Ideas and Society

Subject PHIL10004 (2015)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2015.

Credit Points: 12.5
Level: 1 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2015:

Semester 2, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period 27-Jul-2015 to 25-Oct-2015
Assessment Period End 20-Nov-2015
Last date to Self-Enrol 07-Aug-2015
Census Date 31-Aug-2015
Last date to Withdraw without fail 25-Sep-2015

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: Two 1.5-hour seminars per week.
Total Time Commitment:

Total expected time commitment is 170 hours across the semester, including class time.


Admission to the BA (Extended)



Recommended Background Knowledge:


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:


Ms Jane Neild


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 the western intellectual tradition and will invite students to critique and formulate their own views. Emphasis will be placed on how these ideas have shaped the contemporary world. The subject will develop students’ analytical skills through the examination of challenging questions, while providing a supportive framework for skills development.

Learning Outcomes:

On completion of the subject students should have:

  • an awareness of a diversity of views on the nature of humanity, the nature of ‘truth’ and knowledge, and the organisation of society;
  • an awareness of some key thinkers and movements of the western intellectual tradition;
  • an understanding of how such views underlie and have shaped the contemporary political, socio-economic and intellectual world;
  • developed some of their own viewpoints on complex issues of human knowledge and society.

A tutorial presentation and an 800 word essay 20% (due the week after presentation), an 800 word essay 30% (due mid-semester) and a 1500 word research essay (due in the examination period), class participation and attendance (10%). This subject has a minimum hurdle requirement of 80% attendance and regular participation in tutorials. In-class tasks missed without approval will not be marked. All assessment must be completed 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 is not available as a breadth subject.

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.

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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