Courses & Units

Foundations of Modern Philosophy HPH202

Launceston, Hobart


Due to the circumstances around COVID-19, you will begin your semester 2 studies online in 2021. However, when Government guidelines change, on-campus studies will be reintroduced.



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.


Unit name Foundations of Modern Philosophy
Unit code HPH202
Credit points 12.5
College/School College of Arts, Law and Education
School of Humanities
Discipline Philosophy and Gender Studies
Coordinator Doctor Ingo Farin
Available as student elective? Yes
Level Intermediate


Location Study period Attendance options Available to
Hobart Semester 2 On-Campus International Domestic
Launceston Semester 2 On-Campus Off-Campus International International Domestic Domestic


International students
Domestic students

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Key Dates

Study Period Start date Census date WW date End date
Semester 2 12/7/2021 10/8/2021 30/8/2021 17/10/2021

* The Final WW Date is the final date from which you can withdraw from the unit without academic penalty, however you will still incur a financial liability (see withdrawal dates explained for more information).

Unit census dates currently displaying for 2021 are indicative and subject to change. Finalised census dates for 2021 will be available from the 1st October 2020.

About Census Dates

Learning Outcomes

  • Gain specialist understanding of the historical context and content of debates and positions within early modern philosophy.
  • Engage with social, cultural or political impact and implication of philosophical debates and positions within early modern philosophy.
  • Apply disciplinary skills of text exegesis, analysis and clear communication to interpret and critically assess texts.
  • Demonstrate a constructively critical attitude to belief formation and an appreciation of the synoptic goal of understanding and judgement.
Field of Education Commencing Student Contribution 1 Grandfathered Student Contribution 1 Approved Pathway Course Student Contribution 2 Domestic Full Fee
091701 $1,812.00 $850.00 not applicable $1,812.50

1 Please refer here more information on student contribution amounts.
2 Information on eligibility and Approved Pathway courses can be found here
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Please note: international students should refer to this page to get an indicative course cost.



25 points at introductory level in any discipline in any faculty


AssessmentExamination - take home (30%)|Presentation (10%)|Tutorial Participation/Other Participation (10%)|Essay (50%)
TimetableView the lecture timetable | View the full unit timetable


Required Required readings will be listed in the unit outline prior to the start of classes.
LinksBooktopia textbook finder

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