Ethics (PHIL*2120-02) | College of Arts

Ethics (PHIL*2120-02)

Term: Winter 2013


 What is ethics or morality? And why ought we be moral? Since antiquity, these questions have been answered in verity of ways by verity of moral philosophers. In this course the students will be introduced to such a range of ethical theories. We will critically examine some of the major schools in moral philosophy including, ethical subjectivism, cultural relativism, ethical egoism, utilitarianism, deontologism, etc. This analysis will be supplemented by a discussion of contemporary ethical issues and controversies such as animal rights, euthanasia, gay rights, etc.

Course Objectives:

By the end of the course the students should be able to:

  • Have a good grasp of the history and the range of moral theories.
  • Be able to identify, critically examine and assess moral controversies.
  • Be able to formulate their own thoughts on moral issues based on the analytic and critical skills they acquire throughout the course.

Required Text: Brouce N. Waller, Consider Ethics: Theory Readings and contemporary Issues, Pearson, Longman, 2004

Students are responsible for material covered in the text and in the lecture.


  1. Three tests, each worth 20%
  2. Quality of participation 5%
  3. Final Paper (No final exam) 35%
  • Participation will be based on students’ contribution to class discussion and in-class questions and assignments on the ethical cases that will be discussed.
  • In the first week of March a hand out will be distributed that will include the essay topic and its specific requirements from length and format to style and evaluation scheme.
  • Final Paper is Due on April the 10. Extension will be granted only with a doctor’s note. Late papers will lose 2 marks out of 35 each day after the 10th.


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