units

ATS2839

Faculty of Arts

Undergraduate - Unit

print version

6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered, or view unit timetables.

LevelUndergraduate
FacultyFaculty of Arts
Organisational UnitPhilosophy
OfferedCaulfield First semester 2014 (Day)
Clayton First semester 2014 (Day)
Clayton First semester 2014 (Off-campus)
Clayton Second semester 2014 (Off-campus)
Clayton Summer semester A 2014 (Off-campus)
Coordinator(s)Dr Paul Silva (Day); Dr Monima Chadha (Off-campus)

Notes

Previously coded PHL2150

Synopsis

This unit covers some central debates in ethical theory. A major focus is on opponents and proponents of consequentialist theories, such as utilitarianism, which judge the morality of an act solely in terms of its consequences. Alternative theories include other elements, such as the nature of the act itself, human rights, rationality, and the character of the actor. Another key theme of the unit is metaethics, which includes questions such as: Are there moral facts? If so, are they in some sense objective? Is moral judgement grounded primarily in reasoning or in emotion? What motivates us to do what we believe is right?

Outcomes

Students successfully completing this unit will

  1. Be familiar with central debates in ethical theory.
  2. Have acquired more sophisticated bibliographical skills, including independent use of digital and online material such as the Routledge Encyclopaedia of Philosophy, the Stanford Encyclopedia as well as more advanced reference works like the Cambridge Companions series.
  3. Have a firm grasp of referencing and citation requirements
  4. Have developed critical reading habits which allow the student to identify points of agreement and disagreement among a variety of authors.
  5. Be able to identify and charitably reconstruct arguments in more complex and demanding philosophical texts than those used in first-year, especially in the field of ethics.
  6. Have developed much more sophisticated skills in assessment of arguments.
  7. Demonstrate a greater capacity for independent thought and reflection in their essay writing.
  8. Have a more nuanced understanding of the methods used in philosophical ethics.
  9. Have a more nuanced understanding of the norms of philosophical writing. This additional understanding includes: anticipating and pre-empting potential objections to your thesis and showing that the difficulties faced by your preferred view are less problematic than those faced by competitors to your view.
  10. Have a more nuanced understanding of the norms of philosophical discussion. These include: seeking presuppositions, finding common ground and isolating specific sources of disagreement.

Assessment

Written work: 60% (2500 words)
Exam: 40%

Chief examiner(s)

Workload requirements

On-campus: 2 hours (one 1-hour lecture and one 1-hour tutorial) per week

Off-campus attendance requirements

Off-campus: no timetabled contact hours

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study

Prerequisites

6 points of first-year or with permission.

Prohibitions

ATS1839, AZA2939, AZA3939