Philosophy of Buddhism

Subject 161-035 (2009)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2009. Search for this in the current handbook

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 2 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject is not offered in 2009.

Time Commitment: Contact Hours: Thirty two contact hours per semester: two 1-hour lectures per week for the first 11 weeks and a 1-hour tutorial per week beginning the third week of semester
Total Time Commitment: Total of 8.5 hours per week.
Prerequisites: At least one single-semester first-year philosophy or Asian studies subject (in consultation with the subject coordinator) or permission from the Head of School or the subject coordinator.
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Student Support and Engagement Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Overview, Learning Outcomes, Assessment and Generic Skills sections of this entry.

It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. Students who feel their disability may impact on meeting the requirements of this subject are encouraged to discuss this matter with a Faculty Student Adviser and Student Equity and Disability Support:


Dr Guy Petterson

Subject Overview: This subject explores the central teachings and concepts of Buddhism as embodied in the Four Noble Truths. It does so by examining such core Buddhist concepts and contrasts as suffering and its cessation, enlightenment and ignorance, impermanence and emptiness and meditation. Reference to the Theravada, Mahayana and Zen traditions is made throughout the course.
Objectives: Students who sucessfully complete this subject will
  • display an understanding of the key notions and central philosophical doctrines of Buddhist thought;
  • acquire the ability to recognise and explain these tenets and their interrelations;
  • acquire the ability to critically interpret and assess those tenets from a philosophical viewpoint;
  • develop an understanding of the contemporary significance of Buddhist philosophy.
Assessment: A written assignment of 2000 words 50% (due mid-semester), a 2-hour closed-book written examination 47% (due at the end of semester) and tutorial participation 3%.
Prescribed Texts:
A subject reader will be available from the bookshop at the start of semester.
Breadth Options:

This subject potentially can be taken as a breadth subject component for the following courses:

You should visit learn more about breadth subjects and read the breadth requirements for your degree, and should discuss your choice with your student adviser, before deciding on your subjects.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:
  • develop skills in constructing and assessing the strength of arguments, identifying theoretical assumptions, and assessing conflicting arguments;
  • develop an understanding of the texts and offer textual support for interpretations;
  • have improved critical thinking and analysis skills.
Related Course(s): Diploma in Arts (Asian Studies)
Diploma in Arts (Philosophy)
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Asian Studies
Asian Studies
Asian Studies
Asian Studies Major
Philosophy Major

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