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Hobart, Launceston



This unit surveys the main Western philosophical traditions from the Renaissance up to the 19th century. At the centre stand the metaphysical and epistemological systems of the Rationalists (Descartes, Spinoza, and Leibniz) and the Empiricists (Hobbes, Locke, Berkeley, and Hume), as well as the Criticism of Kant and some of his successors such as, for example, Fichte, or Schelling, and Hegel. Students are also introduced to in-depth, analytical readings and discussions of complete and/or select parts of seminal works of the period. This is done with a constant eye to contemporary discussions in epistemology and metaphysics.

While the unit builds on and deepens the knowledge base from the introductory first year Philosophy units and constitutes a pathway into the third year units in philosophy, it is also an ideal unit for the generally interested student intent on rounding out and increasing overall competence and skills necessary for the effective participation in contemporary scientific, cultural, social, and political debates.

Summary 2021

Unit name Foundations of Modern Philosophy
Unit code HPH202
Credit points 12.5
Faculty/School College of Arts, Law and Education
School of Humanities
Discipline Philosophy and Gender Studies

Dr. James Chase

Teaching staff

Dr. Ingo Farin

Level Intermediate
Available as student elective? Yes
Breadth Unit? No



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About Census Dates

Learning Outcomes

  1. Gain specialist understanding of the historical context and content of debates and positions within early modern philosophy.
  2. Engage with social, cultural or political impact and implication of philosophical debates and positions within early modern philosophy.
  3. Apply disciplinary skills of text exegesis, analysis and clear communication to interpret and critically assess texts.
  4. Demonstrate a constructively critical attitude to belief formation and an appreciation of the synoptic goal of understanding and judgement.




25 points at introductory level in any discipline in any faculty


Mutual Exclusions

You cannot enrol in this unit as well as the following:


Teaching Pattern

On Campus:
2 x 1hr lectures weekly
1-hr tutorial weekly (13 wks)

Off Campus:  
Web-based delivery (13 wks)


Task 1: Short tutorial presentation (10%)

Task 2: Tutorial/Online discussion and participation (10%)

Task 3: Essay (50%)

Task 4: Take-home exam (30%)

TimetableView the lecture timetable | View the full unit timetable



Information about any textbook requirements will be available from mid November.


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