Credit points: 15

Subject outline

Focusing on some major themes in the intellectual development of the western world which continue to inform our own times, from Greek Metaphysics and Ethics, Christian Theology, Modern Politics, and Art, we will be examining this intellectual history with emphasis on the shifts from what we might call the times of the philosopher, the theologian, the political thinker and the artist. We will move from a consideration of philosophy as a representative achievement of antiquity, through the dominance of theology in the middle ages to the attempt to develop theories of a secular politics and autonomous art respectively from the 17th and 18th centuries onwards. In this process we will also encounter the differences that have subsequently been discussed in terms of the competing orientations of empiricism, rationalism and idealism.

FacultyFaculty of Humanities & Social Sciences

Credit points15

Subject Co-ordinatorGeorge Vassilacopoulos

Available to Study Abroad StudentsYes

Subject year levelYear Level 2 - UG

Exchange StudentsYes

Subject particulars

Subject rules

Prerequisites One 15 credit point philosophy subject or 30 Humanities credit points or by approval of the subject coordinator


Incompatible subjectsN/A

Equivalent subjectsN/A

Special conditionsN/A

Learning resources


Resource TypeTitleResource RequirementAuthor and YearPublisher
ReadingsThe making of the modern mind,RecommendedRandall, J.H. 1976COLUMBIA UP
ReadingsThe passion of the western mind,RecommendedTarnas, R. 1991BALLANTINE

Subject options

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Start date between: and    Key dates

Melbourne, 2014, Semester 1, Day


Online enrolmentYes

Maximum enrolment sizeN/A

Enrolment information

Subject Instance Co-ordinatorGeorge Vassilacopoulos

Class requirements

Seminar Week: 10 - 22
One 2.0 hours seminar per week on weekdays during the day from week 10 to week 22 and delivered via blended.


Assessment elementComments%
Class Participation (equivalent to 400 words)10
Essay 1800 words45
Essay 1800 words45