units

ATS3884

Faculty of Arts

Undergraduate - Unit

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6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered, or view unit timetables.

LevelUndergraduate
FacultyFaculty of Arts
Organisational UnitPhilosophy
OfferedClayton First semester 2014 (Off-campus)
Clayton Second semester 2014 (Off-campus)
Clayton Summer semester A 2014 (Off-campus)
Coordinator(s)Dr Monima Chadha

Notes

Previously coded PHL3880

Synopsis

The subject will examine some major themes in the debate between rationalist and empiricist outlooks, as exemplified in the works of Leibniz and Hume. Hume's Treatise of Human Nature was the culmination of the empiricist tradition in the 18th century. Among the topics Hume discussed were causation, induction, the existence of material objects and their relation to the mind, and the rationality of belief in God. Most of these topics had also been discussed by Leibniz, who approached them from a very different perspective. So it is instructive to look at the work of these two great thinkers in relation to one another.

Outcomes

On completion of the subject students will have gained an understanding of the debates between Rationalist and Empiricist schools in the 17th and 18th centuries, and its influences on the development of philosophical theories in epistemology, metaphysics and philosophy of religion since then. They will have an enhanced capacity for critical and rigorous reading of a philosophical text, and skills in the evaluation of philosophical positions in the context of an integrated system. They will have reflected on contemporary discussions of causation, induction and scepticism and belief in God arising out of the work of Leibniz and Hume. Students completing the subject will develop skills in writing and argument in ways that are responsive to a developing discussion in seminars.

Assessment

Written work: 70% (3500 words)
Test: 30%

Chief examiner(s)

Workload requirements

2 hours (one 2-hour seminar) per week

Off-campus attendance requirements

Off-campus: no timetabled contact hours

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study

Prerequisites

Two gateway units in Philosophy and one second year unit, preferably ATS2863 (Descartes).