Faculty of Arts

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6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate - Unit

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.



Organisational Unit



Associate Professor Jacqueline Broad



  • Second semester 2016 (Day)



This unit introduces the student to the philosophical systems of these rival Hellenistic schools and examines their interaction, evolution and relevance to contemporary philosophical problems. Among the issues that concern the stoics and epicureans are questions about happiness and fulfilment; coping with the inevitability of death; fatalism and moral responsibility; and the role and relevance of god in a purely material universe. A proper understanding of the truths revealed by the systems was thought to make the fully educated stoic or epicurean 'a mortal god'-blessed and happy, utterly immune to the vagaries of misfortune and fearless in the face of death.


Students who complete the subject successfully should:

  • understand the central perspectives and tenets of Stoic and Epicurean philosophy
  • appreciate how the stoic and epicurean systems were shaped by classical philosophy and the social conditions of the Hellenistic period
  • be aware of the ways in which subsequent historical and social conditions were shaped by adherents of the two schools
  • be in a position and motivated to explore Stoic and Epicurean ideas towards a resolution of a variety of contemporary philosophical problems.


Within semester assessment:70%

Workload requirements

Minimum total expected workload to achieve the learning outcomes for this unit is 144 hours per semester typically comprising a mixture of scheduled learning activities and independent study. A unit requires on average three/four hours of scheduled activities per week. Scheduled activities may include a combination of teacher directed learning, peer directed learning and online engagement.

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)

Off-campus attendance requirements

Off-campus: no timetabled contact hours

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study


Twelve credit points of second-year Arts units. As this is a third-year level unit, it is highly recommended that students only take this unit after they have completed two second-year level units in Philosophy.