2007 HPA286 The Methods of Philosophy

Unit Level: Intermediate

Available as a Student Elective: Yes

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See also   HPA386

Not Offered


This unit is concerned with the question central to all philosophical endeavours: What is philosophy's self-understanding in terms of its methods, its conception, its purpose? The unit will scrutinize different concepts of philosophy and its corresponding methodic approaches. What are the different, even conflicting paradigms of doing philosophy? How does it stand to and how can it contribute effectively to "the sciences"? One focus will be on a critical investigation and evaluation of methods of addressing the quest for metaphysics. We will explore the nature of key metaphysical claims and investigate different ways of how the legitimacy of the drawing "the bounds of sense" has been questioned and reassessed by the most important contributors to the debate. This will allow us to understand the presuppositions and workings of quite different conceptions of philosophy. Important themes will include the nature of "a priori knowledge", the status of necessary truths, verification, the analytic/synthetic distinction and modern attempts aiming at a rehabilitation of metaphysics.

WEIGHT: 12.5%

ASSESSMENT: 2,000 word assignment (40%), 3-hr end-of-sem exam (60%)

TEACHING PATTERN: 2 hrs lectures weekly, 1-hr tutorial fortnightly (13 wks)

Prereq 25% 100 Level units from any Faculty; 25% Level 100 Philosophy for Philosophy major

STAFF: Dr Marcelo Stamm

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