Ethics and Moral Theory

Course Code: PHIL 2003

Academic Year: 2019-2020

Moral judgment is an inescapable part of our lives. Everyday, we feel proud of some choices, and guilty about others. But are these automatic judgments are the right ones? Where do they come from? Do they apply only to us, 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. Here, we will explore the various theories of ethics that attempt to discern what it means to be good. We will also assess the most significant challenges to ethical theory, above all the challenges of relativism and egoism. Our evaluation of these major ethical theories will involve discussion of contemporary moral issues, such as abortion, euthanasia, warfare, the duty to aid, animal rights, and environmental responsibility. In thinking about these topics, we will learn to recognize and work with the structure of logical argument as a way of clarifying one's own ideas, and assessing the ideas of others. Category and Level: Arts and Humanities, Lower Level Restrictions: Bachelor of Criminal Justice students are restricted from taking this course as a breadth elective.