Objectivity and Value

Subject PHIL30047 (2010)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2010.

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 3 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2010:

Semester 2, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period not applicable
Assessment Period End not applicable
Last date to Self-Enrol not applicable
Census Date not applicable
Last date to Withdraw without fail not applicable


Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: A 2 hour lecture and a 1 hour tutorial per week
Total Time Commitment: An average of 8.5 hours each week.
Prerequisites: At least one single-semester philosophy subject or permission from the subject coordinator.
Corequisites: None.
Recommended Background Knowledge: As per prerequisites.
Non Allowed Subjects: This subject was previously offered at 2nd level with the code 161-202. Student who have completed 161-202 Objectivity and Value are not permitted to enrol in this subject.
Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering requests 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 : http://www.services.unimelb.edu.au/disability/


Assoc Prof Christopher Cordner


Associate Professor Chris Cordner

Subject Overview:

This subject explores the nature of value - including moral and ethical value, and aesthetic, religious and political value - in human life. Are such values capable of being objectively true or real, or are they essentially "subjective" and/or “relative”, having no ground or warrant outside the individual’s, or perhaps the culture’s, choosing of them? Or is this whole picture of the alternative ways of thinking about value a mistaken picture? If so, where does the truth about value lie?


Students who successfully complete this subject will

  • be able to apply a range of basic philosophical concepts that have been used to explain the value-orientation of human life and activity
  • have developed a deeper appreciation of what it means to be a human being living a distinctively human life
  • be able to bring this appreciation to bear on their other academic studies, and also on the living of their own lives
Assessment: A written assignment of 2000 words 50% (due mid-semester) and a 2-hour closed-book written examination 50% (held at the end of semester).
Prescribed Texts:

A subject reader will be available from the University Bookshop at the beginning of semester.

Recommended Texts:

The coordinator may recommend further reading during the course of the 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:

Students who successfully complete this subject will

  • have developed their powers of critical and analytical thinking, and be able to apply these powers to problems and issues in other areas of philosophy, and in other disciplines
  • have acquired a greater capacity both to articulate and express their thoughts, and also to communicate them clearly and directly
  • have an increased understanding of the impact of social, ethical and cultural context on many areas of human activity
Links to further information: http://www.pasi.unimelb.edu.au/
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Philosophy
Philosophy Major
Philosophy and Social Theory

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