Philosophy | Introduction to Ethics
P140 | 0478 | Bassett


We are faced with a number of personal moral dilemmas, large and small, every day.
Should I lie to someone if it will make that person feel better?  Should I cheat on a test if
doing so is necessary to get a good job?  Is it wrong to spread gossip?  Should I visit my
sick grandmother even though it will take a lot of money and time?

We are also faced with moral dilemmas on a societal level.  Was changing welfare policy
morally callous or tough love?  Is capital punishment justified?  Are certain institutions
(capitalism?  the family?) unjust?

In this course, we will discuss several ethical theories which try to find solutions to these
problems, and we will raise other issues (about freedom, happiness, and the like) relevant
to why they are interesting and troubling.  Using readings both classic and contemporary,
we will discuss and attempt to gain insight into some of our most troubling ethical
questions.