PHL302 Morals, Minds and Decision-making (8)

This subject is about moral and rational decision-making. In one half of the subject, we will take a theoretical approach, and will look at some implications of recent advances in psychology for moral theorising. For instance, we will be thinking about the implications of psychological studies of cognitive bias for the reliability of moral intuitions, and the implications of neuroscience (especially, brain imaging studies) for morality. In the other half of the subject, we will examine a range of case studies in order to explore some of the inherent difficulties in practical decision-making. Case studies may include: the decision whether to have children, career choice, and moral decision-making under empirical and moral uncertainty. By investigating these case studies, we will question whether and when rational decision-making is psychologically feasible, and whether there are logical limits to rationality itself.


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

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this subject, students should:
  • be able to demonstrate an understanding of the major philosophical approaches to practical reason and decision making;
  • be able to critically evaluate the main philosophical theories concerning the relation between reasons and values; and
  • be able to determine the philosophical significance of recent findings in neuroscience and psychology.


This subject will cover the following topics:
  • Cognitive bias
  • Neuroscience and morality
  • The unity of morality
  • Moral enhancement
  • Practical reasoning
  • Decision theory
  • Experimental investigation of decision making
  • Transformative choice
  • Decision-making under empirical and moral uncertainty

Indicative Assessment

The following table summarises the assessment tasks for the online offering of PHL302 in Session 1 2020. Please note this is a guide only. Assessment tasks are regularly updated and can also differ to suit the mode of study (online or on campus).

Item Number
Value %
Essay 1
Essay 2

The information contained in the CSU Handbook was accurate at the date of publication: May 2021. The University reserves the right to vary the information at any time without notice.