Philosophy | Introduction to Ethics
P140 | 13934 | Blake, Susan


In this course, we will be investigating what morality is and how we
humans come to know about it:  What kind of thing is morality?—is it
composed of universal rules that apply to everyone?  Duties and
obligations?  Virtues?  Is our respect for morality inborn, or is it
something that we find out about only through reflection?  In
addition, what sorts of actions have moral philosophers proposed as
being a part of a good life?
To spur our discussion, we will use texts running the gamut from
ancient Chinese and Greek philosophy to contemporary scientific
interpretations of morality, and many things in between.  In
addition to reading the texts and coming to class, you will be
expected to think about and evaluate the ideas on your own—through
short assignments, two papers of 3-4 pages each, and two exams.

Required texts:
Five Dialogues, Plato
Groundwork for the Metaphysics of Morals, Immanuel Kant
Readings in Classical Chinese Philosophy, ed. Ivanhoe and Van Norden
Primates and Philosophers: The Evolution of Morality, Frans de Waal
Other readings will be available on OnCourse.