University of Sydney Handbooks - 2012 Archive

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The department of Philosophy is part of the School of Philosophical and Historical Inquiry (SOPHI).

Philosophy is a subject that inquires into fundamental questions about ourselves and the world. Students will develop critical thinking skills and enhance their reading, writing and comprehension skills. Training in philosophy is highly valued by a range of professions including business, law, journalism, politics and management. The Department of Philosophy offers a wide range of units of study in the areas of: History of Philosophy; Epistemology, Metaphysics and Logic; Aesthetics, Ethics and Political Philosophy. Philosophy junior units are introductions to basic areas of philosophy. Senior units may then be taken from a pool of options; 36 senior credit points constitute a major in Philosophy. For those students wishing to continue the study of Philosophy at an advanced level, Philosophy Honours is available to qualified students.

Junior Philosophy units
There are three junior units of study, each worth 6 credit points:

  • PHIL1011 Reality, Ethics and Beauty (first semester)
  • PHIL1012 Introductory Logic (second semester)
  • PHIL1013 Society, Knowledge and Self (second semester)

You can do any one, any two, or all three. The normal requirement for entry to senior philosophy units is 12 junior credit points in Philosophy, and for units with this prerequisite the combination of any two of the above is sufficient. (If you have completed PHIL1016 Mind and Morality in HSC, this can be counted as equivalent to PHIL1011 and you may apply for special permission to do a senior Philosophy unit in first semester.)

Senior Philosophy units
The following units of study will be available; all are worth 6 credit points.

History of Philosophy program

  • PHIL2600 Twentieth Century Philosophy
  • PHIL2605 Early Modern Theories of Perception
  • PHIL2612 History of Ethics
  • PHIL2614 The Presocratics
  • PHIL2633 Theorising Modernity
  • PHIL2648 German Philosophy, Leibniz to Nietzsche
  • PHIL2649 The Classical Mind
  • PHIL2651 Bodies and Passions
  • PHIL3615 Pragmatism

Epistemology, Metaphysics and Logic program

  • PHIL2610 Exploring Nonclassical Logic
  • PHIL2615 Intermediate Logic
  • PHIL2619 Philosophy of Mathematics
  • PHIL2620 Probability and Decision Theory
  • PHIL2621 Truth, Meaning and Language
  • PHIL2622 Reality, Time and Possibility: Metaphysics
  • PHIL2626 Philosophy and Psychoanalysis
  • PHIL2627 Philosophy and Psychiatry
  • PHIL2642 Critical Thinking
  • PHIL2643 Philosophy of Mind
  • PHIL2650 Logic and Computation
  • PHIL3622 Philosophy of Modern Physics

Aesthetics, Ethics and Political Philosophy program

  • PHIL2617 Practical Ethics
  • PHIL2623 Moral Psychology
  • PHIL2634 Democratic Theory
  • PHIL2635 Contemporary Political Philosophy
  • PHIL2640 Sustainability, Systems and Society
  • PHIL2645 Philosophy of Law
  • PHIL2646 Philosophy and Literature
  • PHIL2647 Philosophy of Happiness

Philosophy Honours
The requirement for entry to fourth-year honours is 48 senior credit points, with a credit average or better, and including at least 6 credit points from each of the three programs above.

Cross-listed units
Please check the cross-listing schedule located on the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences website.

Contact/further information
Information on our units of study and staff with whom to discuss the program is available at or by phoning the School office on +61 2 9351 2862.