Philosophical Perspectives on Nature and Science

PHI20010 12.5 Credit Points Hawthorn


  • One Semester or equivalent

Contact hours

  • 36 hours Face to Face + Blended

On-campus unit delivery combines face-to-face and digital learning.

Aims and objectives

Modern science has been a major force in shaping our views on nature and humanity. This unit examines the relationship between scientific ideas and society with the aim of understanding both the contexts and consequences of scientific inquiry. With an emphasis on the history of the environmental sciences, science will be investigated historically as a cultural phenomenon that interacts with, and is influenced by, the development of societies and their politics. We will see how ideologies of progress have been expressed historically, how they find expression today, and how they may yet find expression when it comes to questions about the future of humanity and life on earth.
Unit Learning Outcomes: Students who successfully complete this unit will be able to:
1. Correctly use appropriate terms for the eras, movements, ideologies and philosophies studied
2. Draw upon primary and secondary sources to understand key ideas underlying the social, political, and intellectual movements studied, and their implications for the periods studied.
3. Investigate the implications that the ideas and theories studied have for 21st century conceptions of nature, humanity, society, and justice.
4. Describe important ways in which evolutionary theorising in either the environmental, social, psychological, health or life sciences has transformed conceptions of nature and humanity.


Courses with unit

New unit from 2023