PHI102: Metaphysics


PHI102: Metaphysics

Key details

Accredited towardsBachelor of Arts in the Liberal Arts
Diploma of Liberal Arts
Unit typeCore unit
Credit points6
Indicative contact hours3 hours per week
Offered inSemester 2
Tuition feeLearn more



Metaphysics is the philosophical study of ultimate reality. It explores the nature of our world and the arguments which attempt to explain why reality has the features it has. A central strand within Western philosophy has traditionally explored these questions with reference to God and the role God plays in explaining how the world came to exist and why it is as it is. This subject will provide students with a broad grounding in the reponses of philosophers to these questions, with some sustained reference to the work of Aquinas. Particular questions addressed include questions such as: What is it for something to exist? What is it that makes something the same entity over time? Are you something that can exist even if your body is destroyed? What is it for a person to act freely? If determinism were true, would that rule out human freedom?


Learning outcomes

With regard to subject-specific knowledge and understanding, students completing this course should:

  1. An understanding of the distinctive nature of metaphysics as a sub-discipline of philosophy.
  2. An understanding of the nature of the debates, central to our philosophical culture, between the major schools of thought on the nature of: personal identity, universals, modality, existence, substance, cosmological and ontological arguments for the existence of God, determinism, and freedom.
  3. In relation to more general academic skills, the subject aims to lead the student
  4. to develop an ability to apply knowledge of standard philosophical concepts and theories, in the course of engaging in research on, critical reading of, reflection on, and analysis of presented texts.
  5. to exercise and develop further the ability to summarise information and communicate in a persuasive, logical and coherent manner.
  6. to competently exhibit in written work clarity of expression, logical essay structure and appropriate use of referencing and bibliography according to the conventions of academic writing.
    to exercise and develop the ability to apply knowledge of standard philosophical concepts and theories in verbal discussion.


Interested in other Philosophy units?

PHI101: Introduction to Philosophy
PHI102: Metaphysics
PHI202: Moral Philosophy
PHI204: Political Philosophy
PHI301: Modern Philosophy
PHI302: Social and Political Philosophy
PHI303: Philosophy of Language
PHI304: Twentieth Century Analytic Philosophy
PHI305: Intensive Study of a Text in Classical Philosophy
PHI306: Intensive Study of a Text in Modern Philosophy



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