Faculty of Arts

Monash University

Postgraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2014 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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12 points, SCA Band 1, 0.250 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
Organisational UnitCentre for Human Bioethics
OfferedCity (Melbourne) First semester 2014 (Day)
Clayton First semester 2014 (Off-campus)
Clayton Second semester 2014 (Off-campus)
Coordinator(s)Associate Professor Justin Oakley (First semester); Dr Ryan Tonkens (Second semester)


Previously coded CHB4101


This unit aims to provide students with a basic understanding of ethical theory, as a foundation for their studies in bioethics. The unit outlines three main perspectives in normative ethics - Kantianism, Utilitarianism, and Virtue Ethics - and examines several key problems for each of these approaches. The unit also considers certain issues in meta-ethics, such as the question of whether moral judgements must be relative to individuals or cultures, or whether they can be objective, and the implications of research in social and moral psychology for accounts of moral motivation.


Written work (6000 words): 70%
Exam: 30%

Chief examiner(s)

Associate Professor Justin Oakley (First semester); Dr Ryan Tonkens (Second semester)

Workload requirements

One 3 hour seminar per week


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