Unit Code
Unit Title
HAF215 Contemporary Feminist Thought
HAF218 Special Topic in Gender Studies
HAF219 Feminist Philosophy
(Not Offered 2013)
HAF228 Religion and Gender
(Not Offered 2013)
HAF229 Gender, Ethics and Society
HAF242 Contemporary Representations of Gender
HPA200 Contemporary Bioethics
(Not Offered 2013)
HPA207 Philosophy of Mind
HPA208 Metaphysical Puzzles
(Not Offered 2013)
HPA209 The Meaning of Life
HPA210 Theories of Ethics
HPA212 Ethical Professionals
(Not Offered 2013)
HPA213 Philosophy of Science
HPA216 Knowledge and Belief
(Not Offered 2013)
HPA218 Philosophy of Biology
(Not Offered 2013)
HPA219 Buddhist Philosophy
HPA234 Zen and Tao: East Asian Philosophy
HPA236 Philosophy of Art, Aesthetics and Creativity
(Not Offered 2013)
HPA237 Philosophy and Film
(Not Offered 2013)
HPA238 Exceptional Leadership
HPA239 Indian Philosophy
(Not Offered 2013)
HPA242 Law, Society and Morality
(Not Offered 2013)
HPA244 Aboriginal Philosophy
(Not Offered 2013)
HPA247 Creative Citizenship
(Not Offered 2013)
HPA248 Morality and the Mind
(Not Offered 2013)
HPA249 Climate Change: Who to believe? What to do?
HPA250 Existentialism and Beyond
(Not Offered 2013)
HPA251 Postmodern Thought
HPA256 Philosophy and Cosmology
HPA266 Ancient and Medieval Philosophy
(Not Offered 2013)
HPA268 Modern Philosophy
HPA271 Philosophy and the Body
HPA274 Science and Religion
(Not Offered 2013)
HPA276 Indo-Tibetan History, Philosophy and Culture
(Not Offered 2013)
HPA277 Environmental Philosophy
(Not Offered 2013)
HPA288 Philosophy of Language
(Not Offered 2013)
HPA289 Political Philosophy
HPA291 Introduction to Logic
HPA292 Logic and Philosophy
(Not Offered 2013)
HPA294 The Logic of Decision
(Not Offered 2013)
HPA297 Buddhism, Ethics and Nonviolence
(Not Offered 2013)

2007 HPA223 Ethics and the Postmodern Age

Unit Level: Intermediate

Available as a Student Elective: Yes

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See also   HPA323

Not Offered


This unit looks at developments in ethics in response to problems of modernity and postmodernity, specifically, the threats to the authority of moral discourse posed by a pluralist society and moral relativism. Students consider questions such as: "How can I say that my values are better than someone else's?"; "What is the difference between morality and power?"; "How does my life get its meaning?"; "How can a society maintain moral order when it has many different ideas about moral values?"; "How should I live?". The unit builds upon earlier units HPA181 (Introduction to Moral Philosophy) and HPA210/310 (Moral Philosophy). The unit begins with an overview of classical and modern approaches to ethics: Greek virtue ethics and Kantian ethics (with its Christian worldview). Students then consider Nietzsche's criticism of Christian morality as 'ressentiment' and 'anti-life' through his notion of 'will to power' and the idea of ethics as an aesthetic activity directed toward the self. The adequacy of this view is examined, including its more recent form in Foucault's idea of discourse as power. Finally students study Paul Ricour's conception of narrative ethics as a response to the fragmentation of postmodern life. This view promises unity and meaning to one's own life, as well as the life of a society, in the face of the 'death of grand narratives'.

WEIGHT: 12.5%

ASSESSMENT: 2,000 word essay (40%), 3-hour exam (60%)

TEACHING PATTERN: 12 weeks of lectures and 9 weeks of tutorials

Prereq 100% Arts at 100 level, including 25% 100 level Philosophy

STAFF: Dr Kim Atkins

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Special approval is required for enrolment into TNE Program units - campuses A, F, G, K, Q and Y click here for more information.

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