Warning! This unit contains mature content and may not be suitable for some students. Any student under the age of 16 who would like to enrol in this unit must first complete a Parental Consent Form.
- PART ONE: ETHICS IN THE PERSONAL SPHERE - LIFE, LOVE, DEATH.
- Part 1: Introduction to course and ethical reasoning
- Part 1: Abortion
- Part 1: Marriage, family, parenting
- Part 1: Death: (a) Suicide (b) Euthanasia
- PART TWO: EXPANDING THE CIRCLE OF MORAL CONCERN
- Part 2: What we owe to those less fortunate: (a) Poverty (b) Refugees and asylum seekers
- Part 2: Non-human animals
- Part 2: The environment
- PART THREE: WHEN MORAL RELATIONS BREAK DOWN
- Part 3: War and Humanitarian Intervention
- Part 3: Torture
- Part 3: Punishment and capital punishment
- Discussion forum/Discussion Board
- Online assignment submission
- Standard Media
- Web links
- Resources and Links
- Printable format materials
You cannot enrol in this unit if you have successfully completed any of the following subject(s) because they are considered academically equivalent:
You must complete some Level 1 studies before starting this subject. Prior study in Philosophy is recommended.
No special requirements
This subject was previously known as PHI210 Practical Ethics.
Please note: This subject is available in Macquarie Semester 3. This is an intensive semester which spans only 9 weeks (including recess). Students are advised to enrol in only one or two subjects in Semester 3.
This subject focuses on a range of topics in applied ethics, starting with ethics in the personal sphere and expanding the sphere of moral concern outwards to include those with whom we are not in a personal relationship and also non-human animals and the environment. We consider ethical questions to do with abortion, marriage, children's rights, suicide and euthanasia; questions of what we owe to those less well off than ourselves (e.g. those in poverty, refugees and asylum seekers); and ethical issues in the breakdown of moral relations (e.g. war, terrorism, torture and punishment). Discussion of the different topics is structured around key concepts, themes and questions including personhood, harm, and justice. What are the criteria for personhood, and are these criteria relevant to the morality of abortion or euthanasia? The duty to minimize harm is an important ethical principle. But what is the nature of harm? And under what circumstances (if any) might causing harm be justified? Is there such a thing as a just war? Is terrorism ever justifiable? The subject aims to encourage deep intellectual and also personal reflection on the complex ethical issues raised by such questions and to introduce students to the different positions and arguments within the relevant philosophical debates.
- Essay (30%)
- Short paper (20%)
- Participation (20%)
- Reflective Task (30%)
Bachelor of Arts
- Major in Ancient History
- Major in English
- Major in Modern History
- Major in Philosophy
- Major in Politics
- Major in Society and Culture
- Major in Sociology