• Class Number 2053
  • Term Code 2930
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • Dr Matthew Kopec
    • Dr Matthew Kopec
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 25/02/2019
  • Class End Date 31/05/2019
  • Census Date 31/03/2019
  • Last Date to Enrol 04/03/2019
SELT Survey Results

In this course, our goal will be to learn how to do philosophy by examining some of the central problems of Western and Eastern philosophical traditions. We will be particularly interested in the methods of argumentation that people have used in attempting to grapple with fundamental questions concerning the nature of human existence. In so doing, students will develop analytical skills that can be used in many other areas. We’ll begin by trying to understand what philosophy is – what are its characteristic aims and methods, and how does it differ from other subjects? Then we’ll spend the rest of the course gaining an introductory overview of several different areas of philosophy.

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. Acquire knowledge of some core philosophical problems;
  2. State and provide reasons for some central philosophical responses to these problems; and
  3. Develop basic skills in philosophical reasoning which will enable them to critically examine positions and arguments at a level appropriate for a first year introductory course.

Staff Feedback

Students will be given feedback in the following forms in this course:

  • verbal feedback in tutorials and lectures
  • written individual feedback by tutors on essays
  • individual feedback during the tutor's and/or lecturer's consultation hours

The above feedback will be most helpful if students have already taken full advantage of all guidance offered in advance of assessments, such as:

  • writing workshop(s) during tutorials
  • sample(s) of philosophical essay(s)
  • guide(s) on how to write philosophical essays
  • marking rubric(s) for essay assignments
  • practice final exam
  • final exam revision session

Student Feedback

ANU is committed to the demonstration of educational excellence and regularly seeks feedback from students. Students are encouraged to offer feedback directly to their Course Convener or through their College and Course representatives (if applicable). The feedback given in these surveys is anonymous and provides the Colleges, University Education Committee and Academic Board with opportunities to recognise excellent teaching, and opportunities for improvement. The Surveys and Evaluation website provides more information on student surveys at ANU and reports on the feedback provided on ANU courses.

Other Information

Other Referencing Requirements:

Where work from other sources is used, it must be properly acknowledged and referenced. Any referencing style may be used but references must include (a) the authors name, (b) year of publication, and (c) the page where the quote can be located. A bibliography is also required listing all the material cited in the essay and that was used to help form your thoughts. Please note: You may not quote lecture slides in essays. 

Policy for Students with Disabilities, Learning Inefficiencies or Other Special Needs:

If you have an Educational Access Plan (EAP) through the Access and Inclusion office, and you feel you might need to make use of some of the EAP's suggested accommodations during this course, you must notify the course convener about the matter at the beginning of the term. They will be happy to work with you as necessary to make this a valuable learning experience and to advise you on the possibility of alternative options if you are unable to meet the stated course requirements as written.

Class Schedule

Week/Session Summary of Activities Assessment
1 What is "philosophy" (and how do we do it)? Possible participation quiz during lecture
2 Does God exist? (Part 1) Possible participation quiz during lecture
3 Does God exist? (Part 2) Possible participation quiz during lecture
4 Who are we? (Part 1) Possible participation quiz during lecture Essay #1 Due (Assessment Task 3)
5 Who are we? (Part 2) Possible participation quiz during lecture
6 How can we live a good life? (Part 1) Possible participation quiz during lecture
7 How can we live a good life? (Part 2) Possible participation quiz during lecture
8 What can we know about the outside world? (Part 1) Possible participation quiz during lecture
9 What can we know about the outside world? (Part 2) Possible participation quiz during lecture Essay #2 Due (Assessment Task 4)
10 Should we place our trust in science? (Part 1) Possible participation quiz during lecture
11 Should we place our trust in science? (Part 2) Possible participation quiz during lecture
12 Wrap-up and revision Possible participation quiz during lecture

Tutorial Registration

Available through Wattle, during the first week of classes

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Return of assessment Learning Outcomes
Tutorial Participation 10 % 25/02/2019 31/05/2019 1, 2, 3
Final Examination 40 % 06/06/2019 04/07/2019 1, 2, 3
First Essay 20 % 18/03/2019 08/04/2019 1, 2, 3
Second Essay 30 % 06/05/2019 27/05/2019 1, 2, 3

* If the Due Date and Return of Assessment date are blank, see the Assessment Tab for specific Assessment Task details


ANU has educational policies, procedures and guidelines, which are designed to ensure that staff and students are aware of the University’s academic standards, and implement them. Students are expected to have read the Academic Misconduct Rule before the commencement of their course. Other key policies and guidelines include:

Assessment Requirements

The ANU is using 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. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website. Students may choose not to submit assessment items through Turnitin. In this instance you will be required to submit, alongside the assessment item itself, hard copies of all references included in the assessment item.

Moderation of Assessment

Marks that are allocated during Semester are to be considered provisional until formalised by the College examiners meeting at the end of each Semester. If appropriate, some moderation of marks might be applied prior to final results being released.

Assessment Task 1

Value: 10 %
Due Date: 25/02/2019
Return of Assessment: 31/05/2019
Learning Outcomes: 1, 2, 3

Tutorial Participation

Tutorial participation grades will be assigned by tutors, taking into account the student's overall participation, which includes regular tutorial attendance as an absolute minimum. Students should think of their participation scores as starting out at roughly 5/10%, where regular good participation will raise the score from this baseline and regular poor participation (including failure to attend tutorials) will lower it.

Good participation is roughly this: regularly contributing to discussions with relevant and constructive comments, asking good questions, regularly asking and answering questions, listening carefully to the tutor and other class members, and being well prepared for the session.

Poor participation is roughly this: rarely contributing to discussions or contributing comments that show either a lack of preparation or a general lack of attention to lecture and tutorial discussion, rarely asking or answering questions, acting in away that disrupts the session or that makes it difficult for the student to pay attention.

To "top-up" your participation score (up to, but not to exceed, a perfect score of 10% of the final grade), you can earn some points by regularly completing the in-lecture participation quizzes, at the following rates:

90% or more of quizzes completed: +3% max added to participation score

75-89% of quizzes completed: +2% max added to participation score

50-74% of quizzes completed: +1% max added to participation score

Other arrangements: We realize that well-prepared and fully attentive students nonetheless sometimes find it difficult to contribute to tutorial discussions, and we don’t want our tutorial meetings to be stressful. If any students are finding it difficult to contribute during tutorials, they can contact the instructional team in order to find other ways to contribute.

Assessment Task 2

Value: 40 %
Due Date: 06/06/2019
Return of Assessment: 04/07/2019
Learning Outcomes: 1, 2, 3

Final Examination

The final examination will be a 3-hour examination. Information about the structure of the exam will be made available toward the end of the course. 

Assessment Task 3

Value: 20 %
Due Date: 18/03/2019
Return of Assessment: 08/04/2019
Learning Outcomes: 1, 2, 3

First Essay

Value: 20%

You will be required to write an essay of 1,000 words in length. Topics to be advised in class. 

Assessment Task 4

Value: 30 %
Due Date: 06/05/2019
Return of Assessment: 27/05/2019
Learning Outcomes: 1, 2, 3

Second Essay

Value: 30%

You will be required to write an essay of 1,500 words in length. Topics to be advised in class.

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a core part of our culture as a community of scholars. At its heart, academic integrity is about behaving ethically. This means that all members of the community commit to honest and responsible scholarly practice and to upholding these values with respect and fairness. The Australian National University commits to embedding the values of academic integrity in our teaching and learning. We ensure that all members of our community understand how to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support academic integrity. The ANU expects staff and students to uphold high standards of academic integrity and act ethically and honestly, to ensure the quality and value of the qualification that you will graduate with. The University has policies and procedures in place to promote academic integrity and manage academic misconduct. Visit the following Academic honesty & plagiarism website for more information about academic integrity and what the ANU considers academic misconduct. The ANU offers a number of services to assist students with their assignments, examinations, and other learning activities. The Academic Skills and Learning Centre offers a number of workshops and seminars that you may find useful for your studies.

Online Submission

You will be required to electronically sign a declaration as part of the submission of your assignment. Please keep a copy of the assignment for your records. Unless an exemption has been approved by the Associate Dean (Education) a submission must be through Turnitin.

Hardcopy Submission

For some forms of assessment (hand written assignments, art works, laboratory notes, etc.) hard copy submission is appropriate when approved by the Associate Dean (Education). Hard copy submissions must utilise the Assignment Cover Sheet. Please keep a copy of tasks completed for your records.

Late Submission

Late submission of assessment tasks without an extension are penalised at the rate of 5% of the possible marks available per working day or part thereof. Late submission of assessment tasks is not accepted after 10 working days after the due date or on or after the date specified in the course outline for the return of the assessment item (whichever is sooner).

Referencing Requirements

Accepted academic practice for referencing sources that you use in presentations can be found via the links on the Wattle site, under the file named “ANU and College Policies, Program Information, Student Support Services and Assessment”. Alternatively, you can seek help through the Students Learning Development website.

Extensions and Penalties

Extensions and late submission of assessment pieces are covered by the Student Assessment (Coursework) Policy and Procedure. The Course Convener may grant extensions for assessment pieces that are not examinations or take-home examinations. If you need an extension, you must request an extension in writing on or before the due date. If you have documented and appropriate medical evidence that demonstrates you were not able to request an extension on or before the due date, you may be able to request it after the due date.

Privacy Notice

The ANU has made a number of third party, online, databases available for students to use. Use of each online database is conditional on student end users first agreeing to the database licensor’s terms of service and/or privacy policy. Students should read these carefully. In some cases student end users will be required to register an account with the database licensor and submit personal information, including their: first name; last name; ANU email address; and other information.
In cases where student end users are asked to submit ‘content’ to a database, such as an assignment or short answers, the database licensor may only use the student’s ‘content’ in accordance with the terms of service – including any (copyright) licence the student grants to the database licensor. Any personal information or content a student submits may be stored by the licensor, potentially offshore, and will be used to process the database service in accordance with the licensors terms of service and/or privacy policy.
If any student chooses not to agree to the database licensor’s terms of service or privacy policy, the student will not be able to access and use the database. In these circumstances students should contact their lecturer to enquire about alternative arrangements that are available.

Distribution of grades policy

Academic Quality Assurance Committee monitors the performance of students, including attrition, further study and employment rates and grade distribution, and College reports on quality assurance processes for assessment activities, including alignment with national and international disciplinary and interdisciplinary standards, as well as qualification type learning outcomes.

Since first semester 1994, ANU uses a grading scale for all courses. This grading scale is used by all academic areas of the University.

Support for students

The University offers students support through several different services. You may contact the services listed below directly or seek advice from your Course Convener, Student Administrators, or your College and Course representatives (if applicable).

Dr Matthew Kopec
02 6125 8467

Research Interests

Social Philosophy, Epistemology, Philosophy of Science, Rational Choice and Decision Theory, Ethics

Dr Matthew Kopec

Tuesday 11:15 12:15
Tuesday 11:15 12:15
Dr Matthew Kopec
02 6125 8467

Research Interests

Dr Matthew Kopec

Tuesday 11:15 12:15
Tuesday 11:15 12:15

Responsible Officer: Registrar, Student Administration / Page Contact: Website Administrator / Frequently Asked Questions