Metaphysics and Epistemology

Subject 161-434 (2009)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2009. Search for this in the current handbook

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 4 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2009:

Semester 1, - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period not applicable
Assessment Period End not applicable
Last date to Self-Enrol not applicable
Census Date not applicable
Last date to Withdraw without fail not applicable

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: A 2-hour lecture/seminar per week
Total Time Commitment: 2 contact hours/week, 8 additional hours/week. Total of 10 hours per week.
Prerequisites: Admission to the postgraduate diploma or fourth-year honours in philosophy.
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:


Assoc Prof Greg Restall


Assoc Prof Christopher Cordner

Subject Overview: This unit covers selected issues in contemporary epistemology and metaphysics. We will focus on a particular philosophical issue (for example, a topic in fundamental ontology, or in the philosophy of knowledge, in theories of meaning, or in philosophy of religion), and look at contemporary work addressing this issue, covering both metaphysics and epistemology.
Objectives: Students who sucessfully complete this subject will
  • show an understanding of selected issues in contemporary epistemology and metaphysics;
  • manifest philosophical skill in arguing in an alert and well informed way for conclusions related to these issues;
  • display acquaintance with some important past contributions to the discussion of those issues;
  • indicate an awareness of how the subject matter is related to broader concerns in contemporary philosophy;
  • acquire the ability to locate issues concerning epistemology and metaphysics;
  • learn to evaluate sophisticated arguments offered in the literature.
Assessment: A 5000-word essay 100% (due at the end of semester).
Prescribed Texts: There are no prescribed texts. A reading list will be issued at the beginning of semester.
Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills: Students who sucessfully complete this subject will
  • 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.
Notes: Formerly available as 161-041 and as 161-434 Epistemology and Metaphysics. Students who have completed 161-041 or 161-434 are not eligible to enrol in this subject.
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: History and Philosophy of Science
History && Philosophy of Science
History and Philosophy of Science

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