Ethics (PHIL*2120) | College of Arts

Ethics (PHIL*2120)

Code and section: PHIL*2120*01

Term: Fall 2021

Instructor: Ken Dorter


Method of Delivery:

Face to face (on campus).

Course Synopsis:

A study of four of the most influential texts in ethics, covering the areas of Virtue Ethics (Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics), Utilitarianism (J.S. Mill’s Utilitarianism), Existentialism (Simone de Beauvoir’s The Ethics of Ambiguity), and Stoicism (Marcus Aurelius’ Meditations).

Assignments & Means of Evaluation:

  • Essay(s) - Either two 1250 word essays (25% each) or one 2500 word essay (50%)
  • Final exam - 50%

Required Textbooks:

  • Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics (Penguin ISBN 9780140449495) 
  • Mill, Utilitarianism (Dover ISBN 0486454223) 
  • Beauvoir, Ethics of Ambiguity (Open Road ISBN 9781504054225). Buy this edition – an older one has different pagination. 
  • Marcus Aurelius, Meditations (Penguin ISBN 9780140449334)


Please note:  This is a preliminary web course outline only.  The Philosophy Department reserves the right to change without notice any information in this description.  The final, binding course outline will be distributed in the first class of the semester.

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.