Handbook

Philosophy

Year and Campus: 2016

Coordinator

Assoc Prof Howard Sankey

Email: chs@unimelb.edu.au

Contact

Currently enrolled students:

Future students:

Overview:

Philosophy is the study of the most fundamental aspects of reality and value. Every area of inquiry and endeavour—from art and history through politics and economics to biology and mathematics—generates philosophical issues about our world and our place in it. Philosophers debate the meaning of life and the meaning of adverbs, the analysis of Divine foreknowledge and the analysis of colour, the nature of mathematics and the nature of terrorism.

Work in philosophy involves the creative, critical task of constructing, clarifying and comparing ideas. We dig into the fundamental assumptions beneath our everyday views, to see how they hang together, how they can be improved, or how we might have reason to prefer one over another. We learn to take conflicting views seriously, to clarify imprecise concepts, and to synthesize new positions.

You learn both traditional and contemporary approaches to individual topics in Philosophy. In tutorials and written work you practice the important skill of advancing cogent and informed arguments of your own.

Students go on to apply their philosophical skills in a wide range of different careers where creative and analytic thinking is useful, such as law, education, analysis, advocacy and policy development.

Learning Outcomes:

On successful completion of this major, students will be able to

  • possess a broad knowledge and understanding of the discipline of philosophy over a range of different areas, and a deep understanding of some of those areas. They will be able to identify and understand major disciplinary themes from among ethics, social and political philosophy, metaphysics, epistemology and logic, across a range of historical periods; and
  • engage critically with existing philosophical conversations and develop the capacity for critical and creative interventions in those discussions, using a wide range of approaches and independent research skills; and
  • discern the relevance of philosophical ideas in a wide variety of fields and contexts. This will include the ability to recognise and critically evaluate epistemological, ontological and ethical assumptions in social, political, scientific, moral, and cultural positions and arguments; and
  • bring philosophical intelligence and expertise to bear in their studies in disciplines outside philosophy, (in the humanities, social sciences and languages, as well as law, science, medicine, engineering, commerce and economics). They will be able to recognise the import of other disciplines for philosophical thinking; and
  • demonstrate a high-level of communication skills, including oral and written presentation of arguments; and
  • demonstrate high level collaboration skills, including effective work in small and large groups; and
  • critically and constructively engage with radical critique of critique of their own presuppositions and commitments.

Structure & Available Subjects:

Major

A Major in Philosophy consists of eight 12.5-point subjects, totalling 100 points:

Level 1 (25 points)

and one of:

  • PHIL10002 Philosophy: The Great Thinkers
  • PHIL10003 Philosophy: The Big Questions

Level 2 (37.5 points)

  • Three level 2 subjects

Level 3 (37.5 points)

  • Two level 3 subjects
  • The compulsory capstone subject PHIL30007 The Philosophy of Philosophy

Total 100 points

Minor

A Minor in Philosophy consists of six 12-point subjects, totalling 75 points.

Level 1 (25 points)

  • One Arts Foundation Subject, Reason (MULT10016) is recommended but not required

and one of:

  • PHIL10002 Philosophy: The Great Thinkers
  • PHIL10003 Philosophy: The Big Questions

Level 2/3 (50 points)

  • Two level 2 subjects
  • Two Level 3 subjects

Note: The capstone subject is not available in the minor.

Subject Options:


Level 1 Subjects

Subject
Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:

Level 2 Subjects

37.5 points from the following:

Subject
Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
Semester 1
12.5
Semester 1
12.5
Not offered in 2016
12.5

Level 3 Subjects

25 points from the following as well as the Capstone subject 161-310 The Philosophy of Philosophy:


Subject
Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:

Level 3 Capstone Subject

Subject
Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:

Other Electives

Students can also credit one of the following elective subjects towards a Major in Philosophy

Subject
Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
Links to further information: http://shaps.unimelb.edu.au/philosophy
Related Course(s): Bachelor of Arts

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