- 2018


Minor / Major / Extended major

Commencement year

This area of study entry applies to students commencing this course in 2018 and should be read in conjunction with the relevant course entry in the Handbook.

Any units listed for this area of study relate only to the 'Requirements' outlined in the component of any bachelors double degrees.

Unit codes that are not linked to their entry in the Handbook are not available for study in the current year.

Managing faculty

Faculty of Arts

Offered by

School of Philosophical, Historical and International Studies


Dr Monima Chadha

Contact details

PhilosophyPhilosophy (http://future.arts.monash.edu/ug-philosophy/)


Caulfield Clayton

Philosophy is the study of fundamental ideas about the world we live in. It questions the nature of our world, asks what would constitute a good life in such a world, and asks what could be done to make it better. Students will be introduced to areas central to philosophy including:

  • Metaphysics - the study of what sorts of things exist in the world, and how they are related: for instance, whether there is a mind or soul and if so, how it is related to the body.
  • Epistemology - the study of what constitutes knowledge of the world, and of what methods can be used to obtain it.
  • Ethics and aesthetics - what is the nature of the good and the beautiful, and how may such value judgements be justified.
  • Political philosophy - the principles that underlie the structure of a just society.
  • Philosophy of language - the notions of meaning, truth and linguistic understanding.
  • Philosophy of mind - the relationship between consciousness and physical reality.
  • Logic - the theory of reasoning. Logicians study what makes for a good argument or inference, and try to identify underlying structural features of argumentation.

The philosophy major includes a wide range of electives, covering all of the above areas.

Philosophy provides skills in reasoning and argument that are applicable in a wide variety of professions, as well as the opportunity to engage in a reflective appraisal of our place in the universe.


Philosophy is listed in A2000 Bachelor of Arts at Caulfield and Clayton as a minor, major or extended major, and A0502 Diploma of Liberal Arts at Caulfield and Clayton as a major.

Off campus study

Sufficient philosophy units are offered in off-campus mode to complete a major. These units can be taken in any semester and are flexibly scheduled with class commitments kept to a minimum. Off-campus mode units are also available in summer. The units use materials prepared specifically for off-campus students, but there is also a tutorial support service operating by telephone, fax and email. These basic resources are usually supplemented by optional workshops. The intention is that the off-campus program should make philosophy units available to students whose work or other commitments make it difficult for them to attend regular classes on-campus.


In addition to achieving the broad outcomes of their course, students successfully completing this major will:

  • understand a range of important ideas, in the history of philosophy, in contemporary philosophy, or both
  • have highly developed skills in philosophical writing. This encompasses expertise in constructing and evaluating arguments, making creative use of thought experiments, analysing complex ideas, and providing sharp definitions of concepts.


Major requirements (48 points)

No more than 12 points at level 1 may be credited to the majormajor (http://www.monash.edu.au/pubs/2018handbooks/undergrad/arts-07.html) and at least 18 points must be at level 3.

Students complete:

  1. Two level 1 gateway unitsgateway units (http://www.monash.edu.au/pubs/2018handbooks/undergrad/arts-08.html) (12 points):
    • ATS1371 Life, death and morality (Introduction to philosophy A)
    • ATS1835 Time, self and mind (Introduction to philosophy B)
  2. One level 2 cornerstone unitcornerstone unit (http://www.monash.edu.au/pubs/2018handbooks/undergrad/arts-08.html) (6 points) chosen from:
  3. One level 3 capstone unitcapstone unit (http://www.monash.edu.au/pubs/2018handbooks/undergrad/arts-08.html) (6 points) chosen from:
  4. Four units (24 points) including at least two units at level 3 from the remaining cornerstone or capstone units or the elective list

Minor requirements (24 points)

No more than 12 points at level 1 may be credited towards the minorminor (http://www.monash.edu.au/pubs/2018handbooks/undergrad/arts-07.html).

Students complete:

  1. Two level 1 gateway unitsgateway units (http://www.monash.edu.au/pubs/2018handbooks/undergrad/arts-08.html) (12 points):
    • ATS1371 Life, death and morality (Introduction to philosophy A)
    • ATS1835 Time, self and mind (Introduction to philosophy B)
  2. Two level 2 or 3 units (12 points) as listed within the major. It is a highly recommended that students complete a level 2 unit before enrolling in a level 3 unit.

Extended major requirements (72 points)

No more than 24 points at first-year level may be credited to the major and at least 24 points must be at level 3.

Students complete:

  1. The requirements of the major in philosophy (48 points)
  2. Four units (24 points) at level 3 chosen from the elective list

Elective list

Units are 6 points unless otherwise stated.

  • ATS2330Not offered in 2018/ATS3330Not offered in 2018 State sovereignty, human rights, and the responsibility to protect
  • ATS2334Not offered in 2018 Human rights discourse: A practical and conceptual history
  • ATS2640 The ethics of global conflict
  • ATS2837Not offered in 2018 Plato and Platonism
  • ATS2860Not offered in 2018 After the death of God: Continental philosophy of religion from Nietzsche to today
  • ATS2861 God, freedom and evil
  • ATS2863 Foundations of modern philosophy: Descartes and the thinking self
  • ATS2865Not offered in 2018 Language, truth and power
  • ATS2866 Symbolic logic
  • ATS2867 Thinking about science
  • ATS2868 Anarchy, property, and the state
  • ATS2871 Environmental ethics
  • ATS2872 Topics in Indian philosophy
  • ATS2875 The moral psychology of evil
  • ATS2946 Critical thinking: How to analyse arguments and improve your reasoning skills
  • ATS3405 Critical theory and poststructuralism: Recent European philosophy
  • ATS3419Not offered in 2018 Aesthetics and European philosophy
  • ATS3639 Poverty, climate change and international justice
  • ATS3870 Philosophy of religion
  • ATS3873 Philosophical issues in applied ethics
  • ATS3876 Theory of knowledge
  • ATS3877Not offered in 2018 Philosophy of Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir
  • ATS3878Not offered in 2018 Recent logic
  • ATS3879 Philosophy of language
  • ATS3883 Issues in logical theory
  • ATS3884Not offered in 2018 Foundations of modern philosophy: Love and other passions
  • ATS3885 Stoic and Epicurean philosophy
  • ATS3905 Democratic theory
  • ATS3935 Professional practice

Intending honours students

Students intending to enter honours in this area of study must have completed a major in the discipline, with a minimum of 24 points of study at level 3 to be eligible.

Relevant courses


  • A0502 Diploma of Liberal Arts


Single degrees

Successful completion of the minor or major can be counted towards meeting the requirements for the following single degree:*

Students in other single bachelor's degrees may be eligible to complete the minor or major by using 24 or 48 points of their free electives.

Double degrees

Successful completion of the minor or major can be counted towards meeting the requirements for the Bachelor of Arts component in the following double degrees:*

  • A2005 Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Fine Art
  • A2004 Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Music
  • B2019 Bachelor of Business and Bachelor of Arts
  • B2012 Bachelor of Business Specialist and Bachelor of Arts
  • B2020 Bachelor of Commerce and Bachelor of Arts
  • B2024 Bachelor of Commerce Specialist and Bachelor of Arts
  • D3002 Bachelor of Education (Honours) and Bachelor of Arts
  • E3002 Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) and Bachelor of Arts
  • C2002 Bachelor of Information Technology and Bachelor of Arts
  • L3003 Bachelor of Laws (Honours) and Bachelor of Arts
  • S2006 Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Arts

* Students cannot complete both the minor and major in the same area of study.