Ethics and Moral Theory

Course Code: PHIL 2003

Academic Year: 2021-2022

Moral judgment is an inescapable part of our lives. Every day, we feel proud of some choices, and guilty about others. But are these judgments right? Where do they come from? Do they apply only to us individually, or are they right for everyone? Can we justify them to others, or are they nothing more than personal preferences? This course introduces students to the philosophical study of ethics. Students explore various ethical theories that attempt to discern what it means to be good. Students also assess the most significant challenges to ethical theory, above all relativism and egoism. Evaluation of these ethical theories involves discussion of moral issues such as abortion, euthanasia, warfare, the duty to aid, animal rights, and environmental sustainability. In thinking about these topics, students learn to recognize the structure of logical argument as a way of clarifying their own ideas and assessing the ideas of others.