PHL302 Values and Decisions (8)

This subject critiques and draws on recent theoretical and experimental work on values, practical reasoning and decision making, particularly in social contexts, as aids in the examination of selected contemporary controversies in applied ethics. The subject will begin by looking at recent discussions of fairness and values, models of rational decision making, social norms and the relation and tension between individual and collective rationality. This conceptual material will be deployed in the interpretation and analysis of such current debates as the relationship between economic and other values, such as environmental values, the immigration debate, and issues in reproductive technology.


Session 1 (30)
Wagga Wagga Campus

Continuing students should consult the SAL for current offering details: PHL302. Where differences exist between the Handbook and the SAL, the SAL should be taken as containing the correct subject offering details.

Subject Information

Grading System



One session


School of Humanities and Social Sciences

Assumed Knowledge

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this subject, students should:
  • Understand the main philosophical approaches to practical reason and decision making, in particular decision and game theory, beliefdesire theories, and the critiques of these theories
  • Understand the main philosophical approaches to the relation between reasons and values
  • Understand and critically engage with current debates in selected topics of current controversy
  • Be able to apply the skills and knowledge gained in this subject to other areas of controversy


This subject will cover the following topics:

Practical reasoning Values and fairness Causes and reasons Explanation and justification Game and decision theory Belief/desire theories of rational action Instrumental and expressive rationality Social norms Individual and collective rationality Experimental evidence of decision making Invisible hand explanations The nature and limit of economic value Valuing the environment The immigration debate Reproductive technology: rights of access and areas of concern


For further information about courses and subjects outlined in the CSU handbook please contact:

Current students

Future students

The information contained in the CSU Handbook was accurate at the date of publication: May 2019. The University reserves the right to vary the information at any time without notice.