PHIL151 Introduction to Philosophy A: Ethics, the Self and the Possibilities of Freedom

Updated: 02 November 2017
Credit Points 6
Responsible Campus Teaching Period Mode of Study
Armidale Trimester 1 Online
Armidale Trimester 1 On Campus
Intensive School(s) None
Supervised Exam There is a UNE Supervised Examination held at the end of the teaching period in which you are enrolled.

Pre-requisites None
Co-requisites None
Restrictions PHIL100
Notes None
Combined Units None
Coordinator(s) Adrian Walsh (
Unit Description

This unit introduces three of the enduring themes of philosophy: namely (i) Freedom, Fatalism and Determinism, (ii) the Self (iii) and (iii) the Ethical Life. We begin by considering whether we are genuinely free to shape our futures or whether fatalism about the future might be true. We then consider the nature of the self. We ask what is the self and where is it located? Finally, in the third module, we examine important philosophical discussions of ethics by thinkers such as Aristotle, Kant and John Stuart Mill. The aim of the unit is to provide an overview and introduction to key philosophical questions that are central to the very idea of being human.

Prescribed Material


Note: Students are expected to purchase prescribed material. Please note that textbook requirements may vary from one teaching period to the next.

What is This Thing called Ethics?

ISBN: 9780415832335
Bennett, C., Routledge 2nd ed. 2015

Text refers to: Trimester 1, On Campus and Online

Disclaimer Unit information may be subject to change prior to commencement of the teaching period.
Title Exam Length Weight Mode No. Words
Compulsory Assessment 1 40% 2000
Assessment Notes


Relates to Learning Outcomes (LO)

LO: 1-5

Compulsory Final Examination 2 hrs 15 mins 60% 2000
Relates to Learning Outcomes (LO)

LO: 1-5

Learning Outcomes (LO) Upon completion of this unit, students will be able to:
  1. think critically about the key philosophical questions about freedom, the self and the nature of ethics.
  2. demonstrate in their assessment tasks critical thinking skills and autonomy and judgement in the presentation and development of arguments;
  3. apply critical thinking in both philosophical and non-philosophical contexts;
  4. demonstrate a depth of knowledge concerning some significant thinkers in the western philosophical tradition; and
  5. apply philosophical concepts to a range of problems that arise in everyday life.