PHIL 3010 Philosophies of Love and Death

Credit Points 10

Legacy Code 100275

Coordinator Charles Barbour Opens in new window

Description The Western experience of the fundamental questions of love and death will be examined. What is love? Is love between friends more important than romantic love? Is death always a bad thing? Is 'coming to terms with death' important for a meaningful life? Ancient Greek, Christian and medieval attitudes will be contrasted with romantic and contemporary views.

School Humanities & Comm Arts

Discipline Philosophy

Student Contribution Band HECS Band 4 10cp

Check your fees via the Fees page.

Level Undergraduate Level 3 subject


Successful completion of 60 credit points of study in currently enrolled program.

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Describe Western philosophies of love and death
  2. Read and critically analyse primary texts which deal with these questions
  3. Apply these readings to current events

Subject Content

1. Ancient Greek ideas about love, friendship and death. The distinction between eros, agape, and philia. Plato?fs Symposium, and Epicurus?f view that death is not a bad thing.
2. Medieval and Christian ideas about love.
3. Romantic love and suicide: Goethe. Wollstonecraft's Enlightenment critique. Love as a component of wellbeing and necessary for a meaningful life.
4. Contemporary views about the nature of love: love as a feeling, distinctive attitude, or ?eunion.?f
5. Theories about the harm of death.
6. Theories about friendship and caring and the moral importance of each relationship.


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
Major Essay 2,500 words 50 N Individual
Minor Essay 1,500 words 25 N Individual
Tutorial Presentation: a critical account of set reading 10 minutes 25 N Individual

Prescribed Texts

  • The weekly readings are listed in the Teaching and Learning Activities section of this guide. These will be available on the subject vUWS site.