This unit explores the fundamental philosophical questions which inform the whole of reality: What is existence? What is real, and what is merely appearance? What is the relation between being and becoming? What are universals? What is change? How can something change and yet remain itself? What is the relationship between freedom and determinism? It will consider the ideas of key thinkers, ancient, medieval and modern, and examine the relevance of metaphysics today.

Unit Code: AP9220C

Points: 24.0

Unit Level: Postgraduate Elective

Unit Discipline: Philosophy

Delivery Mode: Face to Face

Proposing College: Catholic Theological College

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Learning Outcomes


Elucidate the conceptual framework that constitute a philosophy of first principles


Expound the fundamental ideas, positions and arguments of the thinkers who undertake metaphysical enquiries, and interrelate them as appropriate


Compare ideas, positions and arguments on themes that are found in more than one of the thinkers studied in the unit


Evaluate and assess the strengths and weaknesses of the major approaches to thinking about first principles, as considered in the unit


Appraise the conceptual frameworks and arguments of the thinkers studied in the unit – both singularly and in relation to one another where appropriate – in relation to the core themes examined in the unit


Develop a topic of research in a critically rigorous, sustained and self-directed manner

Unit sequence

30 points of philosophy at second level


Lectures, discussions, In-class exercises.


Description Weight (%)

Option 1: 2,000-word essay 40% Exam Week 1,000-word skeleton argument 10% Week 13 4,000-word essay 50% End of semester

OR Option 2 or 3


Option 2: 6000-word essay 90% End of Semester 1,000-word skeleton argument 10% Week 13

Or Option 1 or 3


Option 3: 2-hour examination 40% Exam Week 4000-word essay 50% End of semester 1,000-word skeleton argument 10% Week 13

Or Option 1 or 2


Unit approved for the University of Divinity by John Capper on 20 Jul, 2017

Unit Record last updated: 2019-10-03 15:27:08 +1000