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    A detailed examination of issues in foundational philosophy drawn from metaphysics, epistemology, logic, philosophy of mathematics, philosophy of language, philosophy of mind, philosophy of science, or history of philosophy.

    Explores key problems about time, logic, and mind. Engages with the latest research in the philosophy of time (What are the main metaphysical theories of time? What role does physics play? Can we reconcile the scientific view with our ordinary experience?), the philosophy of logic (What is logic? Is there only one, or many? What is the relation between logic and science? Or logic and truth?), and the philosophy of mind (What are the main theories of consciousness in humans? In Artificial Intelligence?).

    About this paper

    Paper title Advanced Issues in Foundational Philosophy
    Subject Philosophy
    EFTS 0.1667
    Points 20 points
    Teaching period Semester 1 (On campus)
    Domestic Tuition Fees ( NZD ) $1,240.75
    International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.
    36 PHIL points at 200-level or above

    The paper is designed for honours students in philosophy.


    Associate Professor Heather Dyke

    Teaching staff

    Course Coordinator:Associate Professor Heather Dyke

    Teaching Staff:

    Professor James Maclaurin
    Associate Professor Heather Dyke
    Associate Professor Zach Weber

    Paper Structure

    1. Philosophy of Time, beginning with McTaggart’s famous argument for the unreality of time, and examining the chief metaphysical theories of time and the problems they face.
    2. Philosophy of Logic, beginning with the standard view about logic, and its rivals, then examining the metaphysics and epistemology of logic, logical pluralism, and logic’s place with respect to rationality, science
    3. Religious Fictionalism, beginning with a broad discussion of fictionalism in philosophy (metaphysics, ontological commitment and varieties of fictionalism), then examining recent papers for and against religious fictionalism in particular, contrasting the view with moral fictionalism.

    Teaching Arrangements

    Two 2-hour classes each week.


    'Time' by Heather Dyke (Cambridge 2021).
    'Philosophy of Logic' by D Cohnitz and L Estrada-González (Cambridge 2019).
    ‘Moral Fictionalism and Religious Fictionalism’ edited by Richard Joyce and Stuart Brock (2023).

    Graduate Attributes Emphasised
    Interdisciplinary perspective, Lifelong learning, Communication, Critical thinking, Ethics, Information literacy, Research.
    View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
    Learning Outcomes
    1. Understand and communicate key concepts in foundational philosophy.
    2. Demonstrate familiarity, and critically engage with key philosophical works in foundational philosophy.
    3. Work in team-based learning groups with the opportunity to engage in constructive discussions and collaborative workflow.
    4. Understand key debates in foundational philosophy.


    Semester 1

    Teaching method
    This paper is taught On Campus
    Learning management system


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