PHIL 355: Theories of Ethics

PHIL 355-001: Theories of Ethics
(Fall 2022)

12:00 PM to 01:15 PM TR

Planetary Hall 127

Section Information for Fall 2022

This course is all about morality: what it means for something to be moral, what makes an action we are considering right or wrong, and what we should do in the real-life situations that we face in private and public life.

In the first part of the course, we’ll analyze the origins of morality. We’ll discuss whether morality is only a matter of personal opinion, whether it depends on God, or varies by culture.

The second part of the course introduces and evaluates several theories that philosophers have developed for identifying morally correct actions. We’ll discuss whether the ends justify the means, weigh the dignity and respect for individuals against the greater good, and consider the role of interpersonal relationships in ethics.

In the last part of the course, we’ll survey applied moral debates about important practical issues. We’ll debate whether it is morally right or wrong to take money for sex, buy designer clothes while the world starves, or ask your doctor to help end a life, among many others. These subjects—often considered to be some of the most controversial on the planet—will be approached through careful reflection, rational argument, and respectful but open-minded debate.


Course Information from the University Catalog

Credits: 3

A critical examination of a variety of different types of classical, modern, and contemporary ethical theories, including consequentialist theories, deontological theories, and virtue theories. May be repeated within the degree for a maximum 6 credits.
Recommended Prerequisite: 3 credits in PHIL or permission of instructor.
Schedule Type: Lecture
This course is graded on the Undergraduate Regular scale.

The University Catalog is the authoritative source for information on courses. The Schedule of Classes is the authoritative source for information on classes scheduled for this semester. See the Schedule for the most up-to-date information and see Patriot web to register for classes.