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PHIL323 Metaphysical Questions

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Investigations into the nature and structure of existence. What sorts of things are there? What are possible worlds? How is change possible?

Metaphysics asks basic questions about existence, time, possibility, infinity and more. We then test answers to these questions as analytically as we can. In this paper we focus on questions such as: What is the most general structure of the world? What is our place in the world? Are there many worlds? And why is there a world at all?

Paper title Metaphysical Questions
Paper code PHIL323
Subject Philosophy
EFTS 0.15
Points 18 points
Teaching period First Semester (On campus)
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $913.95
International Tuition Fees (NZD) $4,073.40

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One 200-level PHIL paper
PHIL 216, PHIL 223, PHIL 313, PHIL 316
Schedule C
Arts and Music

This paper is recommended for students who have taken PHIL 101, but there are no prerequisites.

Teaching staff

Associate Professor Zach Weber

Paper Structure

Assessment by written essays and final exam.

Teaching Arrangements

This paper is taught via two lectures per week.


Required: Ney, Alyssa. (2014). Metaphysics: An Introduction. Routledge: London.

Graduate Attributes Emphasised
Interdisciplinary perspective, Lifelong learning, Scholarship, Communication, Critical thinking, Research, Self-motivation.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
Learning Outcomes
Students who successfully complete the paper will develop
  1. The ability to present and assess philosophical arguments (both written and verbal) to an acceptable standard, especially in the area of metaphysics
  2. A broad awareness and grasp of what is at issue in debates in metaphysics
  3. A demonstrated ability to explain and assess philosophical positions and arguments and to think critically and independently about them
  4. The ability to develop and analyse philosophical reasoning collaboratively in group discussion

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First Semester

Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system


Stream Days Times Weeks
A1 Monday 14:00-15:50 9-13, 15-16, 18-22
Wednesday 14:00-15:50 9-13, 15-22