Critical and Creative Thinking

Subject PHIL90021 (2014)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2014.

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 9 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject is not offered in 2014.

Time Commitment: Contact Hours: Total 24 hours (3 sessions - 4 hours/each session and 6 remaining hours - 2 hours/each session)
Total Time Commitment:

Total 120 hours


Must be enrolled in the Executive Master of Arts program

Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects: None
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:


Dana Goswick

James Bradley

Subject Overview:

How can we learn to think creatively - while being practical and relevant? The aim is not only to think differently, or have new thoughts, but to think better and have more important and more useful ideas. How can we harness the power of good ideas, when bad or misguided ideas often seem to hold centre stage? How can we overcome our own intellectual inhibitions and obstacles? Can you see where your own thinking gets stuck? Do you find it easier to take in the ideas of others than to put together your own views in a convincing fashion and in a way that you feel confident about? Can we find ways of linking emotional intelligence and rational argument? How do you learn from people you disagree with? All these issues are to do with becoming a confident, helpful and successful thinker in the rough conditions of the world. We are addressing one of the basic questions of civilisation: how can the intellectual virtues, nurtured in the specialised environment of the arts and humanities, be put to good use in the very different circumstances of business, administration and the media?

Learning Outcomes:

·Understand the key strategies for creative thinking.

·Be able to use these strategies in facing real-world thinking problems.

·Be aware of the obstacles to creative thinking.

·Be better able to recognise the potential of a good idea.


1 5000-word essay (x3 300 words). In-class critical thinking assessments 20%
1,500-word reflective essay. due during mid-semester 30%
creativity manifesto project combining draft manifesto, peer reviews of manifestos (x2 250 words). Completed during the examination period 10%
completed manifesto (500 words). Completed during the examination period 10%
1,500 words Critical Reflection .Completed during the examination period 30%

Assessment Extension Policy and Special Consideration

If circumstances beyond your control have severely hindered your ability to complete assessed work, you can ask for an extension of the due date for that work. The marks you receive will not be raised to take account of your difficulties. Assessed work is graded 'on merit'. How you ask for an extension depends on the length of time for which your work is delayed:

A. Permission from the subject coordinator of the subject you are studying For extensions of up to 10 days, you must seek approval from the coordinator of the subject. Except in unusual circumstances, you must speak to him or her before the due date for the work and provide an extension form, which can be downloaded here. These forms should be filled in and given to the subject coordinator before the submission date. Extensions will not be granted after the due date has passed. An individual extension request must be made to each subject coordinator.

B. Special Consideration

For extensions longer than 10 days you must apply for Special Consideration from the Faculty of Arts. This applies to work affected by circumstances that are:

  • Unavoidable
  • Unforseen,
  • Outside your control
  • Not primarily your fault

If your circumstances fit this pattern you should apply for Special Consideration through the Student Portal. You will have to provide documentation to back your request. Details about this documentation, and further details about the process are given on the Student Portal and at the Faculty of Arts Special Consideration webpage. The Faculty will then will tell subject coordinators by email of the outcomes of your application for special consideration. In severe cases affecting multiple subjects, it is also advisable to contact the EMA Course Coordinator.

Prescribed Texts:

Armstrong, John. 2009 In Search of Civilisation, Allen Lane & Penguin Books Nietzsche. The Uses and Abuses of History for Life Subject Reading Pack

Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:

·The confidence to think clearly and constructively about problems to which there is no obvious (and perhaps no correct) solution.

·The capacity to identify and articulate what is most important in a situation, when there is pressure to think and say otherwise.

·The ability and confidence to see through passing fashions of thought.

·A honed capacity to recognise when they do not understand something - and to recognise when others do not understand (despite giving the impression of mastery).

Links to further information:
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: 100 point program - full time over 12 months
150 point program - full time over 18 months
200 point program - full time over 18 months
200 point program - full time over 24 months

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