Undergraduate | MAQ-PHIX3057 | 2024
Theories of Justice
Course information for 2024 intakeView information for 2023 course intake
Weigh up competing philosophical theories about justice and its role in society. Begin with John Rawls' bedrock theory of justice. Spearhead discussions about equality, multiculturalism and gender. Interrogate the obligations of democratic citizens.
Theories of Justice
About this subject
On successful completion of this subject, you will be able to:
- understand some of the major theories and current debates in contemporary political philosophy.
- analyse arguments in the relevant literature
- evaluate relevant theories and arguments critically
- communicate clearly your own own perspective on the views and arguments presented in the subject.
- Rawls Theory of Justice
- Dworkin on Equality
- Nozick's Libertarianism
- Analytical Marxism
- Global Justice
- Environmental Justice
- Animal Justice
This subject was previously known as PHI320, PHIX357 Theories of Justice.
What is justice? What is fairness? This unit explores these important questions by examining leading philosophical theories of justice, including John Rawls's influential model, as well as the main political approaches that are associated with them, such as liberalism, libertarianism, republicanism, and socialism. We assess the capacity of these theories and approaches to respond to pressing social justice issues. We focus on issues of inequality and diversity in society by asking: what degree of inequality, if any, can be justified? We also examine broader questions around social and retributive justice, such as: How can we justify punishing those who violate justice? What are the obligations of democratic citizenship? Is our society and its political institutions racist, sexist, or unfairly biased against cultural minorities? What do we owe the poor in other countries? And is our treatment of animals and the environment a matter of justice?
- Participation (20%)
- Reflective writing (20%)
- Philosophical essay (40%)
- Online quizzes (20%)
For textbook details check your university's handbook, website or learning management system (LMS).
This research-intensive university in north-western Sydney offers a range of undergraduate and postgraduate degrees. With over 44,000 current students, Macquarie has a strong reputation for welcoming international students and embracing flexible and convenient study options, including its partnership with Open Universities Australia.
Learn more about Macquarie.
Explore Macquarie courses.
- QS Ranking 2024:
- Times Higher Education Ranking 2024:
You must have successfully completed the following subject(s) before starting this subject:
- MAQ-PHIX1032-Happiness, Goodness and Justice
- MAQ-PHIX1031-The Philosophy of Human Nature
- MAQ-PHIX1037-Critical Thinking
You should not enrol in this subject if you have successfully completed any of the following subject(s) because they are considered academically equivalent:
MAQ-PHI320 (Not currently available)
MAQ-PHIX357 (Not currently available)
130cp at 1000 level or above
NCCW (pre-2020 units) PHI320, PHL357, PHIL357, PHIX357
NCCW (2020 and onwards)
PHIL3057 Theories of Justice
- Other requirements -
Students who have an Academic Standing of Suspension or Exclusion under Macquarie University's Academic Progression Policy are not permitted to enrol in OUA units offered by Macquarie University. Students with an Academic Standing of Suspension or Exclusion who have enrolled in units through OUA will be withdrawn.
This is in the range of 10 to 12 hours of study each week.
Equivalent full time study load (EFTSL) is one way to calculate your study load. One (1.0) EFTSL is equivalent to a full-time study load for one year.
Find out more information on Commonwealth Loans to understand what this means to your eligibility for financial support.
What to study next?
Once you’ve completed this subject it can be credited towards one of the following courses
Single subject FAQs
Single subjects are the individual components that make up a degree. With Open Universities Australia, you’re able to study many of them as stand-alone subjects, including postgraduate single subjects, without having to commit to a degree.
Each of your subjects will be held over the course of a study term, and they’ll usually require 10 to 12 hours of study each week. Subjects are identified by a title and a code, for example, Developmental Psychology, PSY20007.
First, find the degree that you would like to study on our website.
If that degree allows entry via undergraduate subjects, there will be information about this under the Entry Requirements section. You will find a list of 2-4 open enrolment subjects you need to successfully complete to qualify for admission into that qualification.
Once you pass those subjects, you will satisfy the academic requirements for the degree, and you can apply for entry.
Our student advisors are here to help you take that next step, so don’t hesitate to reach out when you’re ready! We’ve also made it easier to figure out the right way to get started on our pathways page.
When you’ve made your choice, click ‘Enrol now’ on the relevant course page and follow the prompts to begin your enrolment. We’ll ask you to supply some supporting documentation, including proof of your identity, your tax file number, and a unique student identifier (USI) during this process.
Your university will get in touch with you via email to confirm whether or not your application has been successful.
If you get stuck at any time, reach out to us and we’ll talk you through it.
You can also take a look at our online self-service enrolling instructions .
Close of enrolment times vary between universities and subjects. You can check the cut-off dates for upcoming study terms by visiting key dates.