• Class Number 3690
  • Term Code 2930
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • Dr Chad Lee-Stronach
  • 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
    • Josef Holden
SELT Survey Results

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 lives. Particular attention will be paid to consequentialism and deontology as frameworks for thinking about key ethical questions. 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; and
  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.

Staff Feedback

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

  • Graded Short Essay Responses with written comments
  • Graded Essay with written comments
  • Verbal responses to comments in tutorial discussions
  • Opportunity for further discussion in office hours

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:

Any recognised referencing style is acceptable, so long as it is used consistently! Essays should also include a bibliography (the bibliography is not included in the word count of the essay). 


Assessment items will be marked according to the university grading scheme. See the guidance on word limits.

Class Schedule

Week/Session Summary of Activities Assessment
1 Truth Reading Mill, John Stuart. 1936. "Introduction" (Ch. 1) and “Of Thought and Discussion” (Ch. 2), On Liberty. (London: J.M. Dent & Sons Ltd)
2 Choice Reading Thomson, Judith Jarvis. 1976. “Killing, Letting Die, and the Trolley Problem.” The Monist 59 (2): 204–17.
3 Freedom Reading Pettit, Philip. 2014. "The Idea of Freedom", Part 1 of Just Freedom: A Moral Compass for a Complex World. (New York; London: W. W. Norton & Company) (Excerpts)
4 Autonomy Reading Raz, Joseph. 1988. “Freedom and Autonomy.” (Ch. 15) in The Morality of Freedom, 400–429. Short Essays 1 due on Friday 22 March.
5 Responsibility Reading Nagel, Thomas. 1979. “Moral Luck” (Ch. 3), in Mortal Questions.
6 Punishment Reading Tadros, Victor. 2011. "Justifying Punishment" (Ch. 2) in The Ends of Harm: The Moral Foundations of Criminal Law. (Oxford: Oxford University Press).
7 Wellbeing Reading Griffin, James. 1986. Part 1 of Well-Being: Its Meaning, Measurement and Moral Importance. (New York: Oxford University Press). (Excerpts)
8 Justice Reading Rawls, John. 1999. A Theory of Justice: Revised Edition. (Cambridge, MA: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press). (Excerpts) Short Essays 2 due 3 May
9 Social Equality Reading Manne, Kate. Down Girl: The Logic of Misogyny (Introduction & Ch. 2) (Oxford: Oxford University Press)
10 Discrimination Reading Bolinger, Renée. 2017. "Reasonable Mistakes and Regulative Norms: Racial Bias in Defensive Harm", Journal of Political Philosophy, vol. 25 no. 2 : 196–217
11 Aid Reading Singer, Peter. 1972. “Famine, Affluence, and Morality.” Philosophy and Public Affairs 1 (3): 229–43.
12 Others Reading Singer, Peter. 1975. Animal Liberation (New York Review/Random House) (Excerpts) Short Essays 3 due 31 May Essay due 18 June

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Return of assessment Learning Outcomes
Tutorial Participation 15 % 25/02/2019 31/05/2019 1, 2, 3
Short Essay Responses 1 15 % 22/03/2019 29/03/2019 1, 2, 3
Short Essay Responses 2 15 % 03/05/2019 10/05/2019 1, 2, 3
Short Essay Responses 3 15 % 31/05/2019 07/06/2019 1, 2, 3
Essay 40 % 18/06/2019 25/06/2019 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: 15 %
Due Date: 25/02/2019
Return of Assessment: 31/05/2019
Learning Outcomes: 1, 2, 3

Tutorial Participation

Tutorial participation consists in attendance, active participation in tutorials, and weekly contributions to the Wattle discussion forum. This will require you to do the reading in advance and participate constructively in class discussion.

Weighting: 15%

Assessment Task 2

Value: 15 %
Due Date: 22/03/2019
Return of Assessment: 29/03/2019
Learning Outcomes: 1, 2, 3

Short Essay Responses 1

Students will write a 300 word response to three questions relating to the first four weeks of the course.

Weighting: 15% of final grade.

Assessment Task 3

Value: 15 %
Due Date: 03/05/2019
Return of Assessment: 10/05/2019
Learning Outcomes: 1, 2, 3

Short Essay Responses 2

Students will write three 300 word responses on three questions relating to weeks five to eight of the course (inclusive).

Weighting: 15% of final grade.

Assessment Task 4

Value: 15 %
Due Date: 31/05/2019
Return of Assessment: 07/06/2019
Learning Outcomes: 1, 2, 3

Short Essay Responses 3

Students will write three 300 word responses on three questions relating to weeks nine to 12 of the course (inclusive).

Weighting: 15% of final grade.

Assessment Task 5

Value: 40 %
Due Date: 18/06/2019
Return of Assessment: 25/06/2019
Learning Outcomes: 1, 2, 3


Students will write a 1500 word essay on a topic from any of the 12 topics in the course.

Weighting: 40% of final grade.

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

Online Submission [all essay assignments]: Written work must be submitted using Turnitin in the course Wattle site. 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.

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. Late submission is not accepted for take-home examinations.

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 it 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.

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.

Returning Assignments

Marked tutorial assignments will be returned at tutorials.

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 Chad Lee-Stronach

Research Interests

Ethics; Decision Theory; Social and Political Philosophy

Dr Chad Lee-Stronach

Monday 15:00 17:00
Josef Holden

Research Interests

Josef Holden

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