Ethics (PHIL*2120) | College of Arts

Ethics (PHIL*2120)

Code and section: PHIL*2120*02

Term: Winter 2022

Instructor: Kyle Barbour


Method of Delivery:

This course will be taught entirely in-person.

Course Synopsis:

According to our textbook, ethics is the study of two questions 1) what should I do? 2) what sort of person should I be? These two questions are fundamental issues which we all deal with in our daily interactions with other people and are foundational to how we navigate the world. This course will be an introduction to the way in which some of the most significant thinkers in history tried to find answers to these questions as well as how contemporary philosophy addresses these concerns. The course will be divided into three sections: 1) metaethics 2) normative ethics 3) applied ethics. As such, we will examine questions concerning the nature of ethics itself such as whether ethics is objectively grounded and what it means for something to be “good”; the theories of Plato, Aristotle, Kant, Mill, and the contemporary philosophers who take inspiration from these figures; and we will question how ethics can be brought into conversation with contemporary issues in our own daily lives.

Assignments & Means of Evaluation:

First Essay - 15%
Second Essay - 20%
Bi-weekly reflections (short discussions) - 25%
Final exam - 40%

Required Textbooks:

The required textbook for this course is Ethical Theory: An Anthology, edited by Russ Schafer-Landau.

* 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.