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.

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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 (Off-campus)
South Africa First semester 2012 (Day)
Clayton Second semester 2012 (Off-campus)
Clayton Summer semester A 2012 (Off-campus)
Coordinator(s)Assoc Prof Dirk Baltzly


Previously coded PHL3890


This unit introduces the student to the philosophical systems of these rival Hellenistic schools and examines their interaction, evolution and relevance to contemporary philosophical problems. Among the issues that concern the stoics and epicureans are questions about happiness and fulfilment; coping with the inevitability of death; fatalism and moral responsibility; and the role and relevance of god in a purely material universe. A proper understanding of the truths revealed by the systems was thought to make the fully educated stoic or epicurean 'a mortal god'-blessed and happy, utterly immune to the vagaries of misfortune and fearless in the face of death.


Students who complete the subject successfully should:+ Understand the central perspectives and tenets of stoic and epicurean philosophy.+ Appreciate how the stoic and epicurean systems were shaped by classical philosophy and the social conditions of the Hellenistic period.+ Be aware of the ways in which subsequent historical and social conditions were shaped by adherents of the two schools+ Be in a position and motivated to explore stoic and epicurean ideas towards a resolution of a variety of contemporary philosophical problems.


Written work: 70% (3500 words)
Test: 30%

Chief examiner(s)

Assoc Prof Dirk Baltzly

Contact hours

On-campus: 2 hours (one 2-hour seminar) per week. OCL: workshops optional

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

Classical studies


12 points 2-level PHL, 12 points in Classical Studies, or permission of Instructor

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