Topics in Applied Ethics

Subject 161-437 (2009)

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

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 4 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject is not offered in 2009.

Time Commitment: Contact Hours: A 2-hour lecture/seminar per week
Total Time Commitment: 2 contact hours/week, 8 additional hours/week. Total of 10 hours per week.
Prerequisites: Admission to the postgraduate diploma or fourth-year honours in philosophy.
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:


Asoc Prof Christopher Cordner

Subject Overview: The subject deals with topics from a range of areas in applied ethics, including issues of individual decision-making and public policy. The subject asks students to use skills in philosophical reasoning and knowledge of philosophical theory in such areas as moral, political, and legal philosophy, along with relevant empirical information, in order to devise solutions and assess proposals concerning selected practical problems. Students will become familiar with the recent literature in such journals as the 'Journal of Applied Philosophy', and 'Ethics.'
Objectives: Students who successfully complete this subject will
  • display an acquaintance with some of the important contemporary contributions to the literature in applied ethics;
  • acquire an understanding of selected issues in applied ethics;
  • acquire the ability to expose unstated, uncritically accepted assumptions behind conventional moral thinking;
  • acquire the ability to apply major ethical theories to issues of practical concern, in order to both advance our understanding of the issues and test the relevance and force of the theories.
Assessment: A 5000-word essay 100% (due at the end of semester).
Prescribed Texts: To be advised
Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:
  • have refined the skills required for critical thinking;
  • have refined the skills required for written communication of research;
  • have improved their ability to integrate abstract moral and conceptual considerations with relevant empirical data.
Related Course(s): Postgraduate Certificate in Professional Ethics
Postgraduate Diploma in Professional Ethics
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Philosophy

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