Philosophy

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Philosophy

Philosophy

Please note: Information on this page relates to the 2016 academic year unless otherwise specified.

On this page:

This subject is taught by the School of History, Philosophy, Political Science and International Relations.

Overview

The word 'philosophy' is defined as the pursuit of wisdom. It's not surprising then that the goal of the Bachelor of Arts (BA) major in Philosophy is to improve our understanding of the world and how we should live in it.

Philosophers are concerned with answering questions about truth and value, about what's real and what's important. However, Philosophy isn't only the love of wisdom.

It is also the love of critical and creative thinking, of intellectual discussion and cogent argument. These are skills that can be applied to almost any issue in almost any context.

Philosophy is not just an academic subject—it can also be applied to the puzzles of daily life.

The study of Philosophy will therefore help you with other courses you take at university.

Creative, critical and cogent thinking are fundamental to every subject and academic staff are always looking to see how well you demonstrate these qualities in your work.

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Undergraduate information

Philosophy major requirements

  1. 40 points from PHIL 100-199
  2. 40 points from PHIL 200-299, INTP 261, POLS 269
  3. 60 points from PHIL 300-399, POLS 362

Course planning

The Programme strongly recommends that all Philosophy majors complete PHIL 211 Introduction to Logic and at least one course above 100 level in the 'metaphysics and epistemology' area. This includes PHIL 201, 224, 265, 318, 325, 331, 372, 373), and at least one course in the 'value theory' area (which includes PHIL 202, 264, 268, 302, 303, 313, 361, 375).

Students planning to do Honours in Philosophy are encouraged to consider taking PHIL 389 Pre-honours Seminar in their third year.

If you are considering the Philosophy major, or thinking about going on to Honours, you are very welcome to discuss your programme of study with any staff member in the Philosophy Programme.

Logic, Mathematics and Computer Science

Logic is a study of reasoning that abstracts away from particular content. It studies the relationships between the various claims that people might make rather than the truth or falsity of those claims themselves.

One or more courses in logic for the BA or BSc, PHIL 211 Introduction to Logic or PHIL 335 Logic, are offered by the Philosophy Programme.

There is a close relationship between logic and pure mathematics and between logic and computer science. PHIL 211 and PHIL 335 are listed in the Bachelor of Science schedule.

Philosophy and Science

There is a close relationship between philosophy and science and the Philosophy Programme's course offerings reflect this. A number of our courses explicitly engage with scientific problems and are are listed in the Bachelor of Science schedule:

Staff in the Philosophy Programme also lecture into numerous Science courses.

Postgraduate information

Postgraduate Qualifications in Philosophy

For information specific to Philosophy, see our Postgraduate Study page. For information about the postgraduate qualifications, please click on the Faculty and Centre links below.

To find out more about entry requirements to Postgraduate degrees please contact the Coordinator of Graduate Studies or see our Postgraduate Study page.

See what our current postgraduate students have to say about studying Philosophy at Victoria.

The School Office operates the Postgraduate Philosophy Library which all postgraduate students are encouraged to use. Consult the Administrative Assistant philosophy@vuw.ac.nz about borrowing procedures.

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How to find out more

Want to find out more about studying at Victoria? Register now to find out more about your study options and keep updated on application and enrolment information, open days and events.

If you need help deciding what degree might be right for you, or what courses to take, talk with a liaison officer or book a course planning session with us, call 0800 VICTORIA (842 867) or email course-advice@vuw.ac.nz.

If you’re a returning or transferring student, contact the Faculty Student and Academic Services Office, for help with degree planning and for information on admission requirements and transfer credit from other institutions.

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Related subjects and careers

Related subjectsCareers

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Cultural Anthropology
English Literature
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Market Researcher
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List of courses

Philosophy courses are taught within the School of History, Philosophy, Political Science and International Relations. The School office is located on Level 5, Murphy Building, Kelburn campus.

Meet staff who teach in the Philosophy Programme, or contact the School for more information, hppi@vuw.ac.nz.

For a complete course listing, including courses offered in the current year, see the list of all Philosophy courses.