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
- Business and finance
- 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!
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.
This area of study is offered in the following courses or can be taken where you have 8 free electives. To see if you can take this area of study within a double degree select from the course offering below.
- Arts and Criminology
- Arts and Fine Art
- Arts and Music
- Business and Arts
- Commerce and Arts
- Education and Arts
- Engineering and Arts
- Information Technology and Arts
- International Business and Arts
- Laws and Arts
- Liberal Arts
- Marketing and Arts
- Politics, Philosophy and Economics and Arts
- Science and Arts
Career options for philosophy majors
- Non-government organisations (NGOs)
- Policy and government
We encourage you to expand your horizons during your time at Monash by studying at one of our partner universities overseas. An exchange is an ideal way to advance your skills and immerse yourself in the culture of the country where you are studying.
"I realise now that everything that I’ve done I learned from philosophy; it has really grounded what I do. I also gained skills in logic, reasoning and having strong evidence bases before making decisions."
- Roger Chao, Bachelor of Commerce/Arts,
Majored in Philosophy.