PHIL233-18S2 (C) Semester Two 2018

Epistemology and Metaphysics

15 points
16 Jul 2018 - 18 Nov 2018


This course is an introduction to selected topics in the theory of knowledge and of reality. For example: What is a physical object? Are you the same physical object now that you were 10 years ago? What makes the black squiggles you're now reading mean something? Are meanings ideas? Do deep metaphysical statements, such as ‘I am the only conscious being in the universe’ or 'Everything is fated', really say anything? Do males and females have different ways of knowing? What is time? Do humans have free will? Is cause-and-effect real, or just a way of looking at things? This course presupposes no prior knowledge of philosophy; it is aimed at students from a wide range of backgrounds, as well as philosophy majors.

Not only is philosophy one of the most interesting and challenging subjects, it teaches skills that employers want: thinking outside the box, logic, ethics, and excellent writing and communication skills. At UC you can do either a BA or a BSc in Philosophy, or combine a Philosophy major with the LLB, BCom, or another degree.

BA or BSc students who major in philosophy must normally take at least two 100-level PHIL courses, plus at least three 200-level PHIL courses (including PHIL233), plus at least 60-points from 300-level PHIL courses (including at least one course from this list: PHIL305; PHIL310; PHIL311; and PHIL317).
For more information see the BA regulations and/or the BSc regulations.

Learning Outcomes

In this course you will

  • Gain detailed knowledge of selected core topics in philosophy
  • Improve your verbal and analytic reasoning skills
  • Enhance your ability to think independently, systematically, and creatively
    • University Graduate Attributes

      This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attributes specified below:

      Critically competent in a core academic discipline of their award

      Students know and can critically evaluate and, where applicable, apply this knowledge to topics/issues within their majoring subject.

      Employable, innovative and enterprising

      Students will develop key skills and attributes sought by employers that can be used in a range of applications.


15 points in PHIL; or B average in 60 points of appropriate courses with approval of the Head of Department

Timetable 2018

Students must attend one activity from each section.

Lecture A
Activity Day Time Location Weeks
01 Monday 11:00 - 13:00 A5 Lecture Theatre 16 Jul - 26 Aug
10 Sep - 21 Oct
Tutorial A
Activity Day Time Location Weeks
01 Wednesday 16:00 - 17:00 Karl Popper 612 23 Jul - 26 Aug
10 Sep - 21 Oct
02 Thursday 14:00 - 15:00 Karl Popper 612 23 Jul - 26 Aug
10 Sep - 21 Oct

Timetable Note

Note: the tutorial is highly recommended (but not compulsory).

Course Coordinator / Lecturer

Diane Proudfoot


Jack Copeland

Contact Diane or Jack for further information.


Assessment Due Date Percentage 
Essay 1 20%
Essay 2 50%
Test 30%

Assessment to be arranged.

There is no final exam in this course.


There is no textbook for this course. Readings, videos, and audio files will be available on Learn.

Course links

Library portal
Philosophy Essay Writing Guide (available to all enrolled Philosophy students)

Indicative Fees

Domestic fee $746.00

International fee $3,038.00

* Fees include New Zealand GST and do not include any programme level discount or additional course related expenses.

For further information see Humanities and Creative Arts.

All PHIL233 Occurrences

  • PHIL233-18S2 (C) Semester Two 2018