Justice, Freedom and Equality

Subject PHIL30051 (2014)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2014.

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

This subject is not offered in 2014.

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

An average of 8.5 hours each week.





Recommended Background Knowledge:

Students enrolling in this subject should have completed at least one prior philosophy subject.

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: http://www.services.unimelb.edu.au/disability/

Subject Overview:

This subject investigates central topics in political philosophy. In particular, it will examine competing accounts of what a just society would look like. Questions to be discussed include; What is the value of equality? How might it conflict with individual freedom, and how should this conflict be resolved? Should society be arranged so as to maximise human well-being, or should it fit some idea of a social contract between citizens? In addressing questions like these, this subject will discuss a range of texts from historically important figures, such as Thomas Hobbes, Karl Marx, and John Stuart Mill. The subject will also draw on material from contemporary authors, and demonstrate the relevance of political philosophy to contemporary political issues.

Learning Outcomes:

Students who successfully complete this subject should:

  • understand the philosophical arguments behind some contemporary social and political theories.
  • be able to explain these theories clearly.
  • be able to present informed and fair-minded philosophical evaluations of them.

An essay of 2,000 words, 50% (due mid-semester) and an essay of 2,000 words, 50% (due at the end of semester).

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:

Students will advised of the details of the precribed textbook at the start of 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 should:

  • 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: http://www.philosophy.unimelb.edu.au/
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Philosophy
Philosophy Major

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