Red X iconGreen tick iconYellow tick icon


    Do we have free-will? How are our minds related to our bodies? Can one prove that God exists? And other questions about what exists in the world.

    The world is an awe-inspiring place. Socrates taught that if we want to live well here, we should understand the world as best we can. So in this paper, we learn to think about very general questions about the nature of reality. We try to formulate ideas and arguments as carefully as possible and then examine them for truth and persuasiveness. We get as clear as we can about 'big' topics that matter. How do we know: whether or not there is a god; what minds are and whether or not machines could have them; what constitutes freewill; and what constitutes personal identity.

    About this paper

    Paper title Mind and Reality
    Subject Philosophy
    EFTS 0.15
    Points 18 points
    Teaching period Semester 1 (On campus)
    Domestic Tuition Fees ( NZD ) $981.75
    International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.
    Schedule C
    Arts and Music
    This paper is open to all students.

    Teaching staff

    Course Coordinator: Associate Professor Zach Weber

    Lecturers: Associate Professor Zach Weber and Associate Professor Heather Dyke

    Other lecturers to be confirmed.

    Paper Structure


    • Arguments about Gods and Machines
    • What are minds?
    • What is personal identity?
    • What is freewill?


    • Essay - 15%
    • In-class test - 15%
    • Tutorial exercises - 10%
    • Final exam - 60%
    Teaching Arrangements
    Two 50-minute lectures per week and one 50-minute tutorial per week.

    Course notes and readings are provided.

    Graduate Attributes Emphasised
    Lifelong learning, Scholarship, Communication, Critical thinking, Information literacy, Research.
    View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
    Learning Outcomes

    Students who successfully complete the paper will acquire:

    1. The ability to read and write philosophical texts
    2. Understanding of what philosophy is and how it is done
    3. The ability to identify and critically assess arguments
    4. A grasp of key ideas about mind and reality


    Semester 1

    Teaching method
    This paper is taught On Campus
    Learning management system


    Stream Days Times Weeks
    A1 Monday 12:00-12:50 9-13, 15-22
    Thursday 12:00-12:50 9-13, 15-16, 18-22


    Stream Days Times Weeks
    Attend one stream from
    A2 Monday 16:00-16:50 10-13, 15-22
    A3 Wednesday 16:00-16:50 10-13, 15-22
    A4 Tuesday 15:00-15:50 10-13, 15-22
    A5 Monday 13:00-13:50 10-13, 15-22
    A7 Tuesday 16:00-16:50 10-13, 15-22
    Back to top