Faculty of Arts

Monash University

Undergraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2012 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

print version

6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered, or view unit timetables.

FacultyFaculty of Arts
OfferedClayton First semester 2012 (Day)
South Africa Second semester 2012 (Day)
Coordinator(s)Dr Toby Handfieldsemester 1 (Clatyon)


Previously coded PHL2510


This subject introduces some central debates in contemporary political theory. The first third of the course examines some essential recent work on the liberal conception of justice and equality. The second part of the course looks at socialist, feminist and communitarian critiques of liberalism. The final third of the course is concerned with the foundations and limits of religious toleration and individual freedom in a multicultural society.
For more details, please see:


Students successfully completing this subject will have an understanding of current debates over the core political concepts of justice, freedom and equality. Students will be able to formulate and analyse these issues in relation to the problem of inter-cultural tolerance in a pluralistic society.

Students at third year level will also have developed skills in independent research in political philosophy; a deeper and more thorough understanding of the issues covered in the unt; and a familiarity with a wider range of literature in political philosophy.


Written work: 80%
Test: 20%

Chief examiner(s)

Dr Toby Handfield

Contact hours

One 1-hour lecture and one 1-hour tutorial per week

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

Human rights theory


ATS1371 - Philosophy: Introduction A (Life, death and morality) or
ATS1314 - Human rights theory 1 or a first year sequence in Bioethics



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