The Philosophy of Philosophy

Subject PHIL30007 (2016)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2016.

Credit Points: 12.5
Level: 3 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2016:

Semester 2, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period 25-Jul-2016 to 23-Oct-2016
Assessment Period End 18-Nov-2016
Last date to Self-Enrol 05-Aug-2016
Census Date 31-Aug-2016
Last date to Withdraw without fail 23-Sep-2016

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 36 hours - 1 x 90 minute lecture and 1 x 90 minute seminar each week
Total Time Commitment:

170 hours


This subject is only available to students completing the final year of a Bachelor of Arts degree (B-ARTS) with a major in Philosophy or those in enrolled in the Graduate Diploma in Arts (GD-ARTS) with a specialisation in Philosophy.

Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects:

Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Student Support and Engagement Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Overview, Learning Outcomes, Assessment and Generic Skills sections of this entry.

It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. Students who feel their disability may impact on meeting the requirements of this subject are encouraged to discuss this matter with a Faculty Student Adviser and Student Equity and Disability Support:


Dr Francois Schroeter



Subject Overview:

This subject examines the nature of philosophy itself. Students will read what many great philosophers have said about the methods, aims, and ambitions of philosophy. And they will examine how these views are grounded in, or intertwined with committments about metaphysics, epistemology, or ethics. The subject provides the opportunity to reflect on different strands in the philosophical tradition, which inspire conflicting projects in contemporary philosophy. It should also encourage students to reflect on the nature and methods of the philosophy they have studied to date. The subject is intended for students nearing completion of a philosophy major, but may also be taken by others.

Learning Outcomes:

Students who successfully complete this subject will:

  • possess a broad knowledge and understanding of the different methods, aims and ambitions of philosophy. They will be able to identify, understand and intergrate major disciplinary themes from among ethics, political philosophy, metaphysics, epistemology, and philosophy of mind over a wide range of historical periods and traditions;
  • engage critically with existing philosophical conversations and develop the capacity for critical and creative interventions in those discussions, using conceptual tools and approaches developed throughout the history of philosophy and in its different traditions;
  • discern the relevance of philosophical ideas in a wide variety of fields and contexts. This will include recognising and critiquing the epistemological, ontological, and ethical assumptions in scientific, moral, political, and cultural positions and arguments;
  • bring philosophical intelligence and expertise to bear in their studies in disciplines beyond philosophy, including the humanities, and the social and empirical sciences, and reflect on the import of other disciplines such as empirical psychology, theoretical physics or literary studies for philosophical thinking;
  • demonstrate a high-level of fluency in communication and collaboration skills, including oral and written presentation of arguments and effective work in small and large groups;
  • be prepared to engage with the possibility of radical critique of their own presuppositions and commitments.

  • A 2000 word essay, due mid-semester (50%)
  • A 2,000 word take-home exam, due during the end of semester examination period (50%)

Hurdle requirement:

  • Students must attend a minimum of 75% of tutorials in order to pass this subject.
  • All pieces of written work must be submitted to pass this subject.

Note: Assessment submitted late without an approved extension will be penalised at 10% per day. After five days late assessment will not be marked. In-class tasks missed without approval will not be marked.

Prescribed Texts:

Subject readings will be available online

Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Links to further information:

This is the Capstone subject in the New Generation Bachelor of Arts degree majoring in philosophy. This subject is compulsory for all New Generation Philosophy Major students.

Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Graduate Diploma in Arts - Philosophy
Philosophy Major

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