PHIL 4013 - Honours Theoretical Philosophy

North Terrace Campus - Semester 1 - 2020

This course provides an advanced approach to a selected topic of current research significance in theoretical philosophy. Theoretical philosophy is broadly construed to include metaphysics, epistemology, philosophy of mind and cognition, philosophy of logic and language, philosophy of special sciences, and their history. Annually, different staff members with expertise in various fields of philosophical inquiry will lead small groups of students through carefully devised curricula on a selected topic. Through the seminars and the written assessment students will acquire a sound understanding of the selected topic and the central points of controversy, and will be supported in constructing rigorous arguments to support one or more key philosophical claims concerning the topic.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code PHIL 4013
    Course Honours Theoretical Philosophy
    Coordinating Unit Philosophy
    Term Semester 1
    Level Undergraduate
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 6
    Contact Up to 3 hours per week
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange N
    Prerequisites Completed 72 unit undergraduate degree with a Major or Minor in Philosophy and a 70 average across PHIL subjects
    Restrictions Available only to students admitted to Honours in Philosophy
    Assessment Extended essay 70%, detailed essay plan 20%, participation and preparation 10%
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Associate Professor Antony Eagle

    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes

    On successful completion of this course students will be able to:

    1. Demonstrate a detailed and high-level understanding of a particular topic in theoretical philosophy.
    2. Identify, analyse, and evaluate relevant philosophical texts to construct arguments and produce, with support, independent philosophical research.
    3. Communicate effectively in a range of formats (but particularly through the production of extended written texts) and to demonstrate a thorough grasp of the scholarly conventions of the discipline of philosophy.
    4. Develop a critical, self-reflective approach to the study of philosophy, which acknowledges methodological issues in philosophical inquiry and is sensitive to the consequences and prevalence of philosophical disagreement.
    5. Demonstrate proficiency in the use of a range of contemporary technologies to conduct research, communicate results and communicate with others.
    University Graduate Attributes

    This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:

    University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s)
    Deep discipline knowledge
    • informed and infused by cutting edge research, scaffolded throughout their program of studies
    • acquired from personal interaction with research active educators, from year 1
    • accredited or validated against national or international standards (for relevant programs)
    Critical thinking and problem solving
    • steeped in research methods and rigor
    • based on empirical evidence and the scientific approach to knowledge development
    • demonstrated through appropriate and relevant assessment
    Teamwork and communication skills
    • developed from, with, and via the SGDE
    • honed through assessment and practice throughout the program of studies
    • encouraged and valued in all aspects of learning
    Career and leadership readiness
    • technology savvy
    • professional and, where relevant, fully accredited
    • forward thinking and well informed
    • tested and validated by work based experiences
    Self-awareness and emotional intelligence
    • a capacity for self-reflection and a willingness to engage in self-appraisal
    • open to objective and constructive feedback from supervisors and peers
    • able to negotiate difficult social situations, defuse conflict and engage positively in purposeful debate
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    The selected course topic for 2020 is to be confirmed in summer 2020.
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes

    No information currently available.


    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    This is a 6 unit course, with a commensurate workload.

    3 hour seminar per week 36 hours per semester
    Sub-total 36 hours
    6 hours class reading per week 72 hours per semester
    6 hours research reading per week 72 hours per semester
    8 hours assignment prep per week 96 hours per semester
    Sub-total 240 hours
    TOTAL 276 hours
    Learning Activities Summary

    Since topics in this course change annually depending on teaching staff, the following is merely indicative

    1 Introduction
    2–4 Historical approaches to our chosen topic
    5–8 Key contemporary accounts
    9–11 Future directions
    12 Conclusion; review of essay plans
  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary
    Extended Essay Summative 70% 1,2,3,4,5
    Essay plan Formative and Summative 20% 1,2,4
    Participation and preparation Formative and Summative 10% 1,2,3,4,5
    Assessment Detail
    AssessmentDescription% weighting
    Extended Essay An essay of up to 7500 words on a topic of the student’s choice relevant to the topic of the course, negotiated with the course coordinator, due after the end of classes. 70%
    Detailed Essay Plan A plan outlining the structure and main ideas of the student’s proposed essay. Due in the second-last week of class, of no more than 2000 words. 20%
    Participation Students must prepare for seminar, attend regularly, and be prepared to contribute to discussion. 10%

    No information currently available.

    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    M11 (Honours Mark Scheme)
    GradeGrade reflects following criteria for allocation of gradeReported on Official Transcript
    Fail A mark between 1-49 F
    Third Class A mark between 50-59 3
    Second Class Div B A mark between 60-69 2B
    Second Class Div A A mark between 70-79 2A
    First Class A mark between 80-100 1
    Result Pending An interim result RP
    Continuing Continuing CN

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

  • Student Feedback

    The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.

    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy ( course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

  • Student Support
  • Policies & Guidelines
  • Fraud Awareness

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