Bodies and Passions (PHIL2651)


This unit is an introduction to theories of the passions. Paying special attention to Descartes, Spinoza and Hume, it will explore the notion that the body is the source of error and irrationality. However, bodily passions and associations also are crucial to our wellbeing and can make positive contributions to cognitive processes. In addition to the study of central figures in the history of philosophy, this unit aims to provide historical grounding for important issues in contemporary moral psychology.

Further unit of study information


1x2hr lecture/week, 1x1hr tutorial/week


1xTutorial presentation (20%), 1xin-class test (30%) and 1x2000wd Essay (50%)

Faculty/department permission required?


Unit of study rules

Prerequisites and assumed knowledge

12 Junior credit points in Philosophy



Study this unit outside a degree

Non-award/non-degree study

If you wish to undertake one or more units of study (subjects) for your own interest but not towards a degree, you may enrol in single units as a non-award student.

Cross-institutional study

If you are from another Australian tertiary institution you may be permitted to underake cross-institutional study in one or more units of study at the University of Sydney.