Our Courses

Philosophy papers currently offered at our Massey University campuses in Palmerston North and Auckland, as well as by distance study:

230.112 Tū Arohae: Critical Thinking

This course develops students’ foundational analytical and critical thinking skills. It is designed to provide students in any discipline with the ability to describe, evaluate, and generate reasoning / arguments effectively, appropriately, and sympathetically, alongside an understanding of the hidden complexities inherent in this approach and its limits when employed as a form of persuasion.

134.101 Knowledge and Reality

An introduction to questions about existence, perception and the mind.

134.102 Great Thinkers

This course examines the ideas of some of the ‘greats’ in philosophy, including Socrates, Plato, Descartes, Mill and many others.

134.104 Practical Ethics

An examination of ethical issues that arise in everyday life.

134.105 Philosophy of Religion: God, Freedom and Evil

An introduction to selected topics from philosophy of religion.

134.106 Justice and Equality

An introduction to central issues in political and social philosophy with a focus on theories of justice and equality.

134.201 Philosophy of Mind, Consciousness and Cognition

An investigation of many philosophical questions concerning minds, consciousness and language.

134.203 Ethics

This course examines the theories that underpin our ethical thinking, developing an understanding of the nature of ethical thinking in general, and the advantages and disadvantages of major ethical theories.

134.204 Philosophy of Art and Music

An examination of topics in metaphysics, epistemology, logic, and ethics which arise in aesthetics and the philosophy of art.

134.205 Logic

An introduction to modern formal logic using propositional logic and first-order predicate logic. Formal logic provides an important link between the humanities and maths and sciences, particularly computer and information sciences.

134.207 Rights and Reconciliation

A study of themes from international political and social philosophy with a focus on the moral status of state boundaries and the moral status of war.

134.213 Resistance, Rebellion, and Revolution

A philosophical examination of when disagreement with, and opposition to, governmental authority is justified. Using the tools of political philosophy and assessing real-world cases, we discuss the nature, demands, and limits of various types of insubordinate political activity, including (but not limited to) conscientious objection, civil disobedience, secession, and revolution

134.214 Knowledge as a Social Phenomenon

In this course, we philosophically examine the way our social environment influences how we can come to know about the world.

134.218 Environmental Philosophy

This course uses Philosophy to explore contemporary environmental issues, such as whether our concern for environmental well-being can be adequately grounded in a concern for human well-being, the contributions of indigenous approaches to environmental philosophy, and the role of the sciences. (For course details, check HERE.)

134.220 Business and Professional Ethics

This paper introduces students to the practice of normative ethical reasoning, with a particular focus on a business-professional context. Aside from various moral theories, we examine on-the-ground issues like sweatshop labour, deceptive sales practices, whistleblowing, and so on. (For course details, check HERE.)

134.221 Great Asian Thinkers

A detailed investigation and analysis of the major philosophical systems which have developed within East Asia since the first millennium Before Common Era.

134.305 Advanced Ethics

This course investigates issues to do with moral psychology, practical reason, moral language, and moral ontology.

134.308 Philosophy of Science

An investigation of fact and theory, explanation and discovery, and of modern attempts to improve on naīve empiricist accounts of science.

134.309 Ancient Philosophy

An examination of ancient philosophies, particularly those of Socrates, Plato and Aristotle.

134.311 Global Justice

Exploring contemporary philosophical issues of justice as they arise within and between communities globally, including indigenous philosophies and communities.

134.317 Philosophical Investigations

A consideration of some of the most influential philosophers from Kant to the present.


We also offer papers for undertaking individual philosophical study and research on a great variety of topics. If you’re interested in taking such a project, please contact us to discuss details and possibilities.