Skip to main content
Unit of study_

PHIL3685: Scepticism: From Illusion to Reality

2024 unit information

How do we tell what is reality or illusion? How can we know that we do not just project our own feelings and thoughts onto reality? Are we perhaps dreaming or brains in a vat? This unit will address these and related questions by analysing sceptical arguments and theories of knowledge from antiquity to early modern philosophy and beyond into the twentieth century (e.g. the antiskeptical pragmatist tradition). Students will engage in skepticism and epistemology from an historical context, connecting with contemporary topics in epistemology, metaphysics and philosophy of mind.

Unit details and rules

Managing faculty or University school:


Code PHIL3685
Academic unit Philosophy
Credit points 6
12 credit points at 2000 level in Philosophy

At the completion of this unit, you should be able to:

  • LO1. assess concepts and theories about knowledge and skeptical denial throughout history and into present times.
  • LO2. analzye skeptical arguments and theories of knowledge employed to combat them.
  • LO3. enhance oral and written expression with a view to the audience and context of utterance.
  • LO4. develop new criticisms of skeptical thinking and of theories of knowledge and justification.

Unit availability

This section lists the session, attendance modes and locations the unit is available in. There is a unit outline for each of the unit availabilities, which gives you information about the unit including assessment details and a schedule of weekly activities.

The outline is published 2 weeks before the first day of teaching. You can look at previous outlines for a guide to the details of a unit.

Session MoA ?  Location Outline ? 
Semester 2 2023
Normal day Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney
Session MoA ?  Location Outline ? 
Semester 2 2024
Normal day Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney
Outline unavailable
There are no availabilities for previous years.

Modes of attendance (MoA)

This refers to the Mode of attendance (MoA) for the unit as it appears when you’re selecting your units in Sydney Student. Find more information about modes of attendance on our website.