Subject MULT10016 (2014)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2014.

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 1 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject is not offered in 2014.

Time Commitment: Contact Hours: Two 1-hour lectures and a 1-hour tutorial per week; and a 1-hour skills workshop in each of semester weeks 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8.
Total Time Commitment:

Total expected time commitment is 102-hours across the semester, including class time.





Recommended Background Knowledge:


Non Allowed Subjects:


Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Students Experiencing Academic Disadvantage Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Description, Subject Objectives, Generic Skills and Assessment Requirements of this entry.The University is dedicated to provide support to those with special requirements. Further details on the disability support scheme can be found at the Disability Liaison Unit website:

Subject Overview:

Reason, many believe, is what makes us human. Until recently, most scientists and philosophers agreed that the ability to use the mind to analyse and interpret the world is something intrinsic to the nature of our species. Reason has a long and extraordinary history. We will explore a number of inter-related themes: the nature of reason from Ancient Greece to our contemporary world; the ever shifting relationship between reason and faith; reason's place in the development of scientific experimentation and thinking; shifting perspectives about the uses of Reason and, finally, how reason relates to theories of the mind, exploring the tensions between reason, the passions and the will.

Reason will take you on a journey from Plato's cave to the neuro-scientists' lab. We will visit revolutions in science, thinking and politics. We will explore the impact of some of the great philosophers of history, including Plato, Aristotle, Hume, Bentham, Coleridge, Marx, Nietzsche, Foucault and many more besides. By the end of this subject you will have a deep understanding of the importance of the idea of reason to human history and philosophy. You might, even, be able to answer the question: 'does reason exist?'

Reason is an Arts Foundation Subject and we will argue that understanding the history and philosophy of reason provides great insights into many aspects of the humanities from political philosophy to understanding history. We will, of course, be paying particular attention to the foundational skills that will help you successfully complete your Arts major: particularly critical thinking and argument development.

Learning Outcomes:

Students who complete this subject should be able to:

  • identify and locate relevant resources using library and other (web-based) databases and search tools
  • understand and use academic bibliographic conventions of citation and referencing
  • describe and analyse the uses of reason in the following domains: philosophy; science; faith and religion; and identity
  • formulate arguments about the uses of reason


A Bibliographic Exercise due in Week 5 (500 words, 15%), an essay due in Week 9 (2000 words, 45%) and an Exam during the Examination Period (1.5 hours, equivalent to 1500 words 40%).

This subject has an attendance hurdle requirement of 75% tutorial attendance (9 out of 12 tutorials) and 75% skills workshop attendance (5 out of 6 skills workshops). Regular participation in tutorials is required. Assessment submitted late without an approved extension will be penalised at 10% per day. All pieces of written work must be submitted to pass this subject.

Prescribed Texts:

A subject reader will be available.

Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:

Critical and analytical (including argument identification and analysis)
Communication (written and oral)
Teamwork / Collaboration (during tutorials and workshops)
Engagement (with real world ideas and problems)
Cultural and Social Alignment of values (through understanding the impact of Reason on society and culture through the ages)

Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Arts Foundation Subjects

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