Philosophy | Introduction to Ethics
P140 | 4567 | L. Yahng


Be nice to your sister.  Help your neighbor.  Keep your promises.
Don't ever lie.  Lies are ok if they save someone's feelings.  You
have to look out for Number One.  Remember to pick up the dry
cleaning.  Don't stir your tea with your steak knife.  Do the right
thing.  Recommendations, commands, and obligations seem to pervade our
lives.  Some seem specifically to do with morality, right and wrong,
good and bad; some,  less so.  Some seem to have the force of a kind
of necessity; some, less so.  In this class, we will explore the
nature of those claims that seem to have the force of morality.  Some
themes of this class:  What makes right actions right?  What does it
mean to call something or someone "good"?  What does "morality" tell
me to do?  Is it just my culture or upbringing speaking?  Or perhaps
my own prudential self-interest?  Why should I do as morality
instructs?  In what sense "must" I do it?  And are moral claims
justified anyway?   We will cover three major ethical theories, Virtue
Ethics, Utilitarianism, and Kantianism, and finish with a
consideration of applied ethics topics such as cloning, consumerism,
war and intervention, and vegetarianism.