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Hello, my name is Thomas. I am studying a BA, majoring in Philosophy and Psychology. I have a histor...


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This subject was interesting, being a philosophy major. It does not focus on philosophy, but rather the history of Reason and how it's been used throughout time. Obviously this results in interaction with philosophical thought, but is not the primary focus. The lectures were quite interesting, though the reading could be a little dry at times. That being said, the tutorials are significantly more fun if you actually know what you're talking about. I unfortunately would recommend against the tutor Paul Carter, who though well-meaning, seemed as though he had acquainted himself with the a few years ago, and used student's points as push-offs for his own improvised monologues. With a little brushing up, he may be a great tutor though. I would recommend this course as an Arts Foundation, on the premise that one knows they are going to be exploring the use of reason through the ages, from Plato and the Ancient Greeks, through the Renaissance and Enlightenment to the modern day.

Anonymous, Semester 1, 2020

This is not a philosophy subject. It is more of a historical subject surrounding philosophy. The assignments are quite dry and boring, but it is a great foundation subjects if you want to build your writing skills

Anonymous, Semester 1, 2019

Only saving grace of this subject were the fantastic lecturers and lectures themselves, particularly on the renaissance, religion and anything with James Bradley because he is just so entertaining to listen to. I feel it is a real downfall on unimelb to even have arts foundation requirements in the first place, as you could really sense that people were in the subject only because they had no other choice. Perhaps it would be better to put this as a subject in philosophy major or something? It just didn't feel like a real subject to me and that I wasn't really acquiring any valuable skills. Assessments were also a major pain in the ass as I literally had no idea what direction I should go in. Apparently the other foundation subjects Power and Identity are seriously difficult, whereas I thought Reason wasn't all that hard to be honest. If that's a good 'reason' for you, then I'd suggest you do it.

Anonymous, Semester 1, 2019

read the subject guide carefully, this isn't philosophy, its the history of philosophy and the history of science

Anonymous, Semester 1, 2018

Interesting enough. The main lecturer waffled on for ages and went of in tangents, then expected us to finish the lecture slides on our own time, defeating the purpose of the lecture. The readings were often plentiful, long and tedious, making it hard to ground myself in the subject. I had a pretty good tutor, who focused appropriately on assignment preparation, and also showed us some documentaries on relevant topics, which was thoroughly enjoyable. Had insightful conversations with peers over the subject matter. I had a lot of trouble finding relevant material to cite for the final assessment though, and none of the subject readings really offered anything substantial. I don't really know what I was expecting for this subject, but I didn't think it would be merely a history of philosophy. I probably should have looked into it more before I chose it as my foundation subject. I wouldn't recommend this subject. If you're interested in philosophy, just do philosophy.

Anonymous, Semester 1, 2017

just no, don't even bother

Anonymous, Semester 1, 2017

The readings were tedious and the lectures were disengaging. However, the subject gives you a good general overview of the history of philosophy, and the ideas are really interesting. This subject's assessments teach you critical thinking skills, which I have found to be valuable, and also how to write a research essay as a first year uni student. My tutor, Marko, was really great as well.

Anonymous, Semester 1, 2017

I think the reason that many people are complaining about this subject is the essay question, which was too broad. However, all the lectures were interesting and thought provoking. If you love philosophy, take this subject; otherwise, it's your choice.

Anonymous, Semester 1, 2016

A little disengaging at times.

Anonymous, Semester 1, 2015

Worst subject I could have chosen. Perhaps due to the fact its compulsory. Not enjoyable

Anonymous, Semester 1, 2014