Why think, and what difference does it make to the shaping of living? Is there a common good, and if so what can we know about it? Are we free, determined, or something more complex? On what lines should society be politically organised? What is the logic of a good argument? Is it reasonable believe in the existence of God? What justification do claims to ‘religious experience’ have as public arguments for the existence of God? What can be reasonably claimed about the miraculous? In addressing some of the most significant issues in the history of Western philosophy, students will be introduced to many of the most significant writings and thinkers within the study of the philosophical traditions.

Unit code: AP8000Y

Unit status: Approved (Major revision)

Points: 24.0

Unit level: Postgraduate Foundational

Unit discipline: Philosophy

Delivery Mode: Mode determined at Scheduling

Proposing College: Yarra Theological Union

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Learning outcomes


Understand and critically assess some the most significant questions raised by philosophical traditions


Analyse the fundamental ideas, positions and arguments of the thinkers studied in the unit


Evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the major arguments of the thinkers and texts presented in the unit


Demonstrate a critical understanding of the relationships between thinking and the shaping of lives


Demonstrate the capacity to research a specific topic in a critically rigorous, sustained and self-directed manner.


Mixed mode (lecture, seminar, discussion fora, blended learning, flipped classroom)

Indicative Bibliography

  • Adorno, Theodor W. and Horkheimer, Max, The Dialectic of Enlightenment, trans. John Cumming (London and New York: Verso, 1979).
  • Baronett, Stan, Journey into Philosophy: An Introduction with Classic and Contemporary Readings (New York: Routledge, 2017).
  • Bowie, Andrew, German Philosophy: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010).
  • Brown, Stuart (ed.), Philosophy of Religion: An Introduction with Readings (Abingdon and New York: Routledge, 2001).
  • Craig, Edward, Philosophy: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002).
  • Critchley, Simon, Continental Philosophy: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001).
  • Davies, Brian, An Introduction to the Philosophy of Religion, 3rd edn. (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004).
  • Jantzen, Grace M., Becoming Divine: Towards a Feminist Philosophy of Religion (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1999).
  • MacIntyre, Alasdair, A Short History of Ethics: A History of Moral Philosophy from the Homeric Age to the 20th Century, 2nd edn. (London: Routledge, 1998)
  • Magee, Bryan (ed.), The Great Philosophers: An Introduction to Western Philosophy. (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1987).
  • Scruton, Roger, Modern Philosophy: An Introduction and Survey (New York and London: Penguin, 1996).


Type Description Word count Weight (%)
Essay 2000 30.0
Essay 5000 70.0

Unit approved for the University of Divinity by Prof Albert Haddad on 6 Apr, 2022

Unit record last updated: 2022-04-06 13:12:52 +1000