• 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
    • Matthew Lindauer
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Offered in First Semester 2016
    See Future Offerings

This course will provide an introduction to central topics in ethics and the most prominent approaches to thinking about them.  We will examine different theories of what makes an action right or wrong, how we might respond to the view that we should only ever act in line with self-interest, what could make a given entity worthy of moral concern, and what might explain the place of morality in our universe.  Particular attention will be paid to consequentialism, deontology, and virtue theory as frameworks for thinking about key ethical questions.  We will consider the role that certain other issues in philosophy, such as whether human beings have free will, should play in approaching topics in ethics.  In addition, we will think about how philosophical work in ethics can inform decisions that we regularly make in our lives.

Learning Outcomes

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

Upon successful completion of this course, students will have the knowledge and skills to:
1. identify some of the main philosophical approaches to ethics
2. compare and contrast the ethical theories discussed in this course
3. use philosophical reasoning to form their own view on the merits of the theories of ethics discussed in this course that addresses significant objections.

Indicative Assessment

Tutorial Participation (including reading response submitted to Wattle) (10%) [Learning Outcomes 1, 2, and 3]
Essay, 1000 words (20%) [Learning Outcome 2 and 3]
Essay, 1500 words (30%) [Learning Outcome 2 and 3]
Final Exam held during the formal exam period, 3-hours (40%) [Learning Outcome 1, 2 and 3]

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2 hours of lectures per week, plus 1 hour of tutorials (weeks 2-13), plus 7 hours a week private study and assessment preparation (130 hours).

Requisite and Incompatibility

You are not able to enrol in this course if you have previously completed PHIL2064.

Prescribed Texts

John Stuart Mill, Utilitarianism, Hackett (2002)
Immanuel Kant, Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals, (Mary McGregor ed.) Cambridge University Press (1998) 
Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics, Hackett (1999)


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
2016 $2718
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2016 $3876
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

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
4733 15 Feb 2016 26 Feb 2016 31 Mar 2016 27 May 2016 In Person N/A

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