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Unit (2020)

Information on this page, including unit offerings, is from the 2020 academic year.

Metaphysics: Conceptual Engineering (PHL205)

Organisational Unit Creative Media, Arts and Design
Credit Points 3
Description Metaphysics is the philosophical discipline concerned with the ultimate 'nature' of reality, the ontological status of the components of the real world, and the necessary conditions for knowledge of such things. Our investigations will focus on the metaphysical positions of Descartes, Spinoza, Leibniz, Locke, Hume and Kant. Key issues include: space and time, subject and object, cause and effect, core aspects of the mind, and the relative merits of Rationalist versus Empiricist approaches to these issues.
Unit Learning Outcomes On successful completion of the unit you should be able to:
1. Express an intelligent, informed understanding of some of the unit's major issues.
Timetabled Learning Activities Lectures: 1 hour per week; tutorials: 1.5 hours per week.
Unit Learning Experiences The approach to learning in this unit is for you to read the selections provided in the Unit Reader for each week's topic, the lecture notes or synopses in the Unit Info & Learning Guide, attend or listen to the lecture, and then attend the tutorial for discussion and questions on the week's readings (external students can send comments & questions to their tutor; online discussion forums are planned.)
Other Learning Experiences Internal students complete two 45-minute quizzes, one in mid-term, one at end of term; external students complete a final exam.
Assessment For internal students. There are three components for assessment of your work in this course: one 1500-word essay at mid-term (35%), one 1500-word essay at end-of-term (35%), and supervised assessment over ten weeks (30%), which includes attendance at tutorials (10%) and two in-class quizzes (10% each)
For external students. There are three components for assessment of your work in this course: one 1500-word essay at mid-term (35%), one 1500-word essay at end-of-term (35%), and a final exam (30%).
Written feedback on essays is given by the lecturer/tutor and returned within two weeks to the student.
Prerequisites Nil.
Exclusions Students who have successfully completed PHL218 Critical Metaphysics cannot enrol in this unit for credit.
Appears in these Courses/Majors:
see individual structures for context
Philosophy (BA)
Appears in these Co-Majors Philosophy
Appears in these Minors Philosophy
Internet Access RequirementsMurdoch units normally include an online component comprising materials, discussions, lecture recordings and assessment activities. All students, regardless of their location or mode of study, need to have access to and be able to use computing devices with browsing capability and a connection to the Internet via Broadband (Cable, ADSL or Mobile) or Wireless. The Internet connection should be readily available and allow large amounts of data to be streamed or downloaded (approximately 100MB per lecture recording). Students also need to be able to enter into online discussions and submit assignments online.


Unit Coordinator
Dr Tim Flanagan
Lecturer - Philosophy

Murdoch Campus
t: 9360 2901
e: T.Flanagan@murdoch.edu.au
o: 450.4.059 - Education and Humanities, Murdoch Campus
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