Academic Item Menu


Human beings are evaluators: we praise and blame, take things to be good and bad, and think of ways that we, and the world we live in, could be better than they currently are.  This course examines the nature of value by taking up key topics in contemporary moral and political philosophy.  Are values a function of human desires, choices, and affective states – or do they obtain independently of such affective responses and attitudes? Do we create or discover the values that govern our moral and political communities? What are freedom, sovereignty, autonomy and public reason as ethical and political ideals? Are moral and political communities properly restricted to human beings, or should they include non-human animals? Why do we value democratic government and how do we make it work under current social, technological and economic conditions? Do we need to rethink democracy and community if we are to offer viable ethical and political responses to climate change? These are the sorts of questions explored in this advanced course, through focused engagement with key debates in contemporary moral and political philosophy.  Precise topics and areas may vary from year to year.  


Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences

Study Level


Offering Terms

Term 3



Delivery Mode

Fully on-site

Indicative contact hours


Conditions for Enrolment

Prerequisite: 48 UOC overall, including 6 UOC at level 1 and 6 UOC at level 2 in one of the following streams, Philosophy


Pre-2019 Handbook Editions

Access past handbook editions (2018 and prior)

Helpful utilities like sharing or printing this page
Share Link via Email
Download PDF