Can my experience of myself be trusted as what is finally real? Or is this experience just another obstacle to knowing things as they are? This unit explores the modern project, beginning with Descartes, and continuing through Hume and Kant, to place the knowing self at the centre of existence. At this postgraduate level, the legacy for our time of the modern notion of subjectivity will be afforded additional philosophical reflection.

Unit Code: AP9170P

Points: 24.0

Unit Level: Postgraduate Elective

Unit Discipline: Philosophy

Delivery Mode: Face to Face

Proposing College: Pilgrim Theological College

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Learning Outcomes


Demonstrate a grasp of Aristotle's notion of “the subject”, as that relates to "substance" and continues into medieval philosophy


Grasp insights and analyse arguments by which the Aristotelian substantial subject evolves into the modern “self” (with Descartes, Hume and Kant


Integrate the above knowledge with other philosophical concepts and distinctions (epistemology vs. ontology, soul vs. body, mind vs. matter, freedom vs. necessity, human vs. animal, rationalism vs. empiricism).


Develop a sustained argument for or against a particular philosophical account of subjectivity, in terms of its internal coherence and/or consistency with lived experience.


Reflect at meta-level on the legacy afforded our own time by the above approaches to locating "subjectivity

Unit sequence

undergraduate philosophical studies, or comparable literary or cultural studies.


Lectures and Tutorials; Online module with guided online discussion fora.


Type Description Wordcount Weight (%)

Essay 1 (3000 words)

0 50.0

Essay 2 (3000 words), following prior presentation at seminar of draft essay*.

*Seminar presentation of draft [clarity of presentation plus leadership of subsequent discussion to be assessed (40% of assessment for this essay)]; followed by submission of the written-up essay, assessed as a written piece of work (60%).

**Where a seminar quorum is unavailable, a 1-hour "presentation+discussion" of the draft essay with the lecturer (unassessed) will take the place of the seminar, with 100% assessment allocated the final version, as for Essay 1.

0 50.0

Unit approved for the University of Divinity by John Capper on 19 Oct, 2017

Unit Record last updated: 2019-02-05 07:16:53 +1100