• Offered by School of Philosophy
  • ANU College ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences
  • Course subject Philosophy
  • Areas of interest Philosophy, Psychology, Evolution and Ecology, Biology
  • Academic career UGRD
  • Mode of delivery In Person

Understanding emotion is an urgent and ongoing task in philosophy and the sciences of the mind. While the nature of emotions has been debated by philosophers in various cultures for centuries, significant empirical and philosophical puzzles persist. This course explores some of the current issues about emotions in philosophy and the mind sciences. It will take a philosophical approach and will consider materials from a range of disciplines, such as cognitive science, neuroscience, psychology and evolutionary biology. Topics may include the nature of emotions, their function, objects, and how they relate to cognition, whether emotions form a natural kind, whether they are produced by evolved biological mechanisms or are socially constructed, what role social scaffolding plays in their development, expression, and regulation, and what role emotions play in social and moral life. Perspectives and topics considered will vary from year to year.

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. analyse and critically assess philosophical positions and arguments relating to emotions;
  2. synthesise information from a range of sources and extend philosophical positions to new domains of inquiry;
  3. conduct philosophical research and effectively integrate and organize concepts and arguments to defend a position; and
  4. dispute and evaluate philosophical ideas verbally and to engage in interactive dialogue.

Indicative Assessment

  1. Two x 2500 word essays (90) [LO 1,2,3]
  2. Seminar participation (10) [LO 1,2,4]

The ANU uses 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. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.


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 12 Units of 2000 or 3000 level Philosophy (PHIL) Courses, or with permission of the convenor.

Prescribed Texts

Readings will be made available online through Wattle.


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
2023 $3960
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2023 $5100
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

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There are no current offerings for this course.

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