University Course Planner The University of Adelaide Australia

PHIL 2032 - Naturalising Morality: Evolution, Ethics & Meaning

Career: Undergraduate
Units: 3
Term: Semester 2
Campus: North Terrace
Contact: Up to 3 hours per week
Available for Study Abroad and Exchange: Yes
Available for Non-Award Study: No
Pre-Requisite: At least 12 units of Level I undergraduate study
Incompatible: PHIL 2005 or PHIL 3005
Assessment: Two essays (2500 words each) 50% each

Modern science gives us a stark way of understanding human nature and the place of human beings in the natural world. We are animals who have evolved to be as we are through natural processes. We live in a world that is not structured for our benefit. And yet, despite this scientific world view, we strive to find meaning and purpose in life. We judge some forms of behaviour right while others are wrong. We think some things really matter. This course considers whether these two perspectives can be reconciled: Is there a naturalistic foundation for ethics, values and even the meaningfulness of life? This course will explore this question by examining evolutionary psychology, the cognitive science of human emotions, and the so-called "new science of morality". In doing so it will confront contentious debates such as the respective roles of genes and culture in making us the way we are, whether it is appropriate to employ new technologies to engineer human happiness, and whether moral responsibility can survive the encroachments of neuroscience.

Course Fees

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Study Abroad student tuition fees available here

Only some Postgraduate Coursework programs are available as Commonwealth Supported. Please check your program for specific fee information

  Commonwealth Supported Student Contribution
Tuition Fees
Units EFTSL Pre-2010 2010 Onwards Domestic International
3 0.125 Band 1 $820 Band 1 $820 select program select program

Course Outline

A Course Outline which includes Learning Outcomes, Learning Resources, Learning & Teaching for this course may be accessed here

Critical Dates

Term Last Day to Add Online Census Date Last Day to WNF Last Day to WF
Semester 2 Mon 12/08/2019 Sat 31/08/2019 Fri 20/09/2019 Fri 01/11/2019

Class Details

Enrolment Class: Workshop
Class Nbr Section Size Available Dates Days Time Location
20913 WR01 60 20 1 Aug - 19 Sep Thursday 1pm - 2pm Ligertwood, 231, Lecture Theatre
10 Oct - 31 Oct Thursday 1pm - 2pm Ligertwood, 231, Lecture Theatre
Related Class: Lecture
Class Nbr Section Size Available Dates Days Time Location
20912 LE01 60 31 31 Jul - 18 Sep Wednesday 3pm - 5pm Ligertwood, 333, Lecture Theatre
9 Oct - 30 Oct Wednesday 3pm - 5pm Ligertwood, 333, Lecture Theatre
28976 LEC0 60 49 No details available
Note: Online Lecture.