Mind, Knowledge and Reality

Deals with fundamental philosophical problems and puzzles about the nature of the world and human beings.

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Course outline

This course deals with fundamental philosophical problems and puzzles about the nature of the world and human beings. Examples include philosophical questions about the existence of God, the relationship between physical reality and mental life and the nature of identity and the self. The theory of knowledge studies philosophical problems concerning the sources, limits and justification of human knowledge and understanding (particularly, as distinct from mere opinion or belief). The course will introduce students to a selection of such topics and to some of the important philosophical discussions and debates to which they have given rise.

The course is divided into three parts (1) Plato and Descartes, (2) Hume’s Epistemology and Philosophy of Religion, (3) Selected problems in metaphysics and epistemology.

The first part of the course (4 weeks), taught by Robert Wicks, will discuss Plato’s metaphysical theory of timeless forms, Descartes’s quest for certainty though his “method of doubt” and the distinction between mind and body. The second part (4 weeks), taught by John Bishop, will discuss Hume’s empiricist theory of knowledge and its application to the question of God’s existence. For the third part of the course (4 weeks) Raamy Majeed will give lectures on problems in the Philosophy of Mind


Terms & Conditions

This programme gives you the opportunity to attend regular lectures in a selection of courses, alongside enrolled students as an observer. Please note that you are not eligible to attend tutorials, take part in assessments, sit for exams and will not have access to course material online.

You will be provided with a course outline to keep you up to date with the topics discussed in class every week. This is a no-stress learning opportunity.


  • 12 weeks, 2 March – 4 June 2021, Tuesday and Friday 11am - 12pm
  • $355.00 incl. GST
  • The University of Auckland, City Campus
  • Presented by Associate professor Robert Wicks

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