Advanced Ethical Theory (PHIL*3290) | College of Arts

Advanced Ethical Theory (PHIL*3290)

Code and section: PHIL*3290*01

Term: Fall 2020

Instructor: Gus Skorburg


This course surveys some core issues in the growing interdisciplinary field of moral psychology: What is morality, and where did it come from? What is the relationship between moral philosophy and empirical psychology? What is moral motivation? What role do emotions play in the moral life? Under what conditions are people morally responsible? Are there self-interested reasons for people to be moral?
Given the circumstances surrounding COVID-19, this course will not meet face to face. Most of the material for this class will be asynchronous and self-paced (i.e. lectures will not take place “live,” at the scheduled class time). Instead lecture recordings, videos, readings, notes, and assignments will be posted on CourseLink and you can complete them mostly at your own pace. However, the course “meeting time” will remain on the schedule so that it will be easier for you to socialize with your classmates, schedule meetings to work on group projects for the class, and also to meet with the instructor and the TAs.

Course Outline


The University of Guelph resides on the land of the Between the Lakes Treaty No. 3, the territory of the Mississaugas of the Credit. This land is part of the Dish with One Spoon, a covenant between Indigenous nations to live peaceably on the territories of the Great Lakes region. We recognize that today this gathering place is home to many First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples and acknowledging them reminds us of our collective responsibility to the land where we learn, live and work.