PHIL335-23S2 (D) Semester Two 2023 (Distance)

Cyberspace, Cyborgs and the Meaning of Life

15 points

Start Date: Monday, 17 July 2023
End Date: Sunday, 12 November 2023
Withdrawal Dates
Last Day to withdraw from this course:
  • Without financial penalty (full fee refund): Sunday, 30 July 2023
  • Without academic penalty (including no fee refund): Sunday, 1 October 2023


This course investigates a raft of questions - concerning mind, metaphysics, knowledge and human nature - thrown up by the ongoing revolution in information technology. These include: Might I attain immortality by porting myself into cyberspace? Am I already in cyberspace? Is the universe nothing but a computer? Should we fear a forthcoming Age of Robots? Is my iPhone part of my mind? Could a computer ever be programmed to be creative and intelligent, and to equal or exceed the problem solving capacities of the human brain?

Not only is philosophy one of the most interesting and challenging subjects, it teaches skills that employers want: thinking outside the box, logic, ethics, and excellent writing and communication skills. At UC you can do either a BA or a BSc in Philosophy, or combine a Philosophy major with the LLB, BCom, or another degree.

BA or BSc students who major in philosophy must normally take at least two 100-level PHIL courses, plus at least three 200-level PHIL courses (including PHIL233), plus at least 60-points from 300-level PHIL courses (including at least one course from this list: PHIL305; PHIL310; PHIL311; and PHIL317).  For more information see the BA regulations and/or the BSc regulations.

Note: This course can be done at either 200-level (PHIL235) or at 300-level (PHIL335). It runs only in odd-numbered years, and it alternates with a course on the philosophy of science called “Dinosaurs, Quarks and Quasars" which runs on even-numbered years, and which can also be done at either 200-level (PHIL203) or 300-level (PHIL303).

Learning Outcomes

University Graduate Attributes

This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attributes specified below:

Critically competent in a core academic discipline of their award

Students know and can critically evaluate and, where applicable, apply this knowledge to topics/issues within their majoring subject.


Any 30 points at 200 level in PHIL, PSYC, DIGI, MATH or COSC, or
any 60 points at 200 level from the Schedule V of the BA or the BSc.


Equivalent Courses

Course Coordinator

Douglas Campbell

Contact Douglas for further information.


Assessment Due Date Percentage  Description
Attendance 12% 0.5% per lecture
Assessment Tasks 30% Six online assessment tasks, 5% each
Essay 28% 2,500 - 3,000 words, excluding bibiography
Final Exam 30% 3 hours

Please check the course LEARN page for further details and updates.

Course links

Library portal
Philosophy Essay Writing Guide (available to all enrolled Philosophy students)

Indicative Fees

Domestic fee $821.00

International fee $3,750.00

* All fees are inclusive of NZ GST or any equivalent overseas tax, and do not include any programme level discount or additional course-related expenses.

Minimum enrolments

This course will not be offered if fewer than 10 people apply to enrol.

For further information see Humanities .

All PHIL335 Occurrences

  • PHIL335-23S2 (C) Semester Two 2023
  • PHIL335-23S2 (D) Semester Two 2023 (Distance)