Environment

Philosophical questions relating to the environment and our use of it, such as the following: Do we have obligations to future generations, especially concerning preservation of the environment? What are our moral and epistemic responsibilities regarding climate change and other environmental issues? Does nature have intrinsic value? Is it better to live in a natural world or a virtual world.

Prerequisite: 30 points in Philosophy or 60 points

Restriction: PHIL 351

PHIL 260
15 Points

Philosophy of Science

Addresses philosophical questions about science, such as: What distinguishes science from pseudoscience? How is scientific knowledge generated and structured? Should we believe scientific claims about things we cannot directly observe? Do scientific theories give us true accounts of the world? Examines philosophical accounts of science and cases from historical and contemporary scientific research. A background in science is not expected.

Prerequisite: 30 points in Philosophy or 60 points

Restriction: PHIL 360

PHIL 261
15 Points

Metaphysical Structures of the World

Metaphysics attempts to give a quite general picture of the nature and structure of the world, and particularly investigates philosophical problems which thereby arise. Science, common sense, religions and cultures all presuppose metaphysical worldviews. Traditional metaphysical problems concern laws, causation, time, space, substance, identity, attributes and universals, free will, reality, existence etc. Course topics will be selected from such traditional problems.

Prerequisite: 30 points in Philosophy or 60 points

Restriction: PHIL 361

PHIL 263
15 Points

Philosophy of Biology

Examines philosophical and conceptual issues in the life sciences. Topics may include the units and levels of selection, adaptationism, the evolution of altruism, biology and ethics, sociobiology and evolutionary psychology, cultural evolution, evolution versus creationism, and the origin and nature of life.

Prerequisite: 30 points in Philosophy or 60 points

Restriction: PHIL 363

PHIL 268
15 Points

Ethical Theory

Philosophical study of moral theory, in both normative ethics and meta-ethics. Topics covered may include: accounts of well-being such as hedonism, preference theory, and objectivism; theories of right action such as consequentialism and contractualism; the demandingness of morality; the role of intuitions in moral theory; and the status and justification of moral theories.

Prerequisite: 30 points at Stage I in Philosophy or any 60 points passed from the BA or 30 points in Global Politics and Human Rights

Restriction: PHIL 368

Stage III

PHIL 300
15 Points

Directed Study

A directed reading and individual study course on a selected philosophical topic offered in exceptional circumstances, with the agreement and under the supervision of appropriate staff.

Prerequisite: B+ average or higher at Stage III in Philosophy and Academic Head approval

PHIL 302
15 Points

Medieval Philosophy

A detailed introduction to either the work of a leading medieval philosopher, for example Augustine, Abaelard, Scotus or Ockham, or to one or more of the topics which were of interest to medieval philosophers. The course aims to show how understanding medieval philosophy is essential for the history of Christian thought and philosophy up to modern times.

Prerequisite: 30 points at Stage II in Philosophy, or EUROPEAN 100 and 15 points at Stage II in Philosophy

PHIL 306
15 Points

Language, Truth and Meaning

Explores how language is used to communicate ideas. Topics may include: the nature of meaning, how words can convey meaning, how word meaning combines to create sentential meaning, how we communicate better by not saying what we mean, how we repair and reconstrue utterances to extract meaning, how truth is related to meaning, how slurs work.

Prerequisite: 30 points at Stage II in Philosophy

PHIL 307
15 Points

Special Topic

Prerequisite: 30 points at Stage II in Philosophy

PHIL 308
15 Points

Special Topic

Prerequisite: 30 points at Stage II in Philosophy

PHIL 315
15 Points

Topics in Applied Logic

A selection of topics in applied logic such as: modal logic (the logic of necessity and possibility), temporal logic (the logic of time), dynamic logic (the logic of change), and epistemic logic (the logic of knowledge and belief, including the logic of belief revision).

Prerequisite: 15 points from PHIL 222, 216 or 266

PHIL 320
15 Points

Philosophy of Mind

There are many philosophical problems concerning mental lives (in particular, human mental lives), how they are constituted, and what makes them possible – problems which have generated a vast literature and diverse important philosophical theories. Theories introduced and critically examined will include dualisms, but will mainly comprise forms of physicalism such as philosophical behaviourism, the identity theory and especially functionalist theories.

Prerequisite: 30 points at Stage II in Philosophy or PHIL 260 and SCIGEN 201

Restriction: PHIL 200

PHIL 323
15 Points

Philosophy of Logic

An introduction to philosophical logic, covering topics such as: paradoxes, non-classical logic, language and logic, conditionals. Emphasis is put on a back and forth dialogue between the methodologies of logic and philosophy.

Prerequisite: PHIL 222 or 30 points at Stage II in Philosohpy

PHIL 327
15 Points

Philosophy and Religion

Examines the relationship between philosophy and religion from the perspective of different philosophical and religious traditions. Topics include: the nature of ultimate reality, arguments for and against the existence of God or gods, competing philosophical and religious accounts of life after death, religious pluralism and diversity.

Prerequisite: 30 points at Stage II in Philosophy

Restriction: PHIL 207

PHIL 331
15 Points

Indigenous Philosophy

An exploration of concepts and ideas from a range of Indigenous philosophies, critically examining these with a view to understanding their theoretical underpinnings, conceptual migrations, and contemporary significance in both local and global contexts.

Prerequisite: 30 points at Stage II in Philosophy

Restriction: PHIL 231

PHIL 338
15 Points

Problems in Epistemology

Epistemology is the study of knowledge, rationality, belief and related topics. This course will give an overview of epistemology but will focus on three main issues: foundationalism versus coherentism, internalism versus externalism and replies to scepticism.

Prerequisite: 30 points at Stage II in Philosophy

Restriction: PHIL 218

PHIL 340
15 Points

Kant and Hegel

An examination of the development of German idealism from Kant to Hegel, focusing on Kant's Critique of Pure Reason (1781-1787) and Hegel's Phenomenology of Spirit (1807).

Prerequisite: 30 points at Stage II in Philosophy, or EUROPEAN 100 and 15 points at Stage II in Philosophy

Restriction: PHIL 220

PHIL 341
15 Points

20th-Century European Philosophy

Examines intellectual movements in twentieth-century European philosophy, including phenomenology, hermeneutics, existentialism, and poststructuralism. Discusses key figures in these movements such as Edmund Husserl, Martin Heidegger, Jean-Paul Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir, Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Hannah Arendt, Michel Foucault, and Jürgen Habermas.

Prerequisite: 30 points at Stage II in Philosophy, or EUROPEAN 100 and 15 points at Stage II in Philosophy

Restriction: PHIL 221

PHIL 345
15 Points

Power, Critique and Emancipation

What is power? When are relations of power are legitimate and illegitimate? How is power structured in the modern world? How can illegitimate structures of power can be resisted and reordered to promote justice and human flourishing? This course examines and analyses cultural, economic, political and epistemic structures of power, including gender, race, and class.

Prerequisite: 30 points at Stage II in Philosophy or 60 points passed at Stage II

Restriction: PHIL 225

PHIL 351
15 Points

Philosophy and the Environment

Philosophical questions relating to the environment and our use of it, such as the following: Do we have obligations to future generations, especially concerning preservation of the environment? What are our moral and epistemic responsibilities regarding climate change and other environmental issues? Does nature have intrinsic value? Is it better to live in a natural world or a virtual world?

Prerequisite: 30 points at Stage II in Global Environment and Sustainable Development or Philosophy

Restriction: PHIL 250

PHIL 360
15 Points

Philosophy of Science

Addresses philosophical questions about science, such as: What distinguishes science from pseudoscience? How is scientific knowledge generated and structured? Should we believe scientific claims about things we cannot directly observe? Do scientific theories give us true accounts of the world? Examines philosophical accounts of science and cases from historical and contemporary scientific research. A background in science is not expected.

Prerequisite: 30 points at Stage II in Philosophy

Restriction: PHIL 260

PHIL 361
15 Points

Metaphysical Structures of the World

Metaphysics attempts to give a quite general picture of the nature and structure of the world, and particularly investigates philosophical problems which thereby arise. Science, common sense, religions and cultures all presuppose metaphysical worldviews. Traditional metaphysical problems concern laws, causation, time, space, substance, identity, attributes and universals, free will, reality, existence etc. Course topics will be selected from such traditional problems.

Prerequisite: 30 points at Stage II in Philosophy or PHIL 260 and SCIGEN 201

Restriction: PHIL 261

PHIL 363
15 Points

Philosophy of Biology

Examines philosophical and conceptual issues in the life sciences. Topics may include the units and levels of selection, adaptationism, the evolution of altruism, biology and ethics, sociobiology and evolutionary psychology, cultural evolution, evolution versus creationism, and the origin and nature of life.

Prerequisite: 30 points at Stage II in Philosophy or PHIL 260 and SCIGEN 201

Restriction: PHIL 263

PHIL 368
15 Points

Ethical Theory

Philosophical study of moral theory, in both normative ethics and meta-ethics. Topics covered may include: accounts of well-being such as hedonism, preference theory, and objectivism; theories of right action such as consequentialism and contractualism; the demandingness of morality; the role of intuitions in moral theory; and the status and justification of moral theories.

Prerequisite: 30 points at Stage II in Global Politics and Human Rights or Philosophy or PHIL 250 or POLITICS 209

Restriction: PHIL 268

Postgraduate 700 Level Courses

PHIL 701
30 Points

Philosophy for Children – Theory and Practice

Provides a thorough practical grounding in facilitation of philosophical communities of inquiry, and in the construction of materials to stimulate philosophical inquiry. The educational theory and international research on cognitive and social outcomes of Philosophy for Children are explored. A selection of topics in philosophy will be studied at a level appropriate for advanced Education students encountering philosophy for the first time.

Prerequisite: Diploma in Teaching (Primary or Secondary), or equivalent

PHIL 720
30 Points

PHIL 720A
15 Points

PHIL 720B
15 Points

Special Studies

Directed study on a topic or topics approved by the Academic Head or nominee.

To complete this course students must enrol in PHIL 720 A and B, or PHIL 720

PHIL 722
30 Points

Special Topic

PHIL 723
30 Points

Special Topic

PHIL 724
30 Points

Special Topic

PHIL 726
15 Points

Ethics 1

Discussion of selected topics in Ethics.

PHIL 727
15 Points

Ethics 2

Discussion of selected topics in Ethics.

PHIL 728
15 Points

Political Philosophy 1

Discussion of selected topics in political philosophy.

PHIL 729
15 Points

Political Philosophy 2

Discussion of selected topics in political philosophy.

PHIL 731
15 Points

Philosophy of the Arts 1

Discussion of selected topics in philosophy of the arts.

PHIL 732
15 Points

Philosophy of the Arts 2

Discussion of selected topics in philosophy of the arts.

PHIL 736
15 Points

Logic 1

Discussion of selected topics in logic.

PHIL 737
15 Points

Logic 2

Discussion of selected topics in logic.

PHIL 738
15 Points

Philosophical Logic

Discussion of selected topics in philosophical logic.

PHIL 739
15 Points

Philosophy of Language

Discussion of selected topics in philosophy of language.

PHIL 740
15 Points

Metaphysics 1

Discussion of selected topics in metaphysics.

PHIL 742
15 Points

Philosophy of Religion 1

Discussion of selected topics in philosophy of religion.

PHIL 743
15 Points

Philosophy of Religion 2

Discussion of selected topics in philosophy of religion.

PHIL 744
15 Points

Philosophy of Religion 3

Discussion of selected topics in philosophy of religion.

PHIL 745
15 Points

Philosophy of Mind 1

Discussion of selected topics in philosophy of mind.

PHIL 746
15 Points

Philosophy of Mind 2

Discussion of selected topics in philosophy of mind.

PHIL 749
15 Points

Philosophy of Science 1

Discussion of selected topics in philosophy of science.

PHIL 750
15 Points

Philosophy of Science 2

Discussion of selected topics in philosophy of science.

PHIL 752
15 Points

Ancient/Medieval Philosophy 1

Discussion of selected topics in ancient and medieval philosophy.

PHIL 753
15 Points

Ancient/Medieval Philosophy 2

Discussion of selected topics in ancient and medieval philosophy.

PHIL 757
15 Points

European Continental Philosophy 1

Discussion of selected topics in European continental philosophy.

PHIL 758
15 Points

European Continental Philosophy 2

Discussion of selected topics in European continental philosophy.

PHIL 759
15 Points

European Continental Philosophy 3

Discussion of selected topics in European continental philosophy.

PHIL 765
15 Points

Special Topic: Indigenous Political Philosophies

An exploration of contemporary Indigenous moral and political philosophies from around the world. These may include philosophical traditions and methods of inquiry from Aotearoa New Zealand, Moana-Oceania, Africa, North America, Latin America, South-East Asia and others. Alongside exploring these philosophical traditions together, we will also consider contemporary issues in metaphilosohy and intercultural engagement.

PHIL 768
15 Points

Special Studies

Directed study on a topic or topics approved by the Academic Head or nominee.

PHIL 769
15 Points

Special Studies

Directed study on a topic or topics approved by the Academic Head or nominee.

PHIL 770
15 Points

Special Studies: Honours

Directed study on a topic or topics approved by the Academic Head or nominee.

PHIL 771
15 Points

Special Studies: Honours

Directed study on a topic or topics approved by the Academic Head or nominee.

PHIL 772
15 Points

Special Studies: Honours

Directed study on a topic or topics approved by the Academic Head or nominee.

PHIL 774
15 Points

Special Studies: Master's

Directed study on a topic or topics approved by the Academic Head or nominee.

PHIL 775
15 Points

Special Studies: Master's

Directed study on a topic or topics approved by the Academic Head or nominee.

PHIL 776
15 Points

Special Studies: Master's

Directed study on a topic or topics approved by the Academic Head or nominee.

PHIL 782
30 Points

PHIL 782A
15 Points

PHIL 782B
15 Points

Research Project - Level 9

To complete this course students must enrol in PHIL 782 A and B, or PHIL 782

PHIL 792
45 Points

PHIL 792A
22.5 Points

PHIL 792B
22.5 Points

Dissertation - Level 9

To complete this course students must enrol in PHIL 792 A and B, or PHIL 792

PHIL 793
60 Points

PHIL 793A
30 Points

PHIL 793B
30 Points

Dissertation - Level 9

To complete this course students must enrol in PHIL 793 A and B, or PHIL 793

PHIL 796A
60 Points

PHIL 796B
60 Points

Thesis - Level 9

Prerequisite: A BA(Hons) in Philosophy with at least Second Class Honours, First Division, or equivalent

To complete this course students must enrol in PHIL 796 A and B

PHIL 797A
60 Points

PHIL 797B
60 Points

Research Portfolio - Level 9

To complete this course students must enrol in PHIL 797 A and B

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