Philosophy | Special Topics in Philosophy
P470 | 3598 | Eisenberg


Topic: Ethics in the 19th Century.

Note: Course meets with P541

The course will focus on several major nineteenth-century ethical
theories.  For proper consideration of post-Kantian ethical theories,
however, it is necessary for one to have some (detailed) sense of
Kantís ethics; accordingly, I shall start there.  The further
readings will include Hegelís Philosophy of Right (selections only),
Millís Utilitarianism, and various works by Nietzsche.  Among the
issues raised in or by these various ethical classics are the
questions in what sense (if any) morality or moral laws
are ďobjectiveĒ; whether the same moral principles and rules apply to
all people in all times and cultures; whether moral rightness depends
upon the intrinsic nature of certain actions (for example, the
actions of promise-keeping or of truth-telling) or whether it
depends, instead, on the real or probable consequences of such
actions; and what role (if any) consideration of the well-being of
others should have in a given moral agentís decisions about what s/he
ought to do.  There will be both a mid-semester paper (approximately
five pages) and exam, and a final paper (approximately fifteen pages)
and exam.