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PHIL11-101: Introduction to Philosophy January 2021 [Standard]

General information

This subject provides an introduction to philosophy. It explores philosophical issues such as the mind-body problem, the existence of God, the nature of truth and reality, free-will and determinism. Students also explore the works of some major philosophers.


Academic unit:Faculty of Society & Design
Subject code:PHIL11-101
Subject title:Introduction to Philosophy
Subject level:Undergraduate
Semester/Year:January 2021
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.
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Enrolment requirements

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Restrictions: ?


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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.

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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.
Assignment Debate between contrasting philosophical positions. 40% Week 7 1, 3, 4.
Assignment Critical investigation of a major philosophical question (1500 words). 50% Week 12 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.

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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 student who has not established a basis for an extension in compliance with University and Faculty policy either by 1) not applying before the assessment due date or 2) by having an application rejected due to failure to show a justifiable cause for an extension, will receive a penalty on assessment submitted after its due date. The penalty will be 10% of marks awarded to that assessment for every day late, with the first day counted after the required submission time has passed. No assessment will be accepted for consideration seven calendar days after the due date. Where a student has been granted an extension, the late penalty starts from the new due date and time set out in the extension.

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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.

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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 nature and value of philosophical inquiry.

1, 2, 3, 4.

Let's start with the big one. What does it mean to say that life has a meaning? What has this to do with the fact that we will all dies someday? (Maybe nothing. We'll see.)

1, 2, 3, 4.

A central concern of philosophers has been to search out secure foundations for our knowledge of the world. This is one of the key tasks of the branch of philosophy called ‘epistemology’. Descartes provides our guide to the task.

1, 2, 3, 4.

Descartes left us with a problem: how can we be certain of, or even justified in, our beliefs about the real world: the world existing independently of our experience of it. This week we examine another attempt to deal with the problem: that of the 18th century Irish philosopher George Berkeley (1685 – 1753). He develops a form of idealism.

1, 2, 3, 4.

The relation between mind and body – sometimes known as the mind-body problem – is one of the deepest and most perplexing of philosophical topics. It is yet to be fully resolved. In this lecture, we examine the most famous and influential discussion of the problem in modern philosophy – that of Descartes.

1, 2, 3, 4.

This week we examine the alternatives to Descartes' theory of the mind and body. There is a bunch of possibilities: epiphenomenalism, dual-aspect theory, idealism, behaviourism, materialism, computationalism. (Basically, a lot of isms.) Which one is the most plausible alternative to Descartes?

1, 2, 3, 4.

We consider the metaphysical issue of free will. The main questions here are (1) What is free will? (2) Do human agents have free will? (3) Is free will necessary for moral agency? The answers to each of these questions is controversial.

1, 2, 3, 4.

Is survival after death possible? Survival requires identity in a strict sense. So what is personal identity? Is it even possible that whatever surivives the death of my body (my soul? my ghost?) is really me? How much could I change and still be me?

We examine two of the most philosophically sophisticated arguments for God: the ontological argument and the cosmological argument.

1, 2, 3, 4.

The most popular argument for God is the design argument. The most popular argument against God is the argument from evil. They share a lot. We investigate them together.

1, 2, 3, 4.

What (if anything) makes it right to do one thing rather than another? This week we discuss the metaphysics of morality.

1, 2, 3, 4.

We return to the question of philosophy. What is it? What is it's value? Now that we have done some philosophy, we can start to answer this question.

1, 2, 3, 4.
Approved on: Nov 5, 2020. Edition: 5.5
Last updated: May 18, 2021.