Subject 161-010 (2008)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2008.Search for this in the current handbook

Credit Points: 12.500
Level: Undergraduate
Dates & Locations:

This subject is not offered in 2008.

Time Commitment: Contact Hours: Thirty-two contact hours per semester: two 1-hour lectures per week for the first 11 weeks and a 1-hour tutorial per week beginning the third week of semester
Total Time Commitment: Not available
Prerequisites: At least one single-semester first-year philosophy subject, or permission from the Head of School or the subject coordinator.
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects: None
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: http://services.unimelb.edu.au/disability


Dr Bruce Langtry
Subject Overview:

This subject deals with two major topics in the contemporary theory of knowledge and rational belief. Firstly, scepticism: Are most of my ordinary commonsense beliefs about the world around me beliefs which I am justified in holding? Do I have good reasons for their truth? Secondly, a priori knowledge: Are there logically necessary truths? Is there a prioriknowledge? If so, how are we to understand the capacity of human beings to possess a priori knowledge? Students should gain a sound general comprehension of the major recent advances in our philosophical understanding of the nature and structure of knowledge and the roles of experience and reasoning in contributing to this structure.

Assessment: A written assignment of 2000 words 50% (due mid-semester), a 2-hour closed-book written examination 45% (held at the end of semester) and tutorial participation 5%.
Prescribed Texts: Prescribed Texts:A subject reader will be available.
Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:
  • be able to understand both the heart of a philosophical issue and its broader implications;

  • have learnt to form a critical understanding of philosophical texts;

  • have developed their skills to construct rigorous philosophical arguments.


Previously available as Scepticism & Reason. Students who have completed Scepticism & Reason are not eligible to enrol in this subject.

Related Course(s): Bachelor of Arts
Diploma in Arts (Philosophy)
Diploma in Arts (Philosophy)
Graduate Certificate in Arts (Philosophy)
Graduate Diploma in Arts (Logic and Philosophy of Science)
Graduate Diploma in Arts (Philosophy)

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