Studying online

There are now 2 possible online modes for units:

Units with modes Online timetabled and Online flexible are available for any student to self-enrol and study online.

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Unit Overview


This unit introduces students to some central ideas in Eastern traditions such as Buddhism and Advaita Vedanta, examining these ideas from a Western philosophical perspective. Topics covered include the nature of ultimate reality, consciousness, the self, suffering and happiness, karma, free will, the scope of knowledge, ethics and the ultimate goal of human existence. Classical and contemporary sources are used. Some of these topics are approached with an eye to seeking convergence with ideas in Western philosophy, for example, in Hume's idea that there is no self.

6 points
(see Timetable)
Semester 1UWA (Perth)Face to face
Details for undergraduate courses
  • Level 3 option in the Philosophy major sequence
  • Level 3 elective

Students are able to (1) clearly convey, in spoken and written discussion, Eastern and related philosophical ideas; (2) recognise philosophical similarities and differences between ideas in Eastern and Western traditions; (3) extract, compare and evaluate complex philosophical positions and arguments from traditions East and West; (4) demonstrate advanced research and writing skills through composing essays on comparative philosophy; and (5) critically reflect on the nature, purpose and possible limits of Western philosophy through contrasting its approach to those found in Eastern traditions.


Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) written assignments; (2) examination; and (3) class participation. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Student may be offered supplementary assessment in this unit if they meet the eligibility criteria.

Unit Coordinator(s)
Dr Miri Albahari
Unit rules
any Philosophy unit
or PPHE2211.
PHIL2231 Philosophy East and West
Contact hours
lectures: 2 hours per week
tutorials: 1 hour per week
  • The availability of units in Semester 1, 2, etc. was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change.
  • All students are responsible for identifying when they need assistance to improve their academic learning, research, English language and numeracy skills; seeking out the services and resources available to help them; and applying what they learn. Students are encouraged to register for free online support through GETSmart; to help themselves to the extensive range of resources on UWA's STUDYSmarter website; and to participate in WRITESmart and (ma+hs)Smart drop-ins and workshops.
  • Unit readings, including any essential textbooks, are listed in the unit outline for each unit, one week prior the commencement of study. The unit outline will be available via the LMS and the UWA Handbook one week prior the commencement of study. Reading lists and essential textbooks are subject to change each semester. Information on essential textbooks will also be made available on the Essential Textbooks. This website is updated regularly in the lead up to semester so content may change. It is recommended that students purchase essential textbooks for convenience due to the frequency with which they will be required during the unit. A limited number of textbooks will be made available from the Library in print and will also be made available online wherever possible. Essential textbooks can be purchased from the commercial vendors to secure the best deal. The Student Guild can provide assistance on where to purchase books if required. Books can be purchased second hand at the Guild Secondhand bookshop (second floor, Guild Village), which is located on campus.
  • Contact hours provide an indication of the type and extent of in-class activities this unit may contain. The total amount of student work (including contact hours, assessment time, and self-study) will approximate 150 hours per 6 credit points.