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Philosophy

Philosophy is for thinkers and doers. It's about solving real-life problems, and applying intellectual rigour to how we understand and interact with others, society and the world. Studying Philosophy at Waikato will teach you how to learn, think and write clearly, argue vigorously, and question deeply held assumptions and beliefs.

The study of Philosophy involves tackling ethical and science-related issues, logic problems and debates about the nature of reality. It asks fundamental questions about what it means to be human, at this time and in this place. Questions such as: what is truth; what is reality; what is the mind; and what is good?

Employers understand the value of graduates who can think, and decide, for themselves. Waikato Philosophy graduates have the practical and analytical skills needed for careers within the public and private, health, business, environmental, publishing, information technology and education sectors, among others.

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Key information

Study Locations:Hamilton, Tauranga, Online
Papers offered differ by location. The Catalogue of Papers has full location info.
Area of Study:

Career opportunities

  • Business Consultant
  • Editor
  • Environmental Consultant
  • Health Policy Adviser
  • Policy Analyst
  • Public Relations Practitioner

Study in Tauranga

Students in Tauranga can complete a minor in Philosophy through a combination of papers taught at the CBD campus, and online.


100 Level

Code Paper Title Points Occurrence / Location
PHILO102Introduction to Logic15.021B (Hamilton)
An introduction to symbolic logic, including formal testing of arguments for validity in propositional logic and predicate logic.
PHILO103Critical Thinking15.021A (Online), 21B (Online) & 21G (Online)
This paper helps students to engage critically with the sorts of arguments encountered both inside and outside the University.
PHILO106Social and Moral Philosophy15.021A (Hamilton) & 21A (Online)
An investigation of contemporary moral and social issues from a practical ethics perspective. Issues may include abortion, animal welfare, discrimination, euthanasia, freedom of speech, genetic enhancement, privacy, punishment, and your online life.
PHILO150The Big Questions: An Introduction to Philosophy15.021B (Hamilton) & 21B (Tauranga)
An introduction to philosophy that investigates a range of big questions. The big questions may include: does God exist?, does my morality apply to you?, do we have free will?, what is the meaning of life?, and who am I?.

200 Level

Code Paper Title Points Occurrence / Location
MAORI202Ngā Iho Matua: Māori Philosophy15.021A (Hamilton)
This paper examines the philosophical underpinnings of seminal tikanga Maori concepts, and their influence both historically and in contemporary Maori culture.
PHILO204Wisdom, Language, and Communication15.021A (Hamilton)
Is language the seat of all knowledge and wisdom? The aim of this paper is to explore growing philosophical debates in epistemology and the philosophy of language.
PHILO215Moral and Political Philosophy: A Historical Introduction15.021B (Hamilton)
This paper introduces students to central issues in Moral and Political Philosophy, using texts from historical figures in philosophy to study questions about virtue, happiness, justice, liberty, democracy, tyranny, feminism, art, censorship, and moral education.
PHILO217Environmental Ethics15.021H (Online)
A study of ethical questions about the relation of humans to the rest of the natural world, including the attribution of value and rights to the non-human world and ethical issues in environment and development.
PHILO218Ethics at Work15.021G (Online)
A study of ethics as it relates to business and professional practice in New Zealand including material specifically for interest groups: eg computer science, psychology and social work.
PHILO225Happiness and Wellbeing15.021A (Hamilton)
Drawing on ancient wisdom and modern science, this paper investigates the meaning and value of happiness, and the role it plays in making our lives go well for us.

300 Level

Code Paper Title Points Occurrence / Location
EDSOC300Maori Knowledge and Western Impacts in Education15.021A (Online)
This paper explores comparisons between key Western and Maori philosophies. It considers how Maori and Western philosophies respectively describe the self's relationship with thought and knowledge in the context of education.
PHILO309Experiments in Ethics15.021B (Hamilton)
The paper uses thought experiments to introduce students to central issues in contemporary moral philosophy. The issues may include: What makes an action right? Are there any absolute duties? Is morality entirely subjective? Is it possible to have moral knowledge? How can we be sure our moral judgments are right?
PHILO310Mind, Matter and Consciousness15.021A (Hamilton)
Are mental states just brain states? If not, what are they? Can we account for consciousness in purely physical terms? PHILO310 covers these central questions in the Philosophy of Mind.
PHILO315Democracy, Justice & Equality15.021A (Hamilton)
This course provides students with an in-depth introduction to contested topics in modern political philosophy. Students will be expected to analyse the theoretical basis of these positions, and to consider the practical consequences of them.
PHILO317Environmental Ethics15.021H (Online)
Do we have moral obligations toward nature? How should human beings treat the natural world? This paper examines questions such as these in light of our current ethical theories.
PHILO318Ethics at Work15.021G (Online)
This is an applied ethics paper focussing on the professions, research and business. It examines contemporary issues relevant to a wide range of occupations graduates might enter.
PHILO355The Fundamental Structure of the World15.021B (Hamilton)
What is there? What makes up the furniture of reality? What about holes, chairs, possible worlds, fictional characters, musical works, temporal parts, races, or genders? These are central questions within metaphysics that we explore in this paper. We also explore higher-level questions: what is it to exist, and how should we go abo...
PHILO390Directed Study15.021A (Hamilton), 21B (Hamilton), 21D (Hamilton), 21G (Hamilton) & 21H (Hamilton)
This paper offers students an opportunity to undertake advanced research on a specific topic of philosophical interest.

500 Level

Code Paper Title Points Occurrence / Location
PHILO533Moral and Political Philosophy15.021A (Hamilton)
This paper will cover a range of current topics in moral and political philosophy. The exact content will be guided by choices made in class, but will include detailed analysis of foundational problems in modern political philosophy, and exploration of the intersection of moral and political philosophy in practice.
PHILO536The Philosophy of Mind15.021A (Hamilton)
In this paper we will discuss recent philosophical work on issues concerning consciousness and intentionality.
PHILO560Special Topic: Virtue Ethics15.021B (Hamilton)
This paper focuses on the work of contemporary virtue ethicists, discussing questions related to the nature of virtue, right action, and human flourishing.
PHILO588Foundations of Philosophical Research30.021A (Hamilton)
In this paper we engage in focused analysis of a range of philosophical topics relevant to the research goals of students. The paper enhances students' knowledge of long standing and contemporary debates in philosophy. Students cultivate their research skills through seminar development and presentation, and gain a grounding in phi...
PHILO589Directed Study15.021A (Hamilton), 21B (Hamilton), 21G (Hamilton) & 21H (Hamilton)
Students have the opportunity to pursue a topic of their own interest under the guidance of academic staff.
PHILO591Dissertation30.021A (Hamilton), 21B (Hamilton) & 21D (Hamilton)
A report on the findings of a theoretical or empirical investigation.
PHILO592Dissertation60.021X (Hamilton)
A report on the findings of a theoretical or empirical investigation.
PHILO593Philosophy Thesis90.021X (Hamilton)
An externally examined piece of written work that reports on the findings of supervised research.
PHILO594Philosophy Thesis120.021X (Hamilton)
An externally examined piece of written work that reports on the findings of supervised research.

800 Level

Code Paper Title Points Occurrence / Location
PHILO800Philosophy MPhil Thesis120.021X (Hamilton)
No description available.

900 Level

Code Paper Title Points Occurrence / Location
PHILO900Philosophy PhD Thesis120.021I (Hamilton) & 21X (Hamilton)
No description available.

Scholarships and prizes

New to Waikato? The International Excellence Scholarship is worth up to $10,000.

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Subject links

Philosophy Programme


Philosophy is available as a major for the BA and BSocSc. Philosophy may also be taken as a second major or as a supporting subject within other undergraduate degrees, subject to academic approval of the Faculty or School of Studies in which the student is enrolled.

For more information about subject requirements please refer to the Catalogue of Papers for the most up to date information. If you have any questions and need more advice contact one of our friendly student advisors phone: 0800 800 145 or +64 7 838 4080 or email: [email protected]

Please note: For all graduate subject requirements check the information provided in the papers section above.


Contacts

School of Social Sciences
Phone: 0800 800 145 or +64 7 838 4030
General and Undergraduate Email Enquiries: [email protected]
Graduate and Postgraduate Email Enquiries: [email protected]