PHIL 240 A: Introduction To Ethics

Meeting Time: 
MWF 9:30am - 10:20am
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Headshot of Paul Franco
Paul Franco

Additional Details:

Ethical questions encompass a wide variety of moral concerns. What sorts of things really matter in life: pleasure, family, money, all or none of these? Suppose you could get away with stealing something you really wanted without anyone noticing. Are there good reasons for not stealing it? Would it be okay for us to sacrifice the happiness of a few people, if that sacrifice meant that many, many more people would be happy? In this class, we’ll look at ethical theories from the Western philosophical tradition that provide a philosophical framework for answering these and other ethical questions. We’ll begin with questions about living a flourishing life and how it might be connected to having a good moral character. From there, we’ll consider questions about the nature of right and wrong and the sources of moral value. Finally, we’ll end the class by considering a few contemporary moral problems. In past classes, we’ve explored topics like abortion, animal rights, climate change ethics, the moral responsibilities of scientists, and ethical consumerism.

Catalog Description: 
Critical introduction to various philosophical views of the basis and presuppositions of morality and moral knowledge. Critical introduction to various types of normative ethical theory, including utilitarian, deontological, and virtue theories.
GE Requirements: 
Individuals and Societies (I&S)
Visual, Literary, and Performing Arts (VLPA)
Writing (W)
Last updated: 
October 23, 2020 - 10:28am