PHIL 2008 Philosophy and the Good Life

Credit Points 10

Legacy Code 101881

Coordinator Chris Fleming Opens in new window

Description What does it mean to live a "good life"? One conception of philosophy that goes back to the teachings of the ancient Greeks and Romans is that it is the discipline pre-eminently concerned with teaching people how to live a good life. This subject will investigate the idea of "the good life" through an examination of select texts in ancient and modern philosophy. It will address questions that both ancient and modern philosophers have grappled with: on the right relation between reason and emotion, on the role of pleasure in human life, on the development of character, on the "care of the self," and on pursuing a meaningful life.

School Humanities & Comm Arts

Discipline Philosophy

Student Contribution Band HECS Band 4 10cp

Check your fees via the Fees page.

Level Undergraduate Level 2 subject


Successful completion of 40 credit points of study in currently enrolled program.

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Engage with a small selection of foundational philosophical texts to perform a rudimentary analysis of their argumentation.
  2. Demonstrate a basic understanding of the major figures, movements, and themes of Ancient Greek and Roman ethics as these relate to "the good life."
  3. Recognise and utilise methods of conceptual analysis as this pertains to ethical thought, including the identification of arguments and the assessment of the evidence put forward to support theses.
  4. Demonstrate their capacity to form an extended written argument on a topic of philosophical import.

Subject Content

. Basic concepts of Ancient Greek and Roman ethics
. Aspects of medieval and modern moral philosophy, especially as these pertain to the notion of eudaimonia ("the good life") and the relation between reason and the passions.
. The notion of "care of the self"
. The theory of the virtues as this appears in both western (eg. Aristotelian) and non-western (eg. Confucian) philosophy

Prescribed Texts

  • Subject Reader

Structures that include subject