Ideas and Society

Subject PHIL10004 (2011)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2011.

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

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2011:

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

On Campus

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 3-hours per week consisting of two 1.5-hour seminars per week
Total Time Commitment: 108
Prerequisites: Admission to the BA (Extended)
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects: 100-009 Ideas and Society
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:


Jane Neild

Subject Overview:

This subject offers an introduction to three fundamental questions of human society: what does it mean to be human? How do we find ‘truth' and, how should society be organized? The subject will examine selected responses to these questions presented in seminal texts of western intellectual tradition and will invite students to critique and formulate their own views. Emphasis will be on how these ideas have shaped the contemporary world as well as academic conventions. The subject will develop students’ analytical skills through the examination of challenging questions, while providing a supportive framework for skills development.


Students who complete this subject should:

  • be aware of a diversity of views on the nature of humanity, the nature of ‘truth’ and knowledge, and the organisation of society;
  • have an awareness of some key thinkers and movements of the western intellectual tradition;
  • understand how such views underlie and have shaped the contemporary political, socio-economic and intellectual world;
  • have developed some of their own viewpoints on complex issues of human knowledge and society.
Assessment: A tutorial presentation and 800 word essay due the week after presentation (20%), an essay of 800 words due mid-semester (30%) and a research essay of 1500 words due in the examination period (40%), class participation and attendance (10%). Attendance of 75% is a hurdle requirement in order to pass this subject.
Prescribed Texts:

A subject reader will be available.

  • Perry, Jacob, Jacob, Chase, Von Laue. 2009, Western Civilization: Ideas, Politics and Society, vol. II: from 1600 (9th ed.) Boston:Houghton Mifflin
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 should:

  • have developed their capacity to critically analyse ideas;
  • have the skills to successfully access a variety of information sources and to be able to identify the quality and relevance of this information;
  • have the skills to effectively analyse source material and to use that material to formulate and support independent opinions;
  • have the ability to successfully develop and defend their own views in both oral and written essay form.
Notes: This subject is only available to students enrolled in the Bachelor of Arts (Extended) program.
Related Course(s): Bachelor of Arts (Extended)

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