Moral Philosophy (Fall 2007)
The goal of this course is to introduce students to major works in moral philosophy. Rather than focus on major historical works exclusively, we will engage with figures such as Plato, Aristotle, Hume, Kant, and Mill by reading primary sources and contemporary articles engaged with the problems presented in the classical texts. Our aim is to understand the historical roots of the major issues discusses in contemporary ethical theory.
Students will gain an understanding of utilitarian, deontological, and virtue-based normative ethical theories. In addition, moving beyond the traditional scope of similar courses, we will explore issues in meta-ethics, axiology, and moral psychology.
Questions that will be addressed include: What makes an action morally right? Why should I be moral? Can morality be grounded in religion? Do moral claims state facts and if so can they be true? What constitutes a good life?