Philosophy - XM0031


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What do philosophy majors study?

Almost everyone has been puzzled by a philosophical question at some point. For example: Is morality objective or simply a matter of opinion? What is personal identity? What is consciousness? Is it rational to believe in God? These are some of the central issues we address in our philosophy courses.

Why study philosophy?

Philosophy students become excellent communicators, forming clear and persuasive arguments, conceiving complex ideas and developing as independent thinkers. Philosophy studies are very popular with Arts/Laws students. You’ll be inspired to think outside the square and look at the world in a different way.

What will you study?

Philosophy raises questions about the basic assumptions of every form of human inquiry. To understand these problems, assess answers to them, and apply them in real life, you’ll explore topics such as:

  • Philosophy of mind: What is the nature of consciousness? Could a machine be conscious?
  • Ethics: Is there an objective basis to ethics and morality?
  • Philosophy of religion: Is there a rational argument for or against the existence of God?
  • History of philosophy: How do the great thinkers influence us today?
  • Theory of knowledge: What is knowledge, and when should we change our beliefs about the world?
  • Political philosophy: How should society’s limited resources be distributed? What is fairness?
  • Aesthetics: Is beauty objective or merely a matter of taste?
  • Logic and critical thinking: What is the structure of a good and persuasive argument?

Examples of elective units:

(subject to availability)

  • Philosophical traditions
  • God, freedom, and evil
  • Anarchy, property, and the state
  • Environmental ethics
  • The ethics of global conflict
  • Critical thinking
  • Philosophy of consciousness and cognition
  • Poverty, climate change and international justice
  • Philosophy of religion
  • Knowledge, belief, action
  • History of philosophy: Happiness

What careers will you be ready for?

Philosophy equips you with many skills that are valued across numerous professions, including skills such as critical thinking, clear writing, logical reasoning and the ability to debate. It gives you a flexible capacity to understand complex issues, rationally assess them, and explain them clearly. Philosophy opens up opportunities in fields such as:

  • Creative industries
  • NGOs
  • Law
  • Business and finance
  • Teaching
  • Policy and government departments
  • Media organisations and journalism and much more.

Who will be teaching you?

Our staff are leaders in their field with diverse interests. The array of philosophy units available at Monash highlights the breadth of the discipline. We offer a challenging and stimulating course of study, with the capacity to make a fundamental contribution to your overall program of study.

Perhaps you won’t be surprised to hear that philosophy is one of the most popular first-year units offered at Monash Arts. Or that philosophy is a very popular major with Arts/Law students. Or that the philosophy department is one of the main departments involved in the cognitive science program at Monash. Or... we could go on!

Global study

With Monash’s impressive international links, you’ll get the opportunity to venture into new and challenging contexts to enhance your learning.

Exchange programs include:

  • University of Warwick – England
  • Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitat Munchen – Germany
  • King’s College London – England
  • University of Exeter – England.
Major Focus by location
Focus Locations
Major Note Caulfield, Clayton
Extended Major Note Clayton, Caulfield
Minor Note Caulfield, Clayton