• 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. Tuition fees are indexed annually. 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
2015 $2604
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2015 $3576
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

There are no current offerings for this course.

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