Philosophy

Unit outlines will be available through Find a unit outline two weeks before the first day of teaching for 1000-level and 5000-level units, or one week before the first day of teaching for all other units.
 

Philosophy

Honours

Honours in Philosophy requires 48 credit points from this table including:
(i) 24 credit points of 4000-level Honours seminar units
(ii) 24 credit points of 4000-level Honours thesis units

Honours seminar units of study

PHIL4102 Research Topics: 20th Century Philosophy

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Refer to the unit of study outline https://www.sydney.edu.au/units Session: Semester 1 Classes: 1x2hr seminar/week Assessment: 1x6000wd essay (100%) Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
This unit will study key texts from the 20th century along with recent scholarship that has emerged from, or that engages with, these texts. Schools of thought treated may include logical positivism, existentialism, analytic philosophy, and pragmatism. Students will gain an understanding of how past ways of doing philosophy can influence the shape of present debates.
PHIL4103 Research Topics: Early Modern Philosophy

This unit of study does not have Data Audit Committee approval

Credit points: 6 Session: Semester 2 Classes: 1x2hr seminar/week Assessment: 1x 5000wd essay (100%) Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
This unit will examine key texts, thinkers and movements in the history of early modern philosophy. Topics to be considered may include conceptions of personal identity, the body, the passions, perception, knowledge and the natural world. The writings of philosophers stressing the importance of reason (e.g., Descartes, Spinoza, Leibniz) and experience (e.g., Locke, Berkeley, Hume) may be considered with the aim of rethinking standard conceptual divisions that fail to acknowledge important continuities between these thinkers.
Textbooks
Refer to the unit of study outline https://www.sydney.edu.au/units
PHIL4104 Research Topics in German Philosophy

This unit of study is not available in 2021

Credit points: 6 Session: Semester 1 Classes: 1x2hr seminar/week Assessment: 1x 5000 wds essay (90%), 1x 1000 wds presentation (10%) Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
This unit will examine key questions, texts, thinkers and movements in the history of German philosophy. Topics to be considered may include Kant and post-Kantian philosophy; Enlightenment and Romanticism; theories of life and the philosophy of nature in 18th-20th century German thought; rationalism and empiricism in German philosophy; and the influence of German philosophers and philosophy on other traditions. Students will engage with the latest research on these topics.
PHIL4106 Research Topics in Moral Psychology

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Refer to the unit of study outline https://www.sydney.edu.au/units Session: Semester 2 Classes: 2x1hr seminar/week Assessment: 1x 5000 wds Essay (100%) Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
Moral Psychology is the branch of philosophy that addresses the moral status of our motives, intentions, emotions, and character traits, as well as the nature of the psychological processes that lie behind moral judgment and morally good or bad actions. In this unit we will engage with recent philosophical work on topics in this field, such as questions concerning forgiveness, virtue and vice, evil, and moral responsibility.
PHIL4107 Social and Political Philosophy

This unit of study is not available in 2021

Credit points: 6 Session: Semester 1 Classes: 1x2hr seminar Assessment: 1x 5000 Essay (90%), Seminar participation (10%) Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
This unit will deepen understanding of core issues in social and political philosophy. Possible topics include social and political justice, the state, freedom, the nature of social and political norms and obligations, rights and human rights, inequality, social and political violence, selfhood in social and political contexts, democratic theory, and social and political justice.
PHIL4108 Research Topics in Ethics

This unit of study is not available in 2021

Credit points: 6 Session: Semester 2 Classes: 1x2hr seminar/week Assessment: 1x 5000 wds Essay (100%) Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
Ethics is the study of how we should live. In this unit, students examine key questions about the nature and content of morality, such as the function of moral judgment and the nature of right action.
PHIL4109 Research Topics - Mind and Metaphysics

This unit of study does not have Data Audit Committee approval

Credit points: 6 Session: Semester 2 Classes: 1x2hr seminar/week Assessment: 1x5000wd essay (100%) Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
The philosophy of mind and metaphysics examines core issues in our understanding of the mind and the nature of reality. Topics include the ontology of mind, the nature of concepts and mental representations, and the problem of mental content. Metaphysics is concerned with these questions as well as other questions about reality, including the nature of necessity, causation, and how to reconcile recent scientific discoveries with our common-sensical conception of the world. The unit will provide background to these areas, and engage with contemporary research on that foundation.
Textbooks
Refer to the unit of study outline https://www.sydney.edu.au/units
PHIL4110 Advanced Topics in Philosophy of Science

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Refer to the unit of study outline https://www.sydney.edu.au/units Session: Semester 1 Classes: 1x2hr seminar/week Assessment: 1 x 5000wd essay (100%) Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
The philosophy of science is concerned with the nature and limits of scientific knowledge. How can we explain the ability of the sciences to consistently produce powerful and reliable knowledge? Are there any fundamental differences between the physical, biological and social sciences? Philosophers increasingly recognise that different philosophical issues arise in different sciences, and in any particular year the course will focus on issues raised by one or more individual sciences such as quantum physics, evolutionary biology, genetics, ecology, mathematics, neuroscience, or economics.
PHIL4111 Formal Philosophy

This unit of study is not available in 2021

Credit points: 6 Session: Semester 2 Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
Formal Philosophy is concerned with the development and use of tools from logic, probability theory, game theory and elsewhere in connection with core philosophical problems concerning language, truth, knowledge and action. In this unit students will engage with cutting-edge developments in contemporary formal philosophy.
PHIL4112 Epistemology and Language

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Refer to the unit of study outline https://www.sydney.edu.au/units Session: Semester 1 Classes: 1 x 2hr seminar/week Assessment: 1x 5000 Essay (100%) Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
Key questions in epistemology, the study of knowledge and rational belief, and the philosophy of language include: What is it for a body of evidence to support a hypothesis to some degree? How should we adjust our beliefs in light of evidence about others' views? How do words manage to refer to objects and properties in the word, and not just to our own ideas and concepts? This course will engage with cutting-edge research in these areas.
PHIL4113 Latest Trends: Philosophical Research 1

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Refer to the unit of study outline https://www.sydney.edu.au/units Session: Semester 1 Classes: 1x2hr seminar/week Assessment: 1x 5000wd Essay (100%) Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
This unit, taught by leading international visiting philosophers, will train students in latest philosophical methods, focusing on a cutting-edge debate in a particular field of philosophical research. Topics will vary from year to year, including history of philosophy, epistemology, metaphysics and logic, philosophy of language, ethics, aesthetics, and political philosophy. Students should contact the Philosophy Honours Coordinator for further details.
PHIL4114 Latest Trends: Philosophical Research 2

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Refer to the unit of study outline https://www.sydney.edu.au/units Session: Semester 2 Classes: 1x2hr seminar/week Assessment: 1x 5000wd Essay (100%) Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
This unit, taught by leading international visiting philosophers, will train students in latest philosophical methods, focusing on a cutting-edge debate in a particular field of philosophical research. Topics will vary from year to year, including history of philosophy, epistemology, metaphysics and logic, philosophy of language, ethics, aesthetics, and political philosophy. Students should contact the Philosophy Honours Coordinator for further details.
PHIL4115 Philosophy and Life

This unit of study is not available in 2021

Credit points: 6 Session: Semester 2 Classes: 1x2hr lecture/week Assessment: 1x6000 Essay (100%) Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
This unit introduces Honours students to research topics, tools and techniques in areas of philosophy related to question of life. Specific topics will vary according to the most recent developments in the field. Emphasis is on understanding current approaches and trends in philosophical reflections on living beings and their connection to natural and social environments. Students will also acquire historical knowledge and skills in philosophical inquiry that complement other knowledge and skills to be acquired in the Honours Program.

Honours thesis units of study

PHIL4201 Philosophy Honours Thesis 1

Credit points: 12 Teacher/Coordinator: Refer to the unit of study outline https://www.sydney.edu.au/units Session: Semester 1,Semester 2 Classes: 7 x half-hour supervision meetings/semester, on average. Mode of delivery: Supervision
In this unit you begin a substantial, independent research project in Philosophy. Regular meetings with a supervisor approved by the Philosophy Honours Coordinator will guide your progress. You will develop a plan for researching and writing the thesis, submit an ethics application if appropriate, familiarize yourself with disciplinary conventions and standards, engage with relevant literature, theories and methodologies, and submit drafts at agreed times.
PHIL4202 Philosophy Honours Thesis 2

Credit points: 12 Teacher/Coordinator: Refer to the unit of study outline https://www.sydney.edu.au/units Session: Semester 1,Semester 2 Classes: 7 x half-hour supervision meetings/semester, on average. Assessment: 1x 15,000 wds Thesis (100%) Mode of delivery: Supervision
In this unit you complete and submit your substantial, independent research project in Philosophy. Regular meetings with a supervisor approved by the Philosophy Honours Coordinator will guide your progress. You will continue to submit drafts at agreed times, and develop your expertise in relevant research methods and analytical skills as well as in the subject matter of your specialist topic.