• Offered by School of Philosophy
  • ANU College ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences
  • Course subject Philosophy
  • Areas of interest Philosophy, Asian Studies, Asia Pacific Studies, Asia-Pacific Studies

Since the time of the Buddha, Buddhists have developed a rigorous and profound tradition of philosophy. The Buddhist path consists in the combined practice of philosophical reasoning, ethical practice and meditation. This course will focus on philosophical reasoning. For Buddhists, enlightenment is attained by gaining insight into the nature of reality (metaphysics), knowledge (epistemology), language (philosophy of language) and our ways of living (ethics). These insights are acquired, in large part, by subjecting our beliefs to rational scrutiny. In this course, we critically examine some of the core issues in metaphysics, epistemology, philosophy of language and ethics that are elaborated by Buddhist philosophers. The course proceeds by analyzing some core texts of Buddhist philosophy (in English translation) together with some secondary literature. We study Buddhist philosophy not as an item of historical and cultural interest but as an attempt to ascertain how much truth lies in this system of thought. Once we gain an understanding of the views expounded by Buddhist philosophers, we will subject their doctrines to rational scrutiny.

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. demonstrate a general knowledge of some major schools, figures and issues in the Buddhist tradition of Philosophy;
  2. express and expound views and pre-suppositions of Buddhist philosophers clearly and lucidly; and
  3. understand and critically evaluate theories, arguments and presuppositions of Buddhist philosophers.

Indicative Assessment

  1. Tutorial Participation (10) [LO 2,3]
  2. First Essay (1000 words) (20) [LO 1,2,3]
  3. Second Essay (2000 words) (40) [LO 1,2,3]
  4. Final Take-Home Examination (72 hrs) (30) [LO 1,2,3]

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130 hours of total student learning time made up from:
a) 36 hours of contact over 12 weeks: 24 hours of lectures, and 12 hours of tutorials; and,
b) 94 hours of independent student research, reading and writing.

Inherent Requirements

Not applicable

Requisite and Incompatibility

To enrol in this course you must have previously completed 6 units of Philosophy (PHIL) courses, or with permission of the convenor.

Prescribed Texts

Mark Siderits, Buddhism as Philosophy, Ashgate, 2007


Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

Commonwealth Support (CSP) Students
If you 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). More information about your student contribution amount for each course at Fees

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are a domestic graduate coursework student with a Domestic Tuition Fee (DTF) place or international student you will be required to pay course tuition fees (see below). Course tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found 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
2022 $3840
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2022 $4980
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

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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.

Second Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
8930 22 Jul 2024 29 Jul 2024 31 Aug 2024 25 Oct 2024 In Person View

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