Philosophy (2020)

Philosophy exposes and addresses problems, including ethical problems, problems about science, logical problems and problems about the nature of reality.

Philosophy is available as a major for the Bachelor of Arts and the Bachelor of Social Sciences. Philosophy may also be taken as a second major or as a minor within other undergraduate degrees, subject to academic approval of the School in which the student is enrolled.

To complete Philosophy as a single major, students must gain 135 points from papers listed for Philosophy, including 105 points above 100 level, and 60 points above 200 level.

To complete Philosophy as part of a double major, students must gain 120 points from papers listed for Philosophy, including 90 points above 100 level, and 45 points above 200 level.

To complete a minor in Philosophy, students must complete 60 points from the papers listed for the Philosophy major, including at least 30 points above 100 level.


On this page


  • Prescriptions for the GradCert(Phil) and GradDip(Phil)

    A Graduate Certificate and Graduate Diploma are available to graduates who have not included Philosophy at an advanced level in their first degree.

    For further details, contact the School of Arts and Social Sciences Office.

  • Prescriptions for the PGCert(Phil), PGDip(Phil), BA(Hons), BSocSc(Hons), MA and MSocSc.

    To be eligible to be considered for enrolment in graduate Philosophy papers, a student should normally have at least a B average in either the best three of their 300 level Philosophy papers or all their undergraduate Philosophy papers.

    To complete a BA(Hons) or BSocSc(Hons) in Philosophy, students must gain 120 points at 500 level, including at least 30 points in research (normally PHILO591) and at least 30 points from papers listed for Philosophy.

    To be eligible to be considered for enrolment in the MA or MSocSc in Philosophy, a student should have completed either:

    a) a BA or BSocSc with a major in Philosophy with at least a B grade average across the 300 level papers, or for a qualification considered by the Academic Board to be equivalent, or

    b) a BA(Hons) or BSocSc(Hons) in Philosophy (or equivalent) with at least second class hounours (second division).

    Completion requirements for the MA or MSocSc in Philosophy vary according to admission criteria:

    Students admitted under a) above must complete 180 points from approved 500 level papers, including PHILO588 and either a 120 point thesis, a 90 point thesis or a 60 point dissertation.

    Students admitted under b) above must complete a 120 point thesis, a 90 point thesis and a further 30 points from approved 500 level papers, or a 60 point dissertation and a further 60 points from approved 500 level papers.

    To be considered for enrolment in a dissertation or thesis, all students must have completed at least 60 points from approved 500 level papers and have gained at least a B average to be admitted to PHILO592, at least a B+ average to be admitted to PHILO593 and at least an A- average to be admitted to PHILO594.

  • Prescriptions for the MPhil

    The Master of Philosophy is a one year research-based degree in which students undertake a programme of approved and supervised research that leads to a thesis which critically investigates an approved topic of substance and significance, demonstrates expertise in the methods of research and scholarship, displays intellectual independence and makes a substantial original contribution to the subject area concerned, and is of publishable quality.

  • Prescriptions for the PhD

    The Doctor of Philosophy is a three year research-based degree in which students undertake a programme of approved and supervised research that leads to a thesis which critically investigates an approved topic of substance and significance, demonstrates expertise in the methods of research and scholarship, displays intellectual independence and makes a substantial original contribution to the subject area concerned, and is of publishable quality.

  • 100 Level

    Code Paper Title Occurrence / Location
    PHILO102Introduction to Logic20B (Hamilton)
    An easy introduction to formal logic comprising an explanation of key concepts such as validity and proof, and an introduction to propositional and predicate logic.
    PHILO103Critical Thinking20A (Online), 20A (Tauranga), 20B (Online) & 20G (Online)
    This paper helps students to engage critically with the sorts of arguments encountered both inside and outside the University.
    PHILO106Social and Moral Philosophy20A (Hamilton) & 20A (Online)
    A study of key concepts in areas of applied ethics including abortion, euthanasia, health care, children's rights, pornography, justice, environmental issues, religion and ethics, and other issues.
    PHILO150The Big Questions: An Introduction to Philosophy20B (Hamilton) & 20B (Tauranga)
    An introduction to philosophical problems in the areas of knowledge and mind, value theory, metaphysics and religion.
  • 200 Level

    Code Paper Title Occurrence / Location
    MAORI202Ngā Iho Matua: Māori Philosophy20A (Hamilton)
    This paper examines the philosophical underpinnings of seminal tikanga Maori concepts, and their influence both historically and in contemporary Maori culture.
    PHILO204Wisdom, Language, and Communication20A (Hamilton)
    Is language the seat of all knowledge and wisdom? The aim of this paper is to explore growing philosophical debate in epistemology and the philosophy of language.
    PHILO208Reason, Science and Pseudoscience20B (Hamilton)
    What makes science so successful? In this paper we discuss scientific reasoning, scientific methods and the social structure of science, and provide tools for differentiating science from pseudoscience. No formal knowledge of science or philosophy is required.
    PHILO215Moral and Political Philosophy: A Historical Introduction20A (Hamilton) & 20B (Hamilton)
    A study of the moral and political philosophy of thinkers such as Plato, Aristotle, Hume and Mill. This paper uses Plato's Republic to introduce students to central issues in Moral and Political Philosophy, including questions about virtue, happiness, justice, liberty, democracy, tyranny, feminism, art, censorship, and moral educat...
    PHILO217Environmental Ethics20S (Online)
    A study of ethical questions about the relation of humans to the rest of the natural world, including the attribution of value and rights to the non-human world and ethical issues in environment and development.
    PHILO218Ethics at Work20G (Online)
    A study of ethics as it relates to business and professional practice in New Zealand including material specifically for interest groups: eg computer science, psychology and social work.
    PHILO225Happiness and Wellbeing20A (Hamilton)
    Drawing on ancient wisdom and modern science, this paper investigates the meaning and value of happiness, and the role it plays in making our lives go well for us.
  • 300 Level

    Code Paper Title Occurrence / Location
    EDSOC300Maori Knowledge and Western Impacts in Education20A (Online)
    This paper explores comparisons between key Western and Maori philosophies. It considers how Maori and Western philosophies respectively describe the self's relationship with thought and knowledge in the context of education.
    PHILO304Meaning, Understanding, and Truth20B (Hamilton)
    This paper explores philosophical topics in the semantics and metaphysics of meaning, truth, and understanding, and the relationships between them.
    PHILO305Philosophy of Religion20B (Hamilton)
    The paper examines a selection of topics in contemporary philosophy of religion, e.g. the problem of evil, hell, death, religious experience, radical theism, the challenge of biblical scholarship.
    PHILO309Experiments in Ethics20A (Hamilton)
    The paper uses thought experiments to introduce students to central issues in contemporary moral philosophy: What makes actions morally wrong? How can we be sure our moral judgments are right?
    PHILO317Environmental Ethics20S (Online)
    Do we have moral obligations toward nature? How should human beings treat the natural world? This paper examines questions such as these in light of our current ethical theories.
    PHILO318Ethics at Work20G (Online)
    This is an applied ethics paper focussing on the professions, research and business. It examines contemporary issues relevant to a wide range of occupations graduates might enter.
    PHILO355The Fundamental Structure of the World20A (Hamilton)
    Metaphysics is the philosophic study of ultimate reality, and metametaphysics is the enquiry into the status of metaphysics. This paper explores the most generic and foundational features of reality and then asks of these features whether they carve nature at its joints, surgically or bluntly.
    PHILO390Directed Study20A (Hamilton), 20B (Hamilton), 20D (Hamilton) & 20S (Hamilton)
    This paper offers students an opportunity to undertake advanced research on a specific topic of philosophical interest.
  • 500 Level

    Code Paper Title Occurrence / Location
    HISTY516Historical Theories and Methods20A (Hamilton)
    This paper prepares students for professional historical practice and higher study through an investigation of relevant historiographical theories and methodologies.
    PHILO534The Philosophy of Language20B (Hamilton)
    This paper deepens the students understanding of central topics in the philosophy of language. These include: the nature of linguistic meaning, the relation of meaning to truth and reference, what it is to know a language, the relation of language to thought, pragmatic aspects of linguistic communication, and scepticism about lingu...
    PHILO560Special Topic: Philosophy of Religion20A (Hamilton) & 20B (Hamilton)
    An examination of work in the cognitive science of religion with a focus on its implications for analytic philosophy of religion. Students will familiarize themselves with research in the cognitive science of religion that is relevant to core topics in philosophy of religion and critically evaluate the relationship between them. Th...
    PHILO588Foundations of Philosophical Research20A (Hamilton)
    In this paper we engage in focused analysis of a range of philosophical topics relevant to the research goals of students. The paper enhances students' knowledge of long standing and contemporary debates in philosophy. Students cultivate their research skills through seminar development and presentation, and gain a grounding in phi...
    PHILO589Directed Study20A (Hamilton), 20B (Hamilton), 20G (Hamilton) & 20S (Hamilton)
    Students have the opportunity to pursue a topic of their own interest under the guidance of academic staff.
    PHILO591Dissertation20A (Hamilton), 20B (Hamilton) & 20D (Hamilton)
    A report on the findings of a theoretical or empirical investigation.
    PHILO592Dissertation20X (Hamilton)
    A report on the findings of a theoretical or empirical investigation.
    PHILO593Philosophy Thesis20X (Hamilton)
    An externally examined piece of written work that reports on the findings of supervised research.
    PHILO594Philosophy Thesis20X (Hamilton)
    An externally examined piece of written work that reports on the findings of supervised research.
  • 800 Level

    Code Paper Title Occurrence / Location
    PHILO800Philosophy MPhil Thesis20X (Hamilton)
    No description available.
  • 900 Level

    Code Paper Title Occurrence / Location
    PHILO900Philosophy PhD Thesis20I (Hamilton) & 20X (Hamilton)
    No description available.

2020 Catalogue of Papers information current as of : 12 November 2019 11:25am

This page has been reformatted for printing.