Philosophy | Introduction to Ethics
P140 | 3478 | Beiser
The main aim of this course will be to examine four central questions of ethics: "What is
justice?" Why should I be moral?", "What is the highest good for a human being?" and
"How do we know what is right and wrong?" We will examine these questions by
considering the classical texts of Plato, Aristotle, Epicurus, Epictetus, Marcus Aurelius,
Augustine, Aquinas, Kant and Mill.
The main requirements for the course will be three short papers and class participation.
The aim of the papers will be to evaluate some of the arguments in the classical texts.
The papers will be graded according to three main variables: knowledge of the texts,
clarity of exposition, cogency of argument.
Students are advised that this course demands critical thinking, close reading, and clear
expository writing. While designed as an introduction, the material is by nature often
demanding and difficult.