Thinking deeply about what makes for a just society

We live in a time of great social, ethical, and political uncertainty. This unit responds to this context by leading you to engage with a range of contemporary philosophical debates and perspectives on the nature of the good society. It provides you with the knowledge and analytical skills to participate constructively in dialogue regarding matters of fundamental social importance.

You will engage in careful examination of key concepts, theories, and debates concerning issues such as the fair distribution of the burdens and benefits of society, the rights and duties of individuals and communities in local and global contexts, and the understanding and implementation of basic freedoms in areas such as speech, religion, and opportunity. In so doing, the meaning and contours of key ideas such as human dignity, social justice, human solidarity and human value are explored.

The unit provides you with an opportunity to develop a scholarly and integrated personal account of the good society that draws directly on contemporary moral, social, and political philosophy, including some key themes in Catholic social thought.

On successful completion of this unit, you should be able to:

  1. identify and accurately explain some of the central problems and key theories in social and political philosophy and public ethics (GA5)
  2. critically analyse and evaluate selected debates in the field, and develop rationally consistent positions in relation to them (GA3; GA4; GA8)
  3. demonstrate skills in the clear, well-structured and well-referenced presentation of a philosophical argument in formal oral and written contexts (GA5; GA9).

You should have developed your ability to achieve the following ACU graduate attributes:

  • GA3 apply ethical perspectives in informed decision-making
  • GA4 think critically and reflectively
  • GA5 demonstrate values, knowledge, skills and attitudes appropriate to the discipline and/or profession
  • GA8 locate, organise, analyse, synthesise and evaluate information
  • GA9 demonstrate effective communication in oral and written English language and visual media.

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