PHIL 1001 Ethics and Philosophy

Credit Points 10

Legacy Code 101915

Coordinator John Hadley Opens in new window

Description This subject introduces students to ethical enquiry - the ways in which we explain what is right and wrong behaviour, perceive good and evil, and try to deal with the different values people hold. Philosophy has long traditions of debating ethical matters, and offers perspectives for trying to answer our ethical questions: this subject introduces the most important and established of those fundamental perspectives, and explains how they arose in their social and historical contexts. The philosophical material will be also be explored through practical examples and questions from contemporary life, in order to enable students to consider ethics today and the sorts of issues they might face.

School Humanities & Comm Arts

Discipline Philosophy

Student Contribution Band HECS Band 4 10cp

Check your fees via the Fees page.

Level Undergraduate Level 1 subject

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this subject, students should be able to:

  1. Identify basic concepts of good, justice, proper moral duty according to the major Western ethical perspectives studied
  2. Analyse opposing ethical commitments using suitable philosophical concepts.
  3. Explain the basic goals of major ethical perspectives and their application to human social life.
  4. Demonstrate sound reasoning on ethical problems.
  5. Compose sound written argument on ethical issues

Subject Content

. Introduction to the ancient roots of ethical enquiry in belief systems such as religion and moral codes, the emergence of schools of ethics in ancient Greece, and key perspectives, such as hedonism, stoicism, Epicureanism, Eudaimonism
. Controversies and opposing definitions of what ethics means for human societies - with an introduction to meta-ethical perspectives
. The development of key concepts of the good, the just, proper moral duty and their opposites or contraries in different ethical perspectives
. The fundamental concepts in virtues-based, deontological, consequentialist, subjectivist, naturalist, egoistic ethical views
. Basic techniques of ethical argumentation, problems and limitations of this sort of philosophical reasoning
. Traditional renderings and contemporary examples of major ethical problems and questions


The following table summarises the standard assessment tasks for this subject. Please note this is a guide only. Assessment tasks are regularly updated, where there is a difference your Learning Guide takes precedence.

Type Length Percent Threshold Individual/Group Task
Reflection 500 words 0 N Individual
Quiz 1 hour 30 N Individual
Short Answer 500 words 30 N Individual
Essay 1,000 words 40 N Individual

Prescribed Texts

  • subject coordinator to make a Reader available

Teaching Periods

Spring (2023)

Bankstown City


Subject Contact Jennifer Mensch Opens in new window

View timetable Opens in new window

Parramatta - Victoria Rd


Subject Contact Jennifer Mensch Opens in new window

View timetable Opens in new window