PHIL139-24S2 (D) Semester Two 2024 (Distance)

Ethics, Politics and Justice

15 points

Start Date: Monday, 15 July 2024
End Date: Sunday, 10 November 2024
Withdrawal Dates
Last Day to withdraw from this course:
  • Without financial penalty (full fee refund): Sunday, 28 July 2024
  • Without academic penalty (including no fee refund): Sunday, 29 September 2024


How we should live our lives is the most important question of all. What makes our actions right or wrong? Is it our culture, our emotions, facts about the world, or God's commands? Are pleasure and happiness all that really matters? What should we do when justice and freedom conflict with happiness or with each other? Should we always obey the law? Is taxation legalised theft? This course introduces students to moral and political philosophy by examining ideas and arguments about how we should live our personal, social and political lives.

Goals of the course:
1. Introduce central problems and theories in moral, social and political philosophy.
2. Create an environment where students develop skills in analysis, critical thinking, research,
  writing, and the oral expression of ideas through active engagement in the course.
3. Provide students with a foundation for future studies in moral, social and political philosophy,
  public policy, bioethics, and criminal justice.

Learning Outcomes

1. An ability to identify and think critically about the reasons people have for their moral and
 political views.
2. An understanding of some of the central problems of moral and political philosophy and
 proposed answers to these problems.
3. Skills in critical thinking and analysis, and an ability to use these skills to research and develop
 oral and written arguments about moral and political philosophy.

University Graduate Attributes

This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attributes specified below:

Critically competent in a core academic discipline of their award

Students know and can critically evaluate and, where applicable, apply this knowledge to topics/issues within their majoring subject.

Employable, innovative and enterprising

Students will develop key skills and attributes sought by employers that can be used in a range of applications.

Biculturally competent and confident

Students will be aware of and understand the nature of biculturalism in Aotearoa New Zealand, and its relevance to their area of study and/or their degree.

Course Coordinator

Carolyn Mason


Assessment Due Date Percentage  Description
Attendance Requirement Compulsory Tutorial Attendance
Assignment 10% Short Answer Assignment - 400 words
Ethics Essay 20% 800 words
Test 10% Multichoice - 1 hour, plus revision
Justice & Politics Essay 30% 1,200 words
Exam 30% 2 - 4 hours, plus revision

Please check the course LEARN page for further details and updates.

Textbooks / Resources

Russ Shafer-Landau. (2021). The Fundamentals of Ethics. (5th ed.). Oxford University Press.

Jonathan Wolff. (2015). An Introduction to Political Philosophy. (3rd ed). Oxford University Press.

Indicative Fees

Domestic fee $844.00

International fee $3,950.00

* All fees are inclusive of NZ GST or any equivalent overseas tax, and do not include any programme level discount or additional course-related expenses.

For further information see Humanities .

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