• Offered by School of Philosophy
  • ANU College ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences
  • Course subject Philosophy
  • Areas of interest Interdisciplinary Studies - Sustainability, Environmental Studies, Philosophy
  • Academic career UGRD
  • Mode of delivery In Person

Is sustainability just a matter of radical efficiency? Of just being cleverer in the way we do what we have always done? Of mimicking nature? Or of living more frugally and communally? We first examine conventional solutions to problems of sustainability in order to identify how they conceive sustainability and how to achieve it. We then examine whether adequate solutions require one to integrate reflection on (and possible revision of) notions what it is to "live well". Finally, those conceptions of sustainable human existence which implicitly recognise the link between living sustainably and "living well," e.g., simple living movements, alternative communities, eco-feminism, etc., are examined.

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. See the holistic, "systems" character of problems of sustainability.
  2. Have an appreciation of the way technological and economic systems reflect ways of life about which political and ethical questions can be raised.
  3. Distinguish philosophical issues underlying the current debate about ecological sustainability.
  4. Identify the philosophical (ontological) assumptions inherent in the notion of technology and design.

Indicative Assessment

  • One 2,500 word essay or research assignment (45%) [Learning Outcomes 1, 2, 3, 4]
  • One 1,500 word take-home exam (45%) ]Learning Outcomes 1, 2, 3, 4]
  • Tutorial performance (10%) [Learning Outcomes 1, 2, 3, 4]




  • One 4,000 word essay (90%) for those with a particular interest in a particular topic (and who obtain permission from the Convenor first) [Learning Outcomes 1, 2, 3, 4]
  • Tutorial performance (10%) [Learning Outcomes 1, 2, 3, 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.


20 hours of lectures and 12 hours of tutorials. Students are also expected to spend 7 hours a week on private study and assessment preparation.

Requisite and Incompatibility

To enrol in this course you must have completed 12 Units of Philosophy (PHIL) Courses, or by permission of course convenor.




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.

There are no current offerings for this course.

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