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This subject offers an introduction to three fundamental questions of human society: what does it mean to be human? How do we find ‘truth' and, how should society be organized? The subject will examine selected responses to these questions presented in seminal texts of the western intellectual tradition and will invite students to critique and formulate their own views. Emphasis will be placed on how these ideas have shaped the contemporary world. The subject will develop students’ analytical skills through the examination of challenging questions, while providing a supportive framework for skills development.
Intended learning outcomes
On completion of the subject students should have:
- an awareness of a diversity of views on the nature of humanity, the nature of ‘truth’ and knowledge, and the organisation of society;
- an awareness of some key thinkers and movements of the western intellectual tradition;
- an understanding of how such views underlie and have shaped the contemporary political, socio-economic and intellectual world; and
- developed some of their own viewpoints on complex issues of human knowledge and society.
Students who successfully complete this subject should:
- have developed their capacity to critically analyse ideas;
- have the skills to successfully access a variety of information sources and to be able to identify the quality and relevance of this information;
- have the skills to effectively analyse source material and to use that material to formulate and support independent opinions; and
- have the ability to successfully develop and defend their own views in both oral and written essay form.
Last updated: 6 December 2019