Faculty of Arts

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This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2016 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.

Monash University

6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate - Unit

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



Organisational Unit





Not offered in 2016


We will examine those aspects of Aristotle's philosophy that have had the greatest impact on western thought. From his logical works we will consider his views on universals and particulars, his account of the nature of scientific knowledge and its origins in sense experience. From his Physics we will examine the distinction between matter and form, and the question of whether the world has a beginning. We will consider his account of the nature of humans and rational thought in On the soul. Finally, we will examine the consequences of Aristotle's metaphysical views in his ethics and politics. In each case we will advert to later developments in aristotelianism.


Students who successfully complete the subject will be able to explain central themes from the works of Aristotle in the light of scholarship on the subject; have some acquaintance with the influence of these themes on western thought; and offer good reasons for or against the claim that Aristotle's views are right. Students will also develop a sharper awareness of the principles of interpretation and analysis used in doing history of philosophy.


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)


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


Twelve credit points of second-year Arts units. As this is a third-year level unit, it is highly recommended that students only take this unit after they have completed two second-year level units in Philosophy.

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