Questions that Matter
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- 27 Feb 2023
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- Identify and formulate a text-based and standard form argument.
- Identify a philosophical problem and raise critical questions about its assumptions, merits or weaknesses.
- Identify the cultural context of production of a philosophical text.
- Locate and review an unfamiliar idea or line of argument in the light of your experience or previous knowledge.
- Outline a philosophical claim and write a brief defence based on your critical assessment of a philosophical text.
- • Socrates, Plato, and theories of the good.
- • Themes from Descartes' Meditations: knowledge, god, and dualism.
- • Personal identity and the self.
- • Happiness and the meaning of life.
- • Free will, determinism, and moral responsibility.
Past La Trobe University students who have previously completed PHI1PPR (Philosophical Problems) are ineligible to enrol in this subject.
No additional requirements
In this subject you will be introduced to topics in a range of the major philosophical areas, including epistemology (what can we know?), metaphysics (what is the nature of reality?), ethics, and political philosophy. We will examine some of the central questions that have captivated philosophers throughout millennia, as well as those that scientific advances and cultural changes have only recently brought to our attention. These might include: What is it to be a person, or a citizen? What makes your actions right or wrong? Could a machine think or be conscious? Is it morally acceptable to eat meat, or to design children genetically? Are we defined by our sexuality? What are the proper limits and functions of government or the state? Is there a rational basis for belief in the existence of God? Questions That Matter will focus on exploring the various answers to such questions, and the merits of arguments for views about them.
- Final take home examination (2 short essays of 900 words each from set list of topics, 1800 words in total). (40%)
- Short written responses to selected tutorial questions (4 written assignments of 500 words each, for a total of 2,000 words). Each of the 4 assignments are worth 15% each and the first task is completed within the first 4 weeks of semester. (60%)
Current study term: 26 Feb 23 to 26 May 23
Textbook information is pending.