• Offered by School of Philosophy
  • ANU College ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences
  • Course subject Philosophy
  • Areas of interest Philosophy
  • Academic career UGRD
  • Course convener
    • Dr Carleton Christensen
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Offered in First Semester 2014
    See Future Offerings

'Enlightenment' is a label for an immensely influential European movement that flourished in the eighteenth century. Enlightenment thinkers generally believed in the unity and autonomy of human reason; they were opposed to clericalism and argued for religious toleration. As a form of philosophical thought that emphasises rationality, innovation, intellectual progress, and critique, the enlightenment project is an object of much present-day philosophical debate.

This course will focus on some of the most important philosophical texts from the eighteenth century. It will cover a number of areas: epistemology, philosophy of mind, ethics, philosophy of religion, and aesthetics. Authors to be discussed include John Locke, Christian Wolff, Francis Hutcheson, David Hume, the French philosophes, and Immanuel Kant. Attention will also be given to twentieth century re-examinations and critiques of the Enlightenment project (eg Horkheimer/Adorno, Dialectic of the Enlightenment).

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

1. Understand some key ideas of thinkers from the Enlightenment

2. Discuss and analyse relevant passages from the works of Enlightenment thinkers

3. Evaluate contemporary interpretations and criticisms of the Enlightenment

4. Understand in general terms how the Enlightenment has shaped the contemporary political, intellectual and cultural landscape

5. Engage in philosophical discussion and debate, articulating their interpretations and criticisms of the various ideas discussed.

Indicative Assessment

Tutorial presentation and participation (10%) (Learning Outcomes 1-5)

1 essay of 2,250 words to be submitted mid-semester (45%) (Learning Outcomes 1-5)

1 essay of 2,250 words, to be submitted at the end of semester (45%) (Learning Outcomes 1, 2, 3 and 4)

The ANU uses Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.


26 hours of lectures and 13 hours of tutorials over the semester. Students are expected to undertake an average of 7 hours per week independent study over the semester (total 130 hours).

Requisite and Incompatibility

To enrol in this course you must have completed 12 Units of Philosophy (PHIL) Courses.

Preliminary Reading

Cassirer, E, The Philosophy of the Enlightenment, Princeton University Press, 1979




Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

If you are a domestic graduate coursework or international student you will be required to pay tuition fees. Students continuing in their current program of study will have their tuition fees indexed annually from the year in which you commenced your program. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are an undergraduate student and have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). You can find your student contribution amount for each course at Fees.  Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee Description
1994-2003 $1164
2014 $2478
2013 $2472
2012 $2472
2011 $2424
2010 $2358
2009 $2286
2008 $2286
2007 $2286
2006 $2286
2005 $2286
2004 $1926
International fee paying students
Year Fee
1994-2003 $2574
2014 $3246
2013 $3240
2012 $3240
2011 $3240
2010 $3240
2009 $3240
2008 $3240
2007 $3132
2006 $3132
2005 $3132
2004 $2916
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

ANU utilises MyTimetable to enable students to view the timetable for their enrolled courses, browse, then self-allocate to small teaching activities / tutorials so they can better plan their time. Find out more on the Timetable webpage.

The list of offerings for future years is indicative only.
Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.

First Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
4720 17 Feb 2014 07 Mar 2014 31 Mar 2014 30 May 2014 In Person N/A

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