- Class Number 2037
- Term Code 3130
- Class Info
- Unit Value 6 units
- Mode of Delivery In Person
- Ben Bramble
- Ben Bramble
- Class Dates
- Class Start Date 22/02/2021
- Class End Date 28/05/2021
- Census Date 31/03/2021
- Last Date to Enrol 01/03/2021
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.
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:
- Acquire knowledge of some core philosophical problems;
- State and provide reasons for some central philosophical responses to these problems; and
- 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.
Students will be given feedback in the following forms in this course:
- written comments
- verbal comments
- feedback to whole class, groups, individuals, focus group etc
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.
|Week/Session||Summary of Activities||Assessment|
|1||What is philosophy?|
|2||Given how much suffering exists, could God exist?|
|3||If God doesn’t exist, what could matter and why?|
|4||What is best for a person, or most in their well-being or self-interest? Considering only your own self-interest, should you plug into an ‘experience machine’ for the rest of your life?|
|5||Have we reasons to do things other than promote our own self-interest? Is genuine altruism even possible?|
|6||Is there anything we must (or must not) do, morally speaking? What are our obligations? Can freewill or responsibility exist in a deterministic universe?|
|7||What can (and should) we doubt? The existence of the external world? Other minds? How likely is it that we are (already) living in a computer simulation?|
|8||Is everything physical? What about the mind? Are pains identical to brain states?|
|9||What is the self? What makes you stay the same person over time?|
|10||What is death and should we fear it? Could immortality really be desirable?|
|11||What makes something a work of art? Are some works objectively better than others?|
|12||How can philosophy help? Is there progress in philosophy?|
Tutorials are one hour a week, with a choice of times, subject to limits on the number of participants. See the ANU Timetable for Tutorial times. Tutorial registration is via Wattle starting Feb 15. Tutorials begin in week 2.
In 2021 Tutorials are "Online live”, conducted via Zoom. Instructions will be available on Wattle.
|Assessment task||Value||Due Date||Learning Outcomes|
|Tutorial participation||10 %||*||1, 2, 3|
|Short writing exercise 1||20 %||20/03/2021||1, 2, 3|
|Short writing exercise 2||20 %||27/04/2021||1, 2, 3|
|Essay 1||25 %||22/05/2021||1, 2, 3|
|Essay 2||25 %||15/06/2021||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:
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 Academic Integrity . In rare cases where online submission using Turnitin software is not technically possible; or where not using Turnitin software has been justified by the Course Convener and approved by the Associate Dean (Education) on the basis of the teaching model being employed; students shall submit assessment online via ‘Wattle’ outside of Turnitin, or failing that in hard copy, or through a combination of submission methods as approved by the Associate Dean (Education). The submission method is detailed below.
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
Learning Outcomes: 1, 2, 3
Participation in discussion in online tutorial each week.
Assessment Task 2
Learning Outcomes: 1, 2, 3
Short writing exercise 1
In this first short writing exercise, you will be asked to reconstruct an argument from a set reading. The word limit is 500 words. Your mark will be based on the accuracy, clarity, and succinctness of your reconstruction.
Assessment Task 3
Learning Outcomes: 1, 2, 3
Short writing exercise 2
In this second short writing exercise, you will be asked to reconstruct a different argument from a set reading. The word limit is 500 words. Your mark will again be based on the accuracy, clarity, and succinctness of your reconstruction. The goal here will be to improve upon your result in the first exercise.
Assessment Task 4
Learning Outcomes: 1, 2, 3
In this first essay, you will be asked to reconstruct and evaluate a given argument from a set reading. The word limit will be 1500 words. Your mark will be based on the accuracy, clarity, and succinctness of your reconstruction, as well as the quality of your critical engagement with the argument.
Assessment Task 5
Learning Outcomes: 1, 2, 3
In this second essay, you will be asked to reconstruct and evaluate a different argument from a set reading. The word limit will be 1500 words. Your mark will again be based on the accuracy, clarity, and succinctness of your reconstruction, as well as the quality of your critical engagement with the argument. The goal will be to improve upon your result in the first essay.
Academic integrity is a core part of the ANU culture as a community of scholars. At its heart, academic integrity is about behaving ethically, committing to honest and responsible scholarly practice and upholding these values with respect and fairness.
The ANU commits to assisting all members of our community to 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 be familiar with the academic integrity principle and Academic Misconduct Rule, 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 Academic Misconduct Rule is in place to promote academic integrity and manage academic misconduct. Very minor breaches of the academic integrity principle may result in a reduction of marks of up to 10% of the total marks available for the assessment. The ANU offers a number of online and in person services to assist students with their assignments, examinations, and other learning activities. Visit the Academic Skills website for more information about academic integrity, your responsibilities and for assistance with your assignments, writing skills and study.
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) submission must be through Turnitin.
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.
Individual assessment tasks may or may not allow for late submission. Policy regarding late submission is detailed below:
- Late submission not permitted. If submission of assessment tasks without an extension after the due date is not permitted, a mark of 0 will be awarded.
- Late submission permitted. 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.
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. Extensions may be granted 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.
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).
- ANU Health, safety & wellbeing for medical services, counselling, mental health and spiritual support
- ANU Diversity and inclusion for students with a disability or ongoing or chronic illness
- ANU Dean of Students for confidential, impartial advice and help to resolve problems between students and the academic or administrative areas of the University
- ANU Academic Skills and Learning Centre supports you make your own decisions about how you learn and manage your workload.
- ANU Counselling Centre promotes, supports and enhances mental health and wellbeing within the University student community.
- ANUSA supports and represents undergraduate and ANU College students
- PARSA supports and represents postgraduate and research students