Faculty of Arts

Monash University

Undergraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2013 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

To find units available for enrolment in the current year, you must make sure you use the indexes and browse unit tool in the current edition of the Handbook.

FacultyFaculty of Arts
Organisational UnitPhilosophy
OfferedNot offered in 2013
Coordinator(s)Dr Toby Handfield


Previously coded PHL2510


This unit aims to give students with a background in philosophy or politics a strong foundation in political philosophy. The central question of the unit is: what makes a society just or unjust? The first part of the course examines this question from the perspective of mainstream economics and of liberal political thought. The second part of the course looks at some important critiques of liberalism, focusing especially on underlying beliefs about the concepts of freedom and desert. In the final part of the course we use the ideas introduced earlier in semester to analyse the topic of justice in crime and punishment.


Students successfully completing this subject will have an understanding of current debates over political concepts such as justice, freedom and equality. Students will be able to apply their understanding of these debates to practical issues, such as inter-cultural tolerance in a pluralistic society, taxation for redistributive purposes, law and order debates, and more.


Written work: 80%
Test: 20%

Chief examiner(s)

Contact hours

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

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


A first year sequence in philosophy, politics, bioethics, OR ATS1314


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