Faculty of Arts

Monash University

Undergraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2015 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.

FacultyFaculty of Arts
Organisational UnitPhilosophy
OfferedCaulfield First semester 2015 (Day)
Clayton First semester 2015 (Day)
Clayton First semester 2015 (Off-campus)
Clayton Second semester 2015 (Flexible)
Clayton Summer semester A 2015 (Flexible)
Coordinator(s)Dr Paul Silva (on-campus); Dr Monima Chadha (Semester 1)(off-campus); Associate Professor Toby Handfield (Semester 2)(flexible); Dr Sam Butchart (Summer semester)


The unit is offered as part of the Philosophy Flexible Learning program - see the Philosophy Flexible Learning page for further information http://artsonline.monash.edu.au/philosophy/philosophy-flexible-learning/ + The unit is offered as a Summer Semester unit - see the Summer Arts Program page for further information http://www.monash.edu/students/courses/arts/summer-program.html


This unit is an introduction to moral philosophy. The focus of the unit is the ethics of killing. We examine questions such as: When, if ever, is killing justified? Many of us think that killing is permissible in emergency rescue situations, or in self-defence. Is it possible to explain this in a way that is consistent with our more typical attitudes to killing? What about killing non-human animals for food? Like all philosophy units, this unit will also develop critical and analytic thinking skills.


On completing this subject students will have an understanding of some central issues in applied ethics and of the role philosophy can play in clarifying the discussion of them. They will have acquired some understanding of the nature and methods of philosophical inquiry, and an enhanced capacity for critical reasoning and rigorous thought.


Within semester assessment: 60%
Exam: 40%

Workload requirements

Minimum total expected workload to achieve the learning outcomes for this unit is 144 hours per semester typically comprising a mixture of scheduled learning activities and independent study. A unit requires on average three/four hours of scheduled activities per week. Scheduled activities may include a combination of teacher directed learning, peer directed learning and online engagement.

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)

Dr Paul Silva (Semester 1); Dr Sam Butchart (Semester 2)(Summer semester)

Off-campus attendance requirements

Off-campus: no timetabled contact hours

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


ATS1834, AZA1371