Subject MULT10016 (2013)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2013.

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

This subject is not offered in 2013.

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 Time Commitment: 3 contact hours/week, 5 additional hours/week. Total of 8 hours per week.





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.


On completion of this subject, students should possess the following competencies in these important areas:

1. Knowledge and Content

  • Identify important milestones and individuals in the history of reason
  • Describe the individual, social and cultural forces shaping concepts of reason
  • Discuss the place of reason in philosophy, science and religion

2. Research

  • Independently identify and locate relevant resources using library and other (web-based) databases & search tools
  • Construct and maintain bibliography using data management tools

3. Communication & Creativity

  • Effective and persuasive presentation using software
  • Demonstrate ability in collaboration & collegiality
  • Applied creative thinking

4. Critical Thinking

  • Identify, analyse, assess arguments
  • Develop own arguments

5. Ethical

  • Understand and apply university's academic honesty policy

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:
  • communication
  • reasoning and analytical
  • engagement
  • cultural and social alignment of values
  • teamwork
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Arts Foundation Subjects

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