You are viewing this page as a domestic student.
Change to International

You are a domestic student if you are an Australian citizen, a New Zealand citizen or the holder of an Australian permanent visa.

You are an international student whether you are within or outside Australia and you do not meet the domestic student criteria.

COVID-19 (coronavirus): Latest advice for the Bond community.

PHIL11-101: Introduction to Philosophy January 2020 [Standard]

General information

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 code:PHIL11-101
Subject title:Introduction to Philosophy
Subject level:Undergraduate
Semester/Year:January 2020
Credit points:10

Delivery & attendance

Delivery mode:


Workload items:
  • Lecture: x12 (Total hours: 24) - Weekly Lecture
  • Tutorial: x12 (Total hours: 12) - Weekly Tutorial
  • Personal Study Hours: x12 (Total hours: 84) - Recommended Study Hours


Prescribed resources: No Prescribed resources. After enrolment, students can check the Books and Tools area in iLearn for the full Resource List.
[email protected] & Email:[email protected] is the online learning environment at Bond University and is used to provide access to subject materials, lecture recordings and detailed subject information regarding the subject curriculum, assessment and timing. Both iLearn and the Student Email facility are used to provide important subject notifications. Additionally, official correspondence from the University will be forwarded to students’ Bond email account and must be monitored by the student.

To access these services, log on to the Student Portal from the Bond University website as

Enrolment requirements

Requisites: ?


Restrictions: ?


Assurance of learning

Assurance of Learning means that universities take responsibility for creating, monitoring and updating curriculum, teaching and assessment so that students graduate with the knowledge, skills and attributes they need for employability and/or further study.

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.

Find your program

Subject Learning Outcomes (SLOs)

On successful completion of this subject the learner will be able to:
  1. Demonstrate a familiarity with some of the major thinkers of the West and their ideas.
  2. Demonstrate an understanding of the role of philosophy in coming to a fuller understanding of the world and one's place in it.
  3. Demonstrate an understanding of and familiarity with the abstract concepts with which philosophy is concerned.
  4. Demonstrate a familiarity with the use of standard methods of conceptual and argument analysis.


Assessment details

TypeTask%Timing*Outcomes assessed
*Class Participation Participation in class discussion 10% Ongoing 1, 2, 3, 4.
Essay 1500 words 35% Week 6 1, 2, 3, 4.
Essay 2500 words 55% Week 13 1, 2, 3, 4.
  • * 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.

Assessment criteria

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.

Quality assurance

For the purposes of quality assurance, Bond University conducts an evaluation process to measure and document student assessment as evidence of the extent to which program and subject learning outcomes are achieved. Some examples of student work will be retained for potential research and quality auditing purposes only. Any student work used will be treated confidentially and no student grades will be affected.

Study information

Submission procedures

Students must check the [email protected] subject site for detailed assessment information and submission procedures.

Policy on late submission and extensions

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.

Policy on plagiarism

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.

Bond University utilises Originality Reporting software to inform academic integrity.

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.

Accessibility and Inclusion Support

If you have a disability, illness, injury or health condition that impacts your capacity to complete studies, exams or assessment tasks, it is important you let us know your special requirements, early in the semester. Students will need to make an application for support and submit it with recent, comprehensive documentation at an appointment with a Disability Officer. Students with a disability are encouraged to contact the Disability Office at the earliest possible time, to meet staff and learn about the services available to meet your specific needs. Please note that late notification or failure to disclose your disability can be to your disadvantage as the University cannot guarantee support under such circumstances.

Subject curriculum

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 classic argument for the non-existence of God. We apply some of the techniques of deductive arguments to the critique of this argument.

A classic example of an argument for the existence of God. We apply some of the techniques relevant to 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.

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.

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.

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?

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.

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.

We think Art is quite important, but can we distinguish Art from non-Art? We look at some classical answers.

1, 2, 3, 4.

We judge some things to be beautiful and some things not to be. We look at whether there is more to this than just opinion, and if so what.

1, 2, 3, 4.

Our judgements about Art are to some extent dependent upon an understanding of what we are experiencing. Does our understanding have to refer to the intentions of the artist? We look at varieties of intentionalism and anti-intentionalism.

1, 2, 3, 4.

Does Art have any value other than its ability to give pleasure? Could it have an intrinsic value or is it perhaps valuable because it is morally improving or tells important truths?

1, 2, 3, 4.

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?

Approved on: Nov 21, 2019. Edition: 5.3