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Unit (2020)

Information on this page, including unit offerings, is from the 2020 academic year.

Introduction to Philosophy (PHL130)

Organisational Unit Creative Media, Arts and Design
Credit Points 3
Availability MURDOCH: S2-internal, S2-external
Teaching Timetables Murdoch S2
Description This unit is designed to appeal to everyone who is interested in fundamental questions about life and society, and who wants to increase their ability to understand, develop, and articulate reasoned arguments. Typical questions: What is the mind? Is there a God? Do we have free will? Do animals have rights? What moral obligations do we have to people who are starving? Is reason more important than emotion? What is the ultimate nature of reality? Do our lives have meaning?
Unit Learning Outcomes On successful completion of the unit you should be able to:
1. Read and understand philosophical texts and arguments
2. Write and present succinct and precise summaries of the main issues at stake in a position
3. Research and develop a sustained written analysis of a specific philosophical issue
4. Articulate, present and defend a reasoned philosophical position in oral and written forms
5. Participate in group discussion and formulation of collective views
Timetabled Learning Activities Lectures: 1 hour per week; tutorial: 1.5 hours per week.
Unit Learning Experiences This unit combines timetabled learning through lectures and tutorials with a strong self-study component. Students are expected to read the core readings for each session and prepare answers to study questions on a weekly basis (internal and external). There is an emphasis on active class participation and group discussion. Students should be prepared to discuss the core readings in tutorials (internal) or use the online discussion space (external).
Assessment Assessment tasks for this unit are structured so as to progressively increase the student's ability to formulate a philosophical viewpoint and argument.
For the first assignment, students must give 2-4 short answers to questions concerning the core readings (500 words for internal / 1,000 words for external students, worth 15% / 30% of the final mark.
The second assignment is a longer essay of 2,000 words on a single topic (40%).
The third assignment is an exam of about 1,500 words (30%).
Internal students will also give a short presentation in class (15%).
Prerequisites Nil.
Appears in these Courses/Majors:
see individual structures for context
Philosophy (BA)
Appears in these Co-Majors Philosophy
Appears in these Minors Ethics
Internet Access RequirementsMurdoch units normally include an online component comprising materials, discussions, lecture recordings and assessment activities. All students, regardless of their location or mode of study, need to have access to and be able to use computing devices with browsing capability and a connection to the Internet via Broadband (Cable, ADSL or Mobile) or Wireless. The Internet connection should be readily available and allow large amounts of data to be streamed or downloaded (approximately 100MB per lecture recording). Students also need to be able to enter into online discussions and submit assignments online.


Unit Coordinator
Dr Anne Schwenkenbecher
Senior Lecturer in Philosophy

Murdoch Campus
t: 9360 6328
e: A.Schwenkenbecher@murdoch.edu.au
o: 450.4.057 - Education and Humanities, Murdoch Campus
Unit Contacts

MURDOCH: S2-External
MURDOCH: S2-Internal
Dr Anne Schwenkenbecher
Senior Lecturer in Philosophy

Murdoch Campus
t: 9360 6328
e: A.Schwenkenbecher@murdoch.edu.au
o: 450.4.057 - Education and Humanities, Murdoch Campus
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