Philosophy, University of Otago  

100 Level Papers

The following is a list of the 100 level, first year papers available in the Philosophy Department in 2015. Click here for more information on papers offered and course requirements.

PHIL 101 Mind and Reality

Points value: 18 points

First Semester 2015

Lecturers: James Maclaurin, Kirk Michaelian

Do we have free-will? How are our minds related to our bodies? Does God exist? What about time? And other questions about what exists in the world.



PHIL 102 Knowledge and Truth

Points value: 18 points

Second Semester 2015

Lecturer: Michael LeBuffe

Can we know anything for certain? Do the senses provide such knowledge? Does reason provide it? Can we know anything about the future?

PHIL 102 course syllabus


PHIL 103 Ethical Issues

Points value: 18 points

Second Semester 2015

Lecturer: Lisa Ellis, Kirk Michaelian

What makes certain actions right and others wrong? What is a moral life, and how can I live one? This paper examines a range of theories that attempt to answer these questions. It tackles a number of ethical issues, including abortion, euthanasia, censorship and world poverty. It also looks at more general questions, such as are there are moral facts for us to discover, or is morality more a question of our approval and disapproval of certain acts?

PHIL 103 course syllabus


PHIL 105 Critical Thinking

Points value: 18 points

First Semester 2015

Lecturers: James Maclaurin, Alan Musgrave

This paper aims to educate students in clear thinking and rational argument. Topics covered include: how to sort out good arguments from bad ones; techniques for testing the validity of an argument; common fallacies of argument; and the distinction between science and pseudoscience.




PHPE (PPE) Philosophy, Politics and Economics

Philosophy, Politics and Economics is a multidisciplinary programme that incorporates an attractive and intellectually stimulating combination of three long-established and influential disciplines. Students develop a basic literacy in each of the three subjects; they are exposed to a broad range of exciting ideas, and they are encouraged to cultivate a set of logical, mathematical and analytical skills. Since PPE or PHPE is a sixteen-paper rather than a nine-paper major, students can expect, on average, to do 55% as much philosophy as a ‘straight’ philosopher, 55% as much politics as a politics major and 66% as much economics as a ‘pure’ economist, though these figures can vary up and down since some specialization permitted at 300-level.

For more information about PHPE go here.