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Unit of study_

PHIL2613: Plato and Aristotle

Semester 2, 2021 [Normal day] - Remote

An examination of the major philosophical themes to be found in the works of Plato and Aristotle, with close attention to a few central works. The course emphasises understanding the ways these philosophers think rather than learning a body of doctrine.

Unit details and rules

Unit code PHIL2613
Academic unit Philosophy
Credit points 6
PHIL3013 or PHIL2013
12 credit points at 1000 level in Philosophy or 12 credit points at 1000 level in Ancient History
Assumed knowledge


Available to study abroad and exchange students


Teaching staff

Coordinator Aidan Nathan,
Lecturer(s) Aidan Nathan,
Type Description Weight Due Length
Assignment hurdle task Final assessment
two essay questions on important themes in Plato and Aristotle
50% Formal exam period
Due date: 24 Nov 2021 at 23:59
2 x 1500-2000 word essays
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6
Assignment hurdle task Main Essay
an essay analysing important themes or passages in Plato
40% Mid-semester break
Due date: 03 Oct 2021 at 23:59
2000-2500 words
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO6 LO5 LO4 LO3 LO2
Assignment hurdle task Essay Plan
short answer question in preparation for the main essay
10% Week 06
Due date: 19 Sep 2021 at 23:59
500 words
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO6 LO5 LO4 LO3 LO2
hurdle task = hurdle task ?

Assessment summary

  • Essay Plan: This assignment involves short answer questions in preparation for the main assessment. Students are required to choose an essay topic from the list provided and to respond to a number of questions about the topic.
  • Main Essay: Students need to write an interpretive essay on Plato. They will be given a list of topics to choose from and they will have received feed-back on their essay plans in preparation for this.
  • Final Assessment: Students will be given three days to write two essays. They will be given a range of essay questions to choose from concerning key themes and texts from the course.

Assessment criteria

The University awards common result grades, set out in the Coursework Policy 2014 (Schedule 1).

As a general guide, a High distinction indicates work of an exceptional standard, a Distinction a very high standard, a credit a good standard, and a pass an acceptable standard.

Result name

Mark range


High distinction

85 - 100



75 - 84



65 - 74



50 - 64



0 - 49

When you don’t meet the learning outcomes of the unit to a satisfactory standard.


For more information see

For more information see guide to grades.

Late submission

In accordance with University policy, these penalties apply when written work is submitted after 11:59pm on the due date:

  • Deduction of 5% of the maximum mark for each calendar day after the due date.
  • After ten calendar days late, a mark of zero will be awarded.

Academic integrity

The Current Student website  provides information on academic integrity and the resources available to all students. The University expects students and staff to act ethically and honestly and will treat all allegations of academic integrity breaches seriously.  

We use similarity detection software to detect potential instances of plagiarism or other forms of academic integrity breach. If such matches indicate evidence of plagiarism or other forms of academic integrity breaches, your teacher is required to report your work for further investigation.

You may only use artificial intelligence and writing assistance tools in assessment tasks if you are permitted to by your unit coordinator, and if you do use them, you must also acknowledge this in your work, either in a footnote or an acknowledgement section.

Studiosity is permitted for postgraduate units unless otherwise indicated by the unit coordinator. The use of this service must be acknowledged in your submission.

Simple extensions

If you encounter a problem submitting your work on time, you may be able to apply for an extension of five calendar days through a simple extension.  The application process will be different depending on the type of assessment and extensions cannot be granted for some assessment types like exams.

Special consideration

If exceptional circumstances mean you can’t complete an assessment, you need consideration for a longer period of time, or if you have essential commitments which impact your performance in an assessment, you may be eligible for special consideration or special arrangements.

Special consideration applications will not be affected by a simple extension application.

Using AI responsibly

Co-created with students, AI in Education includes lots of helpful examples of how students use generative AI tools to support their learning. It explains how generative AI works, the different tools available and how to use them responsibly and productively.

WK Topic Learning activity Learning outcomes
Week 01 Introduction Lecture (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO5 LO6
Week 02 Plato's Meno Lecture (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO5 LO6
Plato's Meno Tutorial (1 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6
Week 03 Themes in the Meno Lecture (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO6
Plato's Meno Tutorial (1 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO6
Week 04 Plato's Phaedo Lecture (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO5 LO6
Plato's Phaedo Tutorial (1 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6
Week 05 Themes in the Phaedo Lecture (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO6
Plato's Phaedo Tutorial (1 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO6
Week 06 Plato's Parmenides Lecture (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO6
Plato's Parmenides Tutorial (1 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO6
Week 07 Aristotle on Plato's forms Lecture (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO5 LO6
Aristotle and Plato Tutorial (1 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6
Week 08 Aristotle's Posterior Analytics Lecture (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO6
Aristotle's Posterior Analytics Tutorial (1 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO6
Week 09 Aristotle's Metaphysics Lecture (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO5 LO6
Aristotle's Metaphysics Tutorial (1 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6
Week 10 Aristotle's Physics Lecture (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO5 LO6
Aristotle'a Physics Tutorial (1 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6
Week 11 Aristotle's De Anima Lecture (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO5 LO6
Aristotle's De Anima Tutorial (1 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6
Week 12 Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics Lecture (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO5 LO6
Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics Tutorial (1 hr) LO1 LO2 LO4 LO5 LO6
Week 13 Summary and Revision Lecture (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO5 LO6
Summary and revision Tutorial (1 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6

Attendance and class requirements

Due to COVID-19 there are no attendance requirements.

Study commitment

Typically, there is a minimum expectation of 1.5-2 hours of student effort per week per credit point for units of study offered over a full semester. For a 6 credit point unit, this equates to roughly 120-150 hours of student effort in total.

Required readings

Course Reader

Learning outcomes are what students know, understand and are able to do on completion of a unit of study. They are aligned with the University's graduate qualities and are assessed as part of the curriculum.

At the completion of this unit, you should be able to:

  • LO1. Demonstrate advanced knowledge of Classical Greek Philosophy
  • LO2. Demonstrate knowledge of the history and development of ethics, epistemology and metaphysics
  • LO3. Demonstrate improved critical thinking skills
  • LO4. Demonstrate improved written and oral communication skills
  • LO5. Demonstrate awareness of cultural context of Greek philosophy
  • LO6. Demonstrate appreciation of claims about value and validity

Graduate qualities

The graduate qualities are the qualities and skills that all University of Sydney graduates must demonstrate on successful completion of an award course. As a future Sydney graduate, the set of qualities have been designed to equip you for the contemporary world.

GQ1 Depth of disciplinary expertise

Deep disciplinary expertise is the ability to integrate and rigorously apply knowledge, understanding and skills of a recognised discipline defined by scholarly activity, as well as familiarity with evolving practice of the discipline.

GQ2 Critical thinking and problem solving

Critical thinking and problem solving are the questioning of ideas, evidence and assumptions in order to propose and evaluate hypotheses or alternative arguments before formulating a conclusion or a solution to an identified problem.

GQ3 Oral and written communication

Effective communication, in both oral and written form, is the clear exchange of meaning in a manner that is appropriate to audience and context.

GQ4 Information and digital literacy

Information and digital literacy is the ability to locate, interpret, evaluate, manage, adapt, integrate, create and convey information using appropriate resources, tools and strategies.

GQ5 Inventiveness

Generating novel ideas and solutions.

GQ6 Cultural competence

Cultural Competence is the ability to actively, ethically, respectfully, and successfully engage across and between cultures. In the Australian context, this includes and celebrates Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, knowledge systems, and a mature understanding of contemporary issues.

GQ7 Interdisciplinary effectiveness

Interdisciplinary effectiveness is the integration and synthesis of multiple viewpoints and practices, working effectively across disciplinary boundaries.

GQ8 Integrated professional, ethical, and personal identity

An integrated professional, ethical and personal identity is understanding the interaction between one’s personal and professional selves in an ethical context.

GQ9 Influence

Engaging others in a process, idea or vision.

Outcome map

Learning outcomes Graduate qualities

This section outlines changes made to this unit following staff and student reviews.

This unit has been slightly modified to accommodate a new course convenor. Although this is an existing course, it is the first time that I am putting it on.

Work, health and safety

Due to COVID-19 this unit is being delivered by online lectures and ZOOM tutorials with additional online synchronous and asynchronous opportunities to be presented throughout the semester.  No on-campus presence is required.


The University reserves the right to amend units of study or no longer offer certain units, including where there are low enrolment numbers.

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