Metaphysics and Epistemology

Subject PHIL40005 (2010)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2010.

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

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2010:

Semester 1, Parkville - 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 seminar per week
Total Time Commitment: An average of 10 hours each week.
Prerequisites: Admission to a Postgraduate Diploma or fourth-year honours in Philosophy or in History and Philosophy of Science; or admission to a Postgraduate Diploma or fourth-year honours in another area, with coordinator approval.
Corequisites: None.
Recommended Background Knowledge: Knowledge gained in a 3 year Bachelor of Arts degree or a Graduate Diploma.
Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering requests for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Students Experiencing Academic Disadvantage Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Description, Subject Objectives, Generic Skills and Assessment Requirements of this entry.

The University is dedicated to provide support to those with special requirements. Further details on the disability support scheme can be found at the Disability Liaison Unit website :


Assoc Prof Howard Sankey, Dr Karen Jones


Assoc Prof Howard Sankey

Dr Karen Jones

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), and look at contemporary work addressing this issue, covering both metaphysics and epistemology.


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:

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.
Links to further information:
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: History and Philosophy of Science
History && Philosophy of Science
History and Philosophy of Science

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