Explores central themes in ethics, such as what our most fundamental obligations are, using the tools of philosophical argument and analysis. Content, readings, and assignments vary by section and instructor.
Dates: May 23 to June 17, 2022; No more than two distinct 02X classes may apply to a major, though additional ones may be taken for credit.
This course offers an introduction to ethics, with emphasis on moral theories which aim to explain what makes an action morally right or wrong. Theories discussed include cultural relativism (Is morality relative to a culture?), utilitarianism (Is morality of an action determined by its consequences?), Kantian ethics (Is morality of an action determined by moral rules?). We will also learn about deductive arguments, and common errors in reasoning. In the second part of the course, we will apply moral reasoning to some of the environmental issues (Should we protect nature solely for the sake of our well-being, or does nature have value in and of itself? Do animals have rights?).
The final grade is based on two papers, and contributions to a discussion forum.
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