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PHIL701 – Foundations of Research in Mind and World

2017 – S1 Day

General Information

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Unit convenor and teaching staff Unit convenor and teaching staff Unit Convenor
Jennifer Duke-Yonge
Contact via jennifer.duke-yonge@mq.edu.au, or 9850 8826
W6A 722
Monday 1-2, or by arrangement
Credit points Credit points
4
Prerequisites Prerequisites
Admission to MRes
Corequisites Corequisites
Co-badged status Co-badged status
Unit description Unit description
This unit provides the opportunity for an in-depth study of foundational texts in metaphysics and epistemology. This year, we will focus on David Hume’s Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding. In this work, Hume developed a unified empiricist study of human understanding and human nature, incorporating influential and controversial examinations of topics including reason, knowledge, causation, free will and religious belief. We will examine the arguments presented in this text in detail, and consider the influence of Hume’s thought on later philosophy.

Important Academic Dates

Information about important academic dates including deadlines for withdrawing from units are available at http://students.mq.edu.au/student_admin/enrolmentguide/academicdates/

Learning Outcomes

  1. Acquire a coherent and advanced knowledge of the methodology, concepts and arguments of Hume's 'Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding'.
  2. Synthesise and analyse information from a variety of sources concerning foundational concepts and arguments in Metaphysics and Epistemology.
  3. Articulate clearly and coherently relevant philosophical arguments in Metaphysics and Epistemology.
  4. Analyse and critically evaluate philosophical arguments.
  5. Apply acquired knowledge and skills in the context of philosophical scholarship.
  6. Work in cooperation with others to enhance individual and group learning.

Assessment Tasks

Name Weighting Hurdle Due
Research Essay 35% Sunday 14/5/17
Summaries 25% 9am Fri, Wks 3, 5, 7, 10 & 12.
Class Presentation 20% To be decided
Participation 20% Weekly

Research Essay

Due: Sunday 14/5/17
Weighting: 35%

The essay is designed to develop your ability to engage with a topic in some depth. The essay develops your ability to express, analyse and organise key ideas clearly and systematically, and your ability to develop a sustained argument. Essay topics will be provided. They will focus on material from the first 8 weeks of the unit, and are designed to help you develop a deeper understanding of themes that will inform our discussion for the remaining weeks. 

Assessment criteria will be: Understanding of Content; Clarity; Critical Engagement; Argumentation and Research. A rubric will be given in iLearn.

Please note that this essay will be due on Sunday of Week 9 and will be returned by Sunday of Week 11. The essay is to be submitted via Turnitin.


This Assessment Task relates to the following Learning Outcomes:
  • Acquire a coherent and advanced knowledge of the methodology, concepts and arguments of Hume's 'Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding'.
  • Synthesise and analyse information from a variety of sources concerning foundational concepts and arguments in Metaphysics and Epistemology.
  • Articulate clearly and coherently relevant philosophical arguments in Metaphysics and Epistemology.
  • Analyse and critically evaluate philosophical arguments.
  • Apply acquired knowledge and skills in the context of philosophical scholarship.

Summaries

Due: 9am Fri, Wks 3, 5, 7, 10 & 12.
Weighting: 25%

5 summaries, covering the sections for each fortnight.  You will give a summary of each fortnight's sections, along with at least three questions or points for discussion, and submit them through Turnitin in iLearn by 9am Friday of weeks 3, 5, 7, 10 and 12. The summaries will be returned with feedback by the following Monday. The summaries and discussion questions should help to guide your discussion in the discussion weeks. Note that the summaries should be no more than two pages (750-1000 words) per fortnight, and are summaries rather than analyses. They are designed to make sure you have a good understanding of the content in the reading week, as the foundation for your discussion in the discussion weeks. Your evaluation and analysis should come out in the discussion questions and subsequent discussion.

Assessment criteria will be: Understanding of content; Clarity; Engagement demonstrated by discussion points.

 


This Assessment Task relates to the following Learning Outcomes:
  • Acquire a coherent and advanced knowledge of the methodology, concepts and arguments of Hume's 'Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding'.
  • Articulate clearly and coherently relevant philosophical arguments in Metaphysics and Epistemology.
  • Analyse and critically evaluate philosophical arguments.

Class Presentation

Due: To be decided
Weighting: 20%

Each student will also make one research presentation during the semester. It may be written, oral or pre-recorded, and needs to be submitted in or before the seminar each discussion week. Internal presentations will be recorded for the benefit of external students, and all presentations will be available through iLearn.

Presenters can assume that all students are familiar with the readings for each week, which will have been discussed in the first part of the week, and should use the opportunity to 'add value' to the discussion. You may choose (for example) to introduce and discuss an interesting piece of secondary literature or a debate from the literature; discuss some connections between the relevant sections of Hume and some contemporary philosophical problems or ideas you've encountered; discuss an argument you're developing for the essay etc. More advice will be given in iLearn. 

The presenter, whether internal or external, will also be required to take an active role in a follow-up discussion in iLearn over the next few days. 

Criteria for assessment will be the quality of the presentation, the demonstrated understanding of the relevant section of the Enquiry, and the 'added value' provided by the additional material introduced. A rubric will be given in iLearn.

 


This Assessment Task relates to the following Learning Outcomes:
  • Acquire a coherent and advanced knowledge of the methodology, concepts and arguments of Hume's 'Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding'.
  • Synthesise and analyse information from a variety of sources concerning foundational concepts and arguments in Metaphysics and Epistemology.
  • Articulate clearly and coherently relevant philosophical arguments in Metaphysics and Epistemology.
  • Analyse and critically evaluate philosophical arguments.
  • Apply acquired knowledge and skills in the context of philosophical scholarship.
  • Work in cooperation with others to enhance individual and group learning.

Participation

Due: Weekly
Weighting: 20%

Participation is a vital part of learning in philosophy. Internal students are expected to attend all seminars, to prepare thoroughly for seminars by reading the material set for each week, and to participate in discussions in-class and online. For internal students, half your participation mark will come from seminars, and half from the online forums.

External students participation mark will be based on your participation in online discussions. Because this is more heavily weighted for external students, you are expected to participate more. All students should participate in discussions in the first part of the discussion weeks (before the Wednesday seminar). External students and the seminar presenter are also expected to participate in the follow-up discussion after the seminar.

For all students, the participation mark will depend on your engagement with the course material, your degree of preparation for the seminars, and your willingness to participate in discussion with the group. A rubric will be available in iLearn.

 

 


This Assessment Task relates to the following Learning Outcomes:
  • Acquire a coherent and advanced knowledge of the methodology, concepts and arguments of Hume's 'Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding'.
  • Synthesise and analyse information from a variety of sources concerning foundational concepts and arguments in Metaphysics and Epistemology.
  • Articulate clearly and coherently relevant philosophical arguments in Metaphysics and Epistemology.
  • Analyse and critically evaluate philosophical arguments.
  • Work in cooperation with others to enhance individual and group learning.

Delivery and Resources

Delivery:

There will be a short introductory class in week 1. After that, this unit will be divided into reading weeks (Weeks 3,5,7,10,12) and discussion weeks (Weeks 2,3,6,8,11,13).  Week 9 will be an essay-writing week. 

Each fortnightly block (reading week + discussion week) will focus on 2-3 thematically linked sections from Hume's Enquiry.

In the reading weeks, you need to read the relevant sections, and write up a brief summary with some questions for discussion, to be submitted by 9am on Friday. There will be no on-campus seminars in reading weeks, and nor are you required to participate in online discussions, although the forum will be available if you want to use it.

In the discussion weeks, you will need to participate in online and (if you are an internal student) face-to-face discussions, guided by the discussion questions suggested by the class. You will receive your summaries back with feedback on the Monday of each discussion week, to aid your preparation. There will be on-campus seminars for internal students in discussion weeks, on Wednesdays from 12-2 in Y3A210. The seminars will a student presentation (face-to-face, prerecorded or written) , which will contribute to the discussion for the remainder of the week. Further information about participation expectations will be given in iLearn.

 

 

 

Set Text:

David Hume, An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding, Hackett, 1993, ISBN 9780872202290.

Please get a copy of this edition. It is inexpensive, and it makes a reading-based unit much easier if everyone has the same edition.

 

Supplementary reading:

Suggestions for supplementary readings on each topic will be given through iLearn.

 

Technologies used and required 

iLearn

Unit Schedule

PHIL701 will focus on Hume's Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding.Section references below are to that text.

Week

Reading week or discussion week?

Reading (Topic)

Activities

Wk 1

Intro/ Reading

Section I  (Introduction)

Seminar 1/3

Wk 2

Discussion

Seminar 8/3

Wk 3

Reading

Sections II and III (Ideas)

Summary due 17/3

Wk 4

Discussion

Seminar 22/3

Wk 5

Reading

Sections IV and V (Induction)

Summary due 31/3

Wk 6

Discussion

Seminar 5/4

Wk 7

Reading

 

Sections VI – VII (Causation)

Summary due 14/4

(Mid semester break 14/4- 30/4)

Wk 8

Discussion

Seminar 3/5

Wk 9

ESSAY WRITING WEEK

 

Essay due 14/5

Wk 10

Reading

Sections IX-XI (Religion)

Summary due 19/5

Wk 11

Discussion

Seminar 24/5

Wk 12

Reading

Section XII (Scepticism)

Summary due 2/6

Wk 13

Discussion

Seminar 7/6

 

Policies and Procedures

Macquarie University policies and procedures are accessible from Policy Central. Students should be aware of the following policies in particular with regard to Learning and Teaching:

Academic Honesty Policy http://mq.edu.au/policy/docs/academic_honesty/policy.html

Assessment Policy http://mq.edu.au/policy/docs/assessment/policy_2016.html

Grade Appeal Policy http://mq.edu.au/policy/docs/gradeappeal/policy.html

Complaint Management Procedure for Students and Members of the Public http://www.mq.edu.au/policy/docs/complaint_management/procedure.html​

Disruption to Studies Policy (in effect until Dec 4th, 2017): http://www.mq.edu.au/policy/docs/disruption_studies/policy.html

Special Consideration Policy (in effect from Dec 4th, 2017): https://staff.mq.edu.au/work/strategy-planning-and-governance/university-policies-and-procedures/policies/special-consideration

In addition, a number of other policies can be found in the Learning and Teaching Category of Policy Central.

Student Code of Conduct

Macquarie University students have a responsibility to be familiar with the Student Code of Conduct: https://students.mq.edu.au/support/student_conduct/

Results

Results shown in iLearn, or released directly by your Unit Convenor, are not confirmed as they are subject to final approval by the University. Once approved, final results will be sent to your student email address and will be made available in eStudent. For more information visit ask.mq.edu.au.

Student Support

Macquarie University provides a range of support services for students. For details, visit http://students.mq.edu.au/support/

Learning Skills

Learning Skills (mq.edu.au/learningskills) provides academic writing resources and study strategies to improve your marks and take control of your study.

Student Enquiry Service

For all student enquiries, visit Student Connect at ask.mq.edu.au

Equity Support

Students with a disability are encouraged to contact the Disability Service who can provide appropriate help with any issues that arise during their studies.

IT Help

For help with University computer systems and technology, visit http://www.mq.edu.au/about_us/offices_and_units/information_technology/help/

When using the University's IT, you must adhere to the Acceptable Use of IT Resources Policy. The policy applies to all who connect to the MQ network including students.

Graduate Capabilities

PG - Discipline Knowledge and Skills

Our postgraduates will be able to demonstrate a significantly enhanced depth and breadth of knowledge, scholarly understanding, and specific subject content knowledge in their chosen fields.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • Acquire a coherent and advanced knowledge of the methodology, concepts and arguments of Hume's 'Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding'.
  • Synthesise and analyse information from a variety of sources concerning foundational concepts and arguments in Metaphysics and Epistemology.
  • Articulate clearly and coherently relevant philosophical arguments in Metaphysics and Epistemology.
  • Analyse and critically evaluate philosophical arguments.
  • Apply acquired knowledge and skills in the context of philosophical scholarship.

Assessment tasks

  • Research Essay
  • Summaries
  • Class Presentation
  • Participation

PG - Effective Communication

Our postgraduates will be able to communicate effectively and convey their views to different social, cultural, and professional audiences. They will be able to use a variety of technologically supported media to communicate with empathy using a range of written, spoken or visual formats.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • Articulate clearly and coherently relevant philosophical arguments in Metaphysics and Epistemology.
  • Analyse and critically evaluate philosophical arguments.
  • Apply acquired knowledge and skills in the context of philosophical scholarship.
  • Work in cooperation with others to enhance individual and group learning.

Assessment tasks

  • Research Essay
  • Summaries
  • Class Presentation
  • Participation

PG - Capable of Professional and Personal Judgment and Initiative

Our postgraduates will demonstrate a high standard of discernment and common sense in their professional and personal judgment. They will have the ability to make informed choices and decisions that reflect both the nature of their professional work and their personal perspectives.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcome

  • Work in cooperation with others to enhance individual and group learning.

Assessment tasks

  • Class Presentation
  • Participation

PG - Critical, Analytical and Integrative Thinking

Our postgraduates will be capable of utilising and reflecting on prior knowledge and experience, of applying higher level critical thinking skills, and of integrating and synthesising learning and knowledge from a range of sources and environments. A characteristic of this form of thinking is the generation of new, professionally oriented knowledge through personal or group-based critique of practice and theory.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • Synthesise and analyse information from a variety of sources concerning foundational concepts and arguments in Metaphysics and Epistemology.
  • Articulate clearly and coherently relevant philosophical arguments in Metaphysics and Epistemology.
  • Analyse and critically evaluate philosophical arguments.
  • Apply acquired knowledge and skills in the context of philosophical scholarship.
  • Work in cooperation with others to enhance individual and group learning.

Assessment tasks

  • Research Essay
  • Summaries
  • Class Presentation
  • Participation

PG - Research and Problem Solving Capability

Our postgraduates will be capable of systematic enquiry; able to use research skills to create new knowledge that can be applied to real world issues, or contribute to a field of study or practice to enhance society. They will be capable of creative questioning, problem finding and problem solving.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • Synthesise and analyse information from a variety of sources concerning foundational concepts and arguments in Metaphysics and Epistemology.
  • Analyse and critically evaluate philosophical arguments.
  • Apply acquired knowledge and skills in the context of philosophical scholarship.

Assessment tasks

  • Research Essay
  • Summaries
  • Class Presentation
  • Participation

Changes from Previous Offering

The essay has been moved to earlier in the unit. This has happened for two main reasons:

1. To avoid conflict with other essays due in week 13, and allow you to get some feedback on this essay prior to writing others. 

2. To allow the research you've done for your essays to inform the discussion for the remaining weeks.

The schedule has been changed to accommodate an essay-writing week in week 9.