Understanding Western Civilisation

Description

The course gives students a broad overview of the key ideas and values of Western Civilisation. Topics to be covered may include: The ideas and values of the Enlightenment, the foundations of liberalism and democracy, the core ideas of Darwin's Origin of Species and its religious and philosophical impact, Adam Smith's The Wealth of Nations, Socialist, Marxist and other alternatives to free market values, Empiricism, Rationalism, scientific method, Karl Popper, Liberalism, tolerance, cultural diversity, and problems with liberalism and its alternatives: e.g. authoritarianism, theocracy.

Availability

On-Line from Callaghan

  • Semester 2 - 2015

Learning Outcomes

1. Impart to students familiarity with, and knowledge of, the main issues addressed and approaches taken by the foundational philosophers and thinkers of Western Civilisation.

2. Impart to students critical skills to deal with these issues in their assessment of their own culture and societal life.

3. Develop high level written and oral skills in analysing and presenting issues in fundamental philosophical and value concepts of Western and other civilisations.

4. Develop a capacity to appreciate these fundamental issues involved in how people approach ways of living and their stance to the world around them.

Content

The course covers the key ideas and values of Western Civilisation.

Topics to be covered include:

  • The ideas and values of the Enlightenment,
  • the foundations of liberalism and democracy,
  • the social, religious and philosophical impact of Darwin's Origin of Species,
  • Adam Smith and The Wealth of Nations,
  • free market values,
  • Socialist, Marxist and other alternatives to the free market,
  • Empiricism, Rationalism and scientific method,
  • Liberalism, tolerance and cultural diversity, problems with liberalism and its alternatives: e.g. authoritarianism, theocracy.

Assessment Items

Essay: Essay 1

Essay: Essay 2

Essay: Essay 3

Contact Hours

Self-Directed Learning

Self-Directed 3 hour(s) per Week for Full Term