Matters of Life and Death

Subject PHIL20018 (2013)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2013.

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

This subject is not offered in 2013.

Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 3 (2x 1 hour lectures each week and 1x 1 hour tutorial in weeks 2-12)
Total Time Commitment:

An average of 8.5 hours each week.





Recommended Background Knowledge:

One of the following is recommended but not required:

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
Not offered in 2013
Not offered in 2013
Not offered in 2013
Non Allowed Subjects:

Students who have completed 'Ethical Dilemmas in Life and Society' 161-024 or 672-345 are not permitted to enrol in this subject.

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:

This subject will examine a range of some of the most morally controversial issues that confront contemporary society. Are there limits we ought to respect with regard to the creation and destruction of human life? How should a society punish its criminals? What are our moral obligations to animals, and future generations? This subject will attempt to better understand and make sense of these controversies and many others.

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Students who successfully complete this subject will

  • be familiar with the philosophical debate on selected topics in applied ethics.
  • understand the way in which philosophical reasoning can be applied to controversies in applied ethics.
  • have demonstrated the ability to think and write clearly on selected topics in applied ethics.

A written assignment of 2000 words 50% (due mid-semester), a 2-hour written examination 50% (during the end of semester examination period).

Hurdle Requirements: This subject has a minimum hurdle requirement of 75% tutorial attendance. Regular participation in tutorials is required. Assessment submitted late without an approved extension will be penalised at 10% per day. After 5 working days late assessment will not be marked. In-class tasks missed without approval will not be marked. All pieces of written work must be submitted to pass this subject.

Prescribed Texts:

Ethics in Practice, 3rd edition, edited by Hugh LaFollette (Blackwell publishing)

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:

  • develop the ability to analyse and critique arguments.
  • be able to think and write rigorously, imaginatively and coherently on issues of public controversy.
  • have an appreciation of the way in which philosophical theory can inform reasoned discussion of matters of ethical importance and public controversy.
Links to further information:
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: History and Philosophy of Science
History and Philosophy of Science Major
Philosophy Major
Related Breadth Track(s): Ethics &&& Political Philosophy

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