This course focuses on thinking critically and reflectively on ideas in influential texts by exploring their philosophical, historical, cultural and socio-political contexts. It emphasises close reading of selected texts and analysis of argument. Questions covered may include 'What is the Enlightenment?' 'What are some key ideas in modernity?' 'What is the good life?' The aim of the course is to familiarise students with the origins and diversity of different approaches to the generation, interpretation, and critique of ideas. The course also aims to develop students’ skills in reading, interpretation, analysis and argument by putting these approaches into practice in class. The course is team-taught by UNSW scholars with expertise in a range of disciplines. It provides invaluable background in the art of thinking and, hence, in research methods for text-based research projects.