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by University of New Orleans

This course material is only available in the iTunes U app on iPhone or iPad.

Course Description

How are we supposed to tell which actions are “right” (moral or permissible) and which actions are “wrong” (immoral or impermissible)? Through the identification, construction, and evaluation of different moral theories, ethics is the subfield of philosophy devoted to answering that question. This course is a survey of the major approaches found in ethics, including:
  • divine command theory
  • utilitarianism
  • duty-based ethics (e.g., Kant)
  • virtue-based ethics
  • ethical relativism
  • ethical egoism
  • character-based ethics
To explore these approaches, we are not going to limit ourselves to discussions of  ethical texts alone, for ethics can be explored through movies too. Hence, we shall watch 3 movies in class. The movie will make the “abstract” concepts raised in the text more “real” or “concrete.” Following the movie we shall critically evaluate what we have read and seen. In the end, the aim of this course is not to determine what ethical theory is “best.” Rather, the aim is survey several major moral theories critically, and for you to learn a fair amount about ethics and doing philosophy while having a bit of fun in the process. 

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  • Category: Ethics
  • Language: English

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