This subject serves as an introduction to philosophy. It will consider a range of philosophical issues such as the mind-body problem, the existence of God, the nature of truth and reality, free-will and determinism. Students will also be introduced to the works of some of the major philosophers.
|Academic unit:||Faculty of Society & Design|
|Subject title:||Introduction to Philosophy|
Delivery & attendance
|Prescribed resources:||No Prescribed resources. After enrolment, students can check the Books and Tools area in iLearn for the full Resource List.|
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At Bond University, we carefully develop subject and program outcomes to ensure that student learning in each subject contributes to the whole student experience. Students are encouraged to carefully read and consider subject and program outcomes as combined elements.
Program Learning Outcomes (PLOs)
Program Learning Outcomes provide a broad and measurable set of standards that incorporate a range of knowledge and skills that will be achieved on completion of the program. If you are undertaking this subject as part of a degree program, you should refer to the relevant degree program outcomes and graduate attributes as they relate to this subject.
Subject Learning Outcomes (SLOs)
On successful completion of this subject the learner will be able to:
- Demonstrate a familiarity with some of the major thinkers of the West and their ideas.
- Demonstrate an understanding of the role of philosophy in coming to a fuller understanding of the world and one's place in it.
- Demonstrate an understanding of and familiarity with the abstract concepts with which philosophy is concerned.
- Demonstrate a familiarity with the use of standard methods of conceptual and argument analysis.
|*Class Participation||n/a||10%||Ongoing||1, 2, 3, 4.|
|Essay||Assignment One. A 1500 word essay.||30%||Week 6||1, 2, 3, 4.|
|Essay||Assignment Two. A 1500 word essay.||30%||Week 9||1, 2, 3, 4.|
|Essay||Assignment Three. A 1500 word essay.||30%||Week 13||1, 2, 3, 4.|
50% overall in 3 essays and 10 tutorials
- * Assessment timing is indicative of the week that the assessment is due or begins (where conducted over multiple weeks), and is based on the standard University academic calendar
- C = Students must reach a level of competency to successfully complete this assessment.
|High Distinction||85-100||Outstanding or exemplary performance in the following areas: interpretative ability; intellectual initiative in response to questions; mastery of the skills required by the subject, general levels of knowledge and analytic ability or clear thinking.|
|Distinction||75-84||Usually awarded to students whose performance goes well beyond the minimum requirements set for tasks required in assessment, and who perform well in most of the above areas.|
|Credit||65-74||Usually awarded to students whose performance is considered to go beyond the minimum requirements for work set for assessment. Assessable work is typically characterised by a strong performance in some of the capacities listed above.|
|Pass||50-64||Usually awarded to students whose performance meets the requirements set for work provided for assessment.|
|Fail||0-49||Usually awarded to students whose performance is not considered to meet the minimum requirements set for particular tasks. The fail grade may be a result of insufficient preparation, of inattention to assignment guidelines or lack of academic ability. A frequent cause of failure is lack of attention to subject or assignment guidelines.|
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Students must check the [email protected] subject site for detailed assessment information and submission procedures.
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A late penalty will be applied to all overdue assessment tasks unless an extension is granted by the subject coordinator. The standard penalty will be 10% of marks awarded to that assessment per day late with no assessment to be accepted seven days after the due date. Where a student is granted an extension, the penalty of 10% per day late starts from the new due date.
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University’s Academic Integrity Policy defines plagiarism as the act of misrepresenting as one’s own original work: another’s ideas, interpretations, words, or creative works; and/or one’s own previous ideas, interpretations, words, or creative work without acknowledging that it was used previously (i.e., self-plagiarism). The University considers the act of plagiarising to be a breach of the Student Conduct Code and, therefore, subject to the Discipline Regulations which provide for a range of penalties including the reduction of marks or grades, fines and suspension from the University.
Feedback on assessment
Feedback on assessment will be provided to students within two weeks of the assessment submission due date, as per the Assessment Policy.
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The origin of Western philosophy in the methodologically disciplined thought of Socrates. Consideration of the question of what philosophy is.
Further consideration of the nature of philosophy: its methods and its subject matter. Its relationship to other ways of knowing.
A important class of arguments. How they work, when they are appropriate, how to recognise them. how to understand them, and how they may be critiqued. We deal with both propositional and syllogistic forms.
A classic example of a deductive argument for the non-existence of God. We apply some of the techniques from the section on deductive arguments to the critique of this argument.
The other important class of arguments. How they work, when they are appropriate, how to recognise them. how to understand them, and how they may be critiqued. We consider analogy, enumeration, and inference to best explanation.
A classic example of an inductive argument for the existence of God. We apply some of the techniques from the section on inductive arguments to the critique of this argument.
What is knowledge? Is it true, justified belief? If it is, then what does it mean to be True, Justified, or a Belief?
We consider the ways in which our ability to know - whatever may be meant by 'know' - is disputed by skeptics through the ages.
Plato accepted the possibility of knowledge. His theory of knowledge was one of the earliest sophisticated epistemologies, but it involves huge metaphysical commitments. His 'Forms' are explained and the theory criticized.
Some philosophers, like Plato, think that all real knowledge is independent of our experience of this particular world, but is available to us just in virtue of our nature as rational beings.
Aristotle also accepted the possibility of knowledge but he rejected Plato's epistemology. We look at his view of the rational structure of knowledge and its source in our reason, intuitions, and experiences.
Some philosophers think that all knowledge derives from the senses. We look at the commitments that such a view may drive them to. Are mathematical truths, for example, dependent upon our experiences?
How does Mind relate to the Body? An intuitively appealing idea is that the mind directs the body like a driver directs a car. We look at Descartes's efforts to support and to make sense of this point of view.
If the dualist theory won't work, perhaps we can just eliminate the idea of there being any actual mental objects. When we talk of thoughts, beliefs, concepts and so on are we really just talking about behaviours?
The current consensus is that there are such things as thoughts, beliefs, concepts, and so on, but that they should be seen as functions of the brain. We look at how that might be made sense of.
One popular theory now is that the mind is a computer and the physical functions which create it are essentially computations. We look at what that might really mean, and whether it is even plausible.
A very popular attitude to ethical questions these days is that what is good or bad is so only relative to your culture. We look at the arguments for this, and at the consequences if it were true.
Another popular attitude to ethical questions is to deny that they can require you to do anything which is not in your own interest. What are the various ways in which this can be understood? Can any of them be defended?
The standard ancient view of ethics saw it as being concerned with being the right (virtuous) kind of person. We look at Aristotle's version of this. How do we define virtues, and how are they given moral significance?
One of the two dominant modern styles of ethics. What is good is what results in the greatest happiness for the greatest number. We look at whether that make sense or agrees with our intuitions about goodness.
The other dominant modern style of ethics. We must do our duty according to the universal law that applies to all rational beings. We look at Kant's arguments for and explanations of this claim.
What makes you now the same person as you at some other time? We look at bodily continuity and psychological continuity as possible criteria of identity.
Do we have Free Will? First, what would it even mean to have Free Will? Is Free Will possible in a universe which may be deterministic?
We look at Sartre's existentialism, his defence of Free Will, and his insistence that we live the 'authentic' life which this freedom makes possible.
What's it all about? What does the question mean? Does understanding the question help with the answer?