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Monash University

Monash University Handbook 2010 Undergraduate - Unit

6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

FacultyFaculty of Arts
OfferedNot offered in 2010
Coordinator(s)Jakob Hohwy, with Monima Chadha and Graham Oppy


Is belief in God rationally defensible? We begin by examining some arguments in favour of the existence of God. We then move to consider a difficulty for anyone who believes that God is all-powerful and wholly good: the problem posed by existence of evil. One traditional solution to this problem is to say that God is not responsible for the moral evil in this world. God gave us freedom, the capacity to choose between good and evil; moral evils are due entirely to the bad choices made by human beings. This raises the central questions concerning human freedom: what exactly does free action involve? Are we ever genuinely free, or is our sense of freedom no more than an illusion?


Students successfully completing this subject will acquire:

  1. skills in argument analysis,
  2. improved comprehension of complex texts,
  3. the ability to critically interpret philosophical positions
  4. improved written communication skills.
Students will also obtain familiarity with central ideas in the history of philosophy, and begin to develop an understanding of important philosophical theories.


Expository Exercise (1000 words): 20%
Essay: (2500 words): 40%
Exam (2 hours): 40%

Contact hours

Two 1-hour lectures per week and One 1-hour tutorial per week.

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study

Religion and theology


None, but it is recommended that students take PHL1010 prior to PHL1020.



Additional information on this unit is available from the faculty at: